The idea of travelling alone is not something which worried me in any way; it was just something I had never done before. I have always been blessed with a group of friends and a beautiful partner who were always willing to participate in my international exploits.
However, when the offer to go to London unaccompanied came into my inbox, I simply couldn’t turn it down. I hadn’t stepped foot in the city in around 13 years. A visit was long overdue…
I was staying in the Docklands area of the large city; more specifically, the Royal Victoria Dock, the largest of the three docks. The main attraction of the Royal Victoria Dock is the massive ExCeL Exhibition Centre which is visible from pretty much every point of the dock. There were multiple different events happening in the ExCeL while I was there, resulting in a continuous steady flow of traffic in and out of the building. I even visited the centre myself; however, more on this later.
I only had a few days in the capital and wasted no time in getting neck deep in some sightseeing; jumping on the spectacular London transport system and heading to Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square is a beautiful landmark noted for its history as a gathering place for political protests. It is the home of the infamous “Bloody Sunday” demonstration. The square is unmissable, with Nelson’s Column standing high in the centre of the square, “guarded” by four equally impressive lion statues.
For the size of London, some of the tourist attractions are actually quite close together. From Trafalgar Square it was a simple walk straight down Whitehall Road to Parliament Square which ticked off many items on my London “must-see” list such as Downing Street, Big Ben, London Eye and Westminster Abbey.
On the Saturday I jumped across to the ExCeL Centre and spent some time at the London Super Comic Con event. Most people who follow me on social media know of my geeky love for comic books, so this event was a big win for me. The biggest Comic Con in the UK; I had never been to anything like this before. There was creators and attendees from all over the world. It was great to hang out with some of my geek-friends who I haven’t seen in a very long time!
With only a day left in my trip to London left, I decided to get my tourism back into gear. I walked down to, and through, the beautiful St James Park before settling down for a while across from Buckingham Palace. To be honest, there really isn’t much in the form of entertainment outside of Buckingham Palace, except of course, people watching. It is just lucky that people watching is in fact one of my favourite pastimes!
After some downtime in the apartment, I travelled down to Brixton for dinner, meeting an old friend I haven’t seen in years. We hadn’t had time together since our long lost days in university. We ordered some fantastic Thai food in Brixton Market before settling down to a great pub called Dogstar to get slowly but surely drunk…
I am a massive football (or soccer, to my American followers) fan, so no trip to London would be complete without checking out some of the world-class football stadiums in the city. My flight home didn’t leave until 7pm – so I had a morning to spend stadium-hopping. First on my list was Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and Tottenham’s White Hart Lane before heading along to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The Emirates Stadium was last on my last for a good reason. My visit to the stadium took place the day before a Champions League clash with Barcelona. I had managed to snag a ticket to the very last tour of the stadium before they closed the doors to finish preparations for the game. I was essentially behind the scenes at a Champions League match! It was amazing to see the massive amount of work that transforms the stadium for European football.