London, England: Part One – Tips and Photos of Buckingham Palace, Hamleys and Madame Tussauds

Mia and I in front of Buckingham Palace!

Mia and I in front of Buckingham Palace!

As a girl who loves to take photos, I was totally in awe with London!   Everywhere I turned, there was something that I wanted to take a photo of.  I guess that’s why I ended up taking over 400 photos in 4 days!  Our family really enjoyed our first visit to London together, and I will be making three posts to cover our adventure.  I will try to include around 20-30 photos for each posting which should cover a lot of the London sights that you can accomplish if you plan a 3-4 day trip there (we scheduled 4 full days in London and 1 half day for travel).  There are so many other places that we did not explore during our first trip, but I believe another 3-4 days should cover most of the other places that we would like to see.  I will also include a few helpful tips that we learned along the way.  We are very happy that the flight from Helsinki is only around 2.5 hours and will hopefully bring us to London again while we are living in Europe!

London Tip #1:  If you want to see as many sights as possible, I would suggest seeing them via one of the classic double-decker red buses.  May not be the cheapest way to get around, but it was something you should do at least once in your life and certainly a lot of fun for our daughter!  We were able to hop-on and off at many of the top sights and take us much time as we wanted at each location. Ours also included a Thames River Cruise which we did not have time to do.  The night before our trip, we booked The Original Tour and were quite happy with their services.

London Tip #2: Book the additional 24 hours at the time of purchase for only 7 or 8 additional pounds (not sure the exact amount that they quoted us when we picked up our tickets).  We didn’t do this, but really wish that we had since we were not able to accomplish all of the sights in the 24 hour time for our tickets and this would have been much cheaper than taxis and a lot less exhausting than all the walking we did!  We are still learning to get around via public transportation as well and were not brave enough yet to try it in London.  The yellow line provided you with a live English commentary guide and the red line offered you headsets to listen to the commentary and also provided a channel for kids.  However, we did notice that there seemed to be more of the Big Bus Tour buses running and therefore may enable you to see more sights if you are restricted on time.

London Tip #3: Bring cash if you need to take a taxi!!!  We noticed that it was much harder to find a taxi that would accept credit cards.  Therefore, bring cash (pounds) just in case you need it!

Our visit to Buckingham Palace and The Changing of The Guard (click on photos for a larger view):

For more information on Buckingham Palace and tours, please visit: Buckingham Palace

A historic toy shop that has been around since 1780 (over 250 years) in London is Hamleys. Thanks to a tip from my friend Kim, Mia had a lot of fun visiting Hamleys and we were all exhausted after visiting all seven floors of this mega toy shop!

It's A Boy! The future King arrived the same week we were in London!

It’s A Boy! The future King arrived the same week we were in London!

This was our first visit to a Madame Tussauds. Wow, what a cool place to visit in London!! We really enjoyed this attraction and were very impressed with their wax figures and many were specific to England including the Royal Family. This was one of Mia’s favorite parts of the trip since she is a big superhero fan. Included with our tickets was an amazing 4D Marvel Superheroes Movie at the end of the attraction!

Our family with Queen Elizabeth II  and Prince Philip!

Our family with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip!

London Tip #4: Expect to wait in line for a long time (one to two hours) during the summer when visiting Madame Tussauds! I would definitely consider purchasing their priority access tickets (click on the link above) for this attraction if you are pressed for time!

We can now cross our first Europe Red Pin Adventure outside of Finland off our list!

London, England
I would love to hear your comments and more London tips for our next adventure there!

You can read part 2 of this series at the following link: London Part Two

6 thoughts on “London, England: Part One – Tips and Photos of Buckingham Palace, Hamleys and Madame Tussauds

  1. I cannot enough praise Your post. Wonderful photos and so inspiring text. What comes to the amount of photos, You never shoot too many of them. Last Tuesday for example I took 374 photos when cruising to Astuvansalmi Rock Paintings from Mikkeli. From this amount I can select those which please to me and possible my visitors.

    Children are growing fast, so fast that man cannot understand it. So take enough photos from Mia! Remember to backup all of Your photos regularly.

    Although the link which I give here has nothing to do with London, I want to give. My daughter has been nice child and now she is 40 years. When seeing her at the age of 40 brings yet to my mind when she was charming child.

    Here is my daughter when she won:

    Mikkeli Marathon – the Marathon of Thousand Lakes.

    As You see in this post she works for Nokia (smart phone company).

    Have a great start of this week.


    • Thank you so much for your nice comments and I am glad to hear that you take a lot of photos too! I really enjoyed the photos from your daughter’s marathon, and congrats to her on winning! I know you must be so proud!

      Have a great week too!


  2. Pingback: London, England: Part Two – Tips and Photos of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, & the London Eye | Red Pin Adventures

  3. Pingback: London, England: Part Three – Tips and Photos of Architecture & Icons | Red Pin Adventures

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