10 Awesome Things To Do In London

10 Awesome Things To Do In London

From the one of the World's Largest Ferris Wheels to a quick ride on the Underground and everything in between.
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I had to opportunity immediately following my high school graduation to travel to England and Ireland. I backpacked the whole trip with my cousin. The first city that we stopped in and probably spent the most time in was London, England. Here are the top ten adventures that I had while in the city, and you should, too.

1. Brick Lane

Not too many people know about it, but Brick Lane is one of the coolest little parts of London. A lot of the buildings and walls of Brick Lane are decked out with street art. I even got the opportunity to witness someone spray painting a mural.


2. The London Eye

I don’t recommend doing this if you are afraid of heights, but it’s the best way to see London. It didn’t really hit me that I was abroad, taking the trip of my dreams until I was at the very top of the London Eye (the one of the world’s largest ferris wheels). The full ride takes about 40 minutes, but it is all worth it.

3. The Tower of London

If you want to understand more about the history of London and England, you need to see The Tower. It’s a small medieval castle amongst big skyscrapers. Inside are actual artifacts, clothing, and armor from British leaders and royalty.

4. The London Wall

Did you know that London was founded by the Romans? Before building walls became a Trump-era joke, the Romans actually built a wall surrounding London. A piece of this wall still stands outside of the Tower Hill Underground station. It isn’t a place tourists typically flock to, which makes it even better. Heck, you can even go up and touch it.


5. Ride the Underground

The Subway is to New York City as the Underground is to London. It is a super clean and super efficient mode of transportation. Does it take some time to get the different lines down? YES. However, once you understand where each line goes and how they work, it’s like the whole city becomes much more easily accessible.

6. Go to a Pub

It’s very normal for Londoners to go straight to the Pub or Bar after a long work day. I’ve met some incredible people just by walking into a bar. During my time in London’s bar scene (where it’s legal for me to drink at age 18), I’ve met a chef, an artist, a musician, an actor, and a bunch of really cool Australians.


7. Visit the TARDIS and Platform 9 ¾

Okay so my nerd might be showing a little bit, but I couldn’t help myself. The TARDIS is from the longest running Sci-Fi television series, Doctor Who. The TARDIS is the Doctor’s time-travelling spaceship and is camouflaged as a Police Public Call Box. You can see it right outside of Earl’s Court Underground station. I did this on our last day in London and even took pictures with it. It may or may not have been on my bucket list and I may or may not have cried a little. Another really cool mini Sci-Fi adventure to have is to visit Platform 9 ¾ from the Harry Potter series. Just as it is in the books and movies, Platform 9 ¾ is located within King’s Cross Underground station.

8. Walk along the Thames

The Thames river runs through London. All along the river there are different spots that you can see the London Bridge and Tower Bridge. My favorite spot to see the Thames was a place that I found by accident. I was walking with my cousin through a small neighborhood trying to get to the Tower when we found a public patio with benches between buildings where you could just marvel at the river.

9. Visit a Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger is a really cool place to eat. For those in the greater Philadelphia area, you will know what I mean when I say it’s like Wawa and Panera had a British baby. Pret A Manger was the first place I ate in London and it was perfect. It offers fresh foods to help break up the rich food indulgences while travelling.

10. Go antique/thrift store shopping

In London, there is actually a whole building called the Vintage Market. It’s floors upon floors of antiques, clothes, trinkets, furniture, records, and cool people. It’s really cool to simply browse through bits and pieces of London’s history. Each piece has a story to tell.


I could write about London forever. It’s one of the coolest places that I have ever been to. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful urban city. I’m counting the days and counting my change until I can go back again and have more adventures. Cheers!

Cover Image Credit: Christa Ouellette

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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7 Things Never To Do While Visiting London

Abandon all hope, ye who use public transport during rush hour.

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As I've said before, London is an interesting place to be, however, there are a handful of things that should be avoided. Of course, mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned, but maybe if you read this, you'll know better faster.

1. Do not stand on the left.

Gifer

... of the escalator. Some people prefer to walk down to their train, and if you're in the way, it's as if you were sent from hell itself, especially during rush hour

2. Do not take the Central Line.

Gfycat

Unless you're going to the Museum of London or St. Paul's. Or you're into weird smells and clinging to the pole because there is no such thing as a smooth ride. To each their own.

3. Do not attempt to get anything to eat in Leicester Square after 4:30.

Tenor

Leicester (pronounced like "Lester") Square is one of the best places to grab some grub in Central London because of the sheer amount of choices. Just plan to eat early because everyone else knows that very thing and you'll end up waiting an eternity for a table, then food.

4. Do not rely completely on an app.

Tenor

It's totally fine if you have no clue where you going or how public transport works, but once you get the hang of it, you're allowed to trust your own judgment. Maybe you don't have to get off the train then switch twice before getting there instead of riding a few stops more and switching once.

5. Do not attempt to take the Tube during Rush Hour when you have other options.

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Just take the bus if you have to to the national railways. The SWR trains are slow, but at least you're not packed in like sardines and there are usually open seats.

6. Do not forget to check for student discounts and bring your ID.

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Remember this when you go to the palaces, it could save you six pounds and make a real difference if you're going with others.

7. Do not let anything ruin your day.

Tenor

There will be a lot of things that will try to ruin your day... Like people who intentionally break some rules above, lines (Sorry, queues), poor navigation skills, etc. Still, you're in London. Savor your visit, and don't let any mistakes or people without common decency ruin your visit.

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