In true Harry Potter movie (and Harry Potter play) fashion, this post on a four-day itinerary in London for Harry Potter lovers will be split into two parts. This week is Part One, which covers the first two days of our itinerary.
We decided to begin our six-week honeymoon around the world in London for several reasons. Hubby and I love to see new places, and we had both never been to the UK (with the exception of him visiting as a young child). I am a huge royal enthusiast, having watched every documentary, TV show, and movie about the British royal family. We are both pretty big Harry Potter fans too (which you may have already gathered if you read my post on our Joint Bach Bash to Harry Potter World in Orlando). Read on to see how we spent four full days in London last April before we departed for our next destination. And don’t forget to check back in two weeks for Part Two of the itinerary!
Our Flight (Monday Overnight):
We decided to fly with TAP Air Portugal, because we found one-way flights for under $200 per person. Neither of us had flown TAP before, but my sister-in-law did and said they were decent. At that price, we couldn’t pass it up. We got married on a Saturday and flew from New York City to London at 5:45pm on the Monday night after our wedding. This was an overnight flight landing in Lisbon Airport for a two-hour stopover at 5:30am. Lisbon Airport was very clean and modern, but at that hour everything was closed and quiet. It seemed like we were some of the only people in the airport. The only thing open was one colorful sardine shop. I do prefer overnight flights that land in the morning, because then you spend less daytime traveling. It’s easier to just sleep the night away on a plane.
Day One (Tuesday):
We landed at Heathrow Airport, London around 12pm (delayed flight). As New Yorkers used to commuting via train, we decided to take the tube to the neighborhood of our hotel and walk a few blocks with our suitcases. Not all sidewalks are cement—some are beautiful cobblestones and pavers, which were admittedly difficult to roll our luggages down. That was an arm workout! Haha
We stayed at the B+B Belgravia in the studio units at 82 Ebury Street. The main hotel where we checked in is just a few doors down. Our room was on the second floor of a walk-up at the front of the hotel. We had lots of sunlight from several windows overlooking the main street. We had a king size bed, private bathroom, closet, desk, and refrigerator with lots of counter space. This is a bed and breakfast hotel, but they treat the studio units as more private. Instead of having to go to a communal breakfast every morning, the hotel stocked our private fridge daily with lots of items: croissants, sliced bread, deli meats, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, butter, jam, cookies, crackers, water bottles, juice, milk, tea, and coffee. The best part was that the hotel fully restocked the fridge daily! We had not anticipated how much food we would receive. Just from our fridge stash, we ended up eating breakfast at the hotel every morning and packed sandwiches and snacks for lunch! This was a huge savings that we didn’t plan for, but it really worked out for us.
After we had seen our room, unpacked our luggages, and showered for the day, we got dressed and headed out to Victoria Coach Station for our first activity. Victoria Coach Station and Victoria Station (across the street from each other) were the location where several of our tours were picking up from, so we made sure to pick a hotel within walking distance. I had wanted to experience an English high tea and found the most adorable thing. B Bakery has a double-decker bus that drives you around town to see the sights all while you enjoy your high tea. We splurged a bit to sit VIP on the upper level at the front of the bus, so we didn’t have any obstructions (other passengers’ heads) blocking our view. I recommend you do this if you take the tour, because it was worth it. We got to choose from an assortment of teas, coffees, sandwiches, muffins, cakes, tarts, scones, jam, and clotted cream (the best topping ever). They also have wine and champagne available. They have a recorded guide-commentary playing, and servers are friendly and can answer any questions you have on landmarks. As first-time London visitors, we got to see a lot of the city this way, and it was a perfect and yummy first-day activity. They also sent us home with a reusable, plastic, branded hot beverage cup, which was a nice added touch. For the price of £64 each, we received a ride around guided tour of London, a high tea experience with dinner and dessert, and a souvenir. Great deal!
After the tour, we walked back to the hotel and went to bed early, because we were jet lagged and had an early start the next morning.
Day Two (Wednesday):
We began day two with breakfast in our room, then we headed out for a full day on the town. London is absolutely a walkable city, so we decided to walk from our hotel to Buckingham Palace to get some photos. We missed the changing of the guards, because the timing didn’t work with our other ticketed activities that day. However, if this is important to you, then make sure you look up their daily schedule, because the times vary. Note in your schedule that it lasts for 30 to 45 minutes. We then walked through Green Park toward Piccadilly Street.
We made our way up the store-lined street toward the Palace Theatre, where we had reserved tickets to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play Parts One and Two. During our engagement, we purchased tickets to the London show to see on our honeymoon. However, a couple of weeks before our wedding, I entered the NYC Broadway show lottery, and we won discounted orchestra tickets! So we basically saw the show back to back: once in NYC with the original London cast and once in London with the second London cast. If you are not familiar with the show, it is long and split into two full shows that you see in one day. We reserved tickets to the 2pm Part One and 7:30pm Part Two. I won’t spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but it’s a fun little side-story for fans of the Harry Potter books and universe that we all know and love. The London production also won the Olivier award, which is comparable to the American Tony awards, for Best New Play, along with eight other Olivier awards: It’s a great show!
In between the two shows, they give you a break for dinner. We looked online for a nearby fish and chips restaurant and came across Rock and Sole Plaice which was within walking distance. We popped into this small indoor-outdoor restaurant, and luckily they had a table available. We enjoyed some yummy local cuisine—fish and chips just taste better when you’re in their birthplace! Then we walked over to the Primark department store on Oxford Street (a few blocks from the theater), which has the largest Harry Potter memorabilia collection of all Primarks. Locations in the USA have some Harry Potter memorabilia, but this store had so much more. I was in heaven!
The show ended late, and we walked back to our hotel by a different route, so we could see more of the city. This time, we walked up The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, which provided us with a picturesque lit-up night view.
- I recommend you give yourselves a day or two after your wedding before you leave for your honeymoon. You will want time to say bye to any family that traveled in for the wedding, settle back in at home, unpack from the wedding, finish packing last-minute things for the honeymoon, bring your pet to a sitter (should you have one), read thank you cards, deposit cash and checks into your bank account, and just have a day or two to recover from the best party of your lives!
- When traveling to several destinations, flying overnight is a way to avoid a hotel fee for that night.
- If you like air conditioning, then make sure you click that box on Kayak (or whatever other search engine you use). I was so careful to ensure all the hotels in Asia had air conditioners, but I incorrectly assumed that the hotels in Europe would come with it. Our room did not have AC, but we did have a fan.. Being that it was April, the temperature outside would have been ideal for opening the window for cool air overnight, but just our luck, there was construction outside that began early each morning, and we didn’t want to wake up early from the noise. I’m sure the free cooling would have been lovely, though, so don’t knock out B+B Belgravia for no air conditioning.
- I can’t express enough how important it is to find a hotel nearby your attractions. For the most part, you can walk London. However, you should drop pins on a map of where your activities are, and then where the majority of the stars end up is the area where you should stay. It was so nice walking only 2-3 blocks each day to Victoria Station. Also, most tour companies had several pick up options. We decided to streamline them all to Victoria Station to make it easier on us.
- Buy tickets in advance. Each day, we did one activity that tickets were required for. These tickets sell out before your travel date, so if you wait until the last minute, then you will surely miss out. Plan ahead on this one.
- Always add the transportation in when booking a tour outside of the city center. If the company offers it, it’s way easier to just tack it onto the main attraction ticket, than to figure transport out on your own. Also, sometimes when you add on transportation, the fee is cheaper than if you had booked transit on your own-like getting a bundle deal.
Click here to read Part Two, which covers the last two days of our London itinerary!
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