Top 10 Things to See or Do in London

Top 10 Things to See or Do in London

Helpful Hints in Creating Your London Itinerary

Last week, my mom and I visited the charming city of London. Our time there was brief, so we decided to put together an itinerary prior to the trip in order to be certain that we would be able to accomplish as much as we could in the short 4 days that we were there. After much thought and reflection, here are what I decided to be the top 10 things to see or do in London.

1. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey was founded in 960. This beautiful church is filled with paintings, stained glass windows, and tombs of some of the most significant historical figures of England. One area of the church, dubbed as "Poet's Corner," is devoted to the tombs of many influential poets, playwrights, and authors, such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens. Westminster Abbey also hosted every monarch's coronation since 1066 as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding.

2. Big Ben

Big Ben is the enormous clock tower whose "Great Bell" chimes can be heard every hour throughout the city. The clock rings every quarter hour, but only the Great Bell sounds off every hour on the hour, producing the loudest and grandest sound. Disney fans may recognize this infamous tower from the movie, Peter Pan.

3. London Eye

The London Eye is a 443-foot ferris wheel that sits along the River Thames. After waiting in line, you walk into a pod big enough to roam around and take pictures of the city from every angle throughout the entire 30-minute ride. When you reach the top of the Eye, you can see as far as about 25 miles in all directions.

4. British Museum

The British Museum is located in central London and is free to visit. It holds over 8 million objects, including some artifacts dating back to nearly 2 million years ago. One of the museum's most famous collections is the Rosetta Stone, which was first presented in the museum by King George III in 1802.

5. Tower of London

The Tower of London was initially a residence for royalty built by William the Conqueror following his invasion in 1066. The tower began to house prisoners and held over 22 executions. Currently, the Tower of London serves as a museum, but visitors will still see soldiers of the Queen's Guard patrolling areas of the tower that the Queen occasionally resides. I recommend listening in on a Yeoman Warder guided tour. Tours begin every 30 minutes at the front of the tower, last about an hour, and are guided by real "Beefeaters," who are basically bodyguards of the tower. Following the tour, make sure to visit the Crown Jewels. There are over 23,500 jewels housed there today and are estimated to be worth over £20 billion.

6. Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge crosses the River Thames and sits quite close to the Tower of London. The bridge is about 801 feet in length and has been around since the year 1894. It serves to be one of London's most iconic symbols.

7. St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral has been around since the year 1708. It is filled with tombs of past monarchs and other influential royal figures. The cathedral even has its own underground crypt. If you are looking for a bit of exercise, try to climb to the top floor. It's about 528 steps to the top, measuring to about 365 feet high, but the views outside are definitely worth it.

8. Harrod's

Harrod's is a department store that covers 5 acres. Its 7 floors contain 330 departments and a few great restaurants. One could spend all day at Harrod's, so make sure not to lose track of time.

9. St. James's Park

Taking a stroll through St. James's Park is definitely a must-do. The park has a small lake where walkers can cross the blue-fenced bridge and see some of London's iconic sites from across the lake. On one side you can see the London Eye, while on the other is a view of Buckingham Palace.

10. Changing of the Guards

The changing of the guards occurs every day at Buckingham Palace at 11:30 a.m. April through July and alternates days the rest of the year. The ceremony lasts about 45 minutes, but you can only see the entirety of the ceremony if you stand at the Queen Victoria Memorial or at the front gates of Buckingham Palace. To reserve your spot in either of these two places, you typically have to arrive between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Cover Image Credit: Colby Alvino

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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I Didn't Choose To Be A Dance Major, It Chose Me

How my passion became my purpose


I don't remember the exact moment, but I do remember the process. I remember moments in time and the way joy has manifested itself into my life. Perhaps this is the meaning of life—a slow growing journey of finding yourself through experiences and delightfully long conversations with people we care about, long nights filled with laughter, early mornings with dew beneath our toes, waves of utter joy, followed by waves of somber; it's all just part of it. And within these waves and moments of our lives, we begin to see with clarity—a slow but steady process. Clarity occurs when the fog is lifted. It's when you find that thing you're passionate about, and you do it relentlessly. This is the art of becoming.

So, I don't really remember when I became a dancer. I suppose it's been a lifetime of becoming. I can't even really say that it's a choice. I don't think it is. I know that I was born to dance. And this has nothing to do with how I look or anything like that. But it has everything to do with how I feel when I dance. It's this sense of sheer release, and to be able to get to that point of really, truly not having a care in world; this is how you know you're in the process of becoming. It's in the moments where I'm the most lost—the moments where I've really given myself over completely that result in the greatest rewards, usually in the form of self-knowledge. This is clarity.

I have not chosen to become a dancer, but inevitably dance has so gracefully chosen me. And with great appreciation, I've accepted the invitation. I've since made the mindful choice to immerse myself in this art form, because to me this is how joy has chosen to manifest itself in my life. Through movement, and love of music, and love of creating, this is how I've chosen joy.

It recently dawned on me that dance is what we as humans use to declare our vitality. It's an appreciation of being alive. And more so, it's a celebration: of being alive, of our bodies, of human contact, but mostly just of life. We as humans dance to celebrate life.

So with this joy that I've been so lucky to find, I am compelled to study dance. And not just take classes, and not just take notes, but to really study—to really understand what it means to be alive, and to feel gratitude for every ounce of my life.

This is why I'm a dance major.

So before you question me, and perhaps tell me that my major is useless or is not setting me up for a successful life, maybe consider that I've chosen a life of joy. I've chosen to be passionate and throw myself into gaining a greater kinesthetic awareness, a more profound appreciation for music, and for art, and for culture, and just life in general.

I have chosen to celebrate my life, and celebrate what my body allows me to do every day. And through my choices, I've begun to master the art of becoming.

Author's note: The theme of "becoming" was subconsciously inspired by Michelle Obama.

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