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 The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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