I have a confession: I’m a bit of a nerd. In fact, I’m all talk when it comes to real life. Give me some whiskey-- I’ll down it; throw on some Rihanna-- I’ll [attempt to] twerk to it; wink at me and I’ll smile, but really deep inside I’m running far, far away.
So would you be surprised if I told you I’ve read the Harry Potter series multiple times all the way through, watched the movies every Christmas (and any other time they are on for a marathon), own a Gryffindor scarf (a present, since I’m probably more Ravenclaw), and I definitely am still crying over several of the characters’ deaths.
Sorry, was that too nerd talk for you? Well, what about my love for Doctor Who? Didn’t see that one coming did you? I can go on about that show. Don’t even let me near a computer to show you my favorite scenes or my favorite episodes (“Don’t Blink” was so well crafted). How about Sherlock? Unfortunately, I never got to finish the series, but I loved it either way.
What all these things have in common is their connection to London.
London, a wonderful place to have an afternoon tea, possibly have an argument with your waitress, and then relax with another cup of tea. What else could I possibly do?
I could have woken up early to see the changing of the guard, I could have waited in line for the London Eye, but all this would have taken away from the important things I needed to see. I had only 3 days to see as much as I wanted to and those things were all things nerdy:
King's Cross Station
When I found out that this station was real, obviously I had to go. Of course, it’s also the location of the famous Platform 9 ¾ where tourists can take pictures of themselves with a cart going into the wall. The line to get into the Harry Potter shop was wildly long, so can you imagine how long the line to take this picture was? I decided to not wait in line, but rather go to the actual Platform 9 with hopes of experiencing the magic. I found more railroad tracks instead.
Need a new wand? Some books for your potions class? Well, you won’t find them here, but Leadenhall Market was the setting for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron. It’s one of the oldest markets in London, and to this day contains many shops and restaurants to wander.
Shakespeare Globe Theater
Ok, so it’s not the original, but a tour of the theater is definitely worth your time if you don’t have a chance to go to one of their plays (you usually have to book months in advance depending on the play). The tour takes you into the theater and if you’re lucky, you get to see the cast rehearsing. It costs $17 and goes every half hour between 9-5 on the weekdays.
Remember the opening scene of the 6th Harry Potter movie where the Deatheaters take out an entire bridge full of pedestrians? This is the bridge. It’s a bridge made solely for foot traffic, so you’ll find no cars crossing this bridge. It’s near the Shakespeare globe so after your tour, you can take a walk across and have a nice view of the Tower Bridge in the distance.
Yup, it exists. While you won’t be able to go visit the actual 221B Baker Street made popular by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes novels, there is a Sherlock Holmes Museum that receives any mail that is sent to the fictional address. The line to enter the Sherlock Holmes Museum is fairly long so get there early, or just have lunch right there on Baker Street!
The double-decker bus is in almost every movie/show located in London, so the nerd in me had to take one. Even if you’re sick of me talking nerd-talk right now, it’s an excellent way to see the city rather than the dungeons of the tube. Sit on the upper deck and you can see so much of London as you pass by.
Used as a backdrop in several movies, the Tower Bridge was a must see for me. In fact, I went to see it three times. The architecture is magical and worthy of a few photos. Sometimes you can even see the bridge raise to let a boat through.
I didn’t do much in London, except wander the streets pretending like I was on my way to catch the Hogwarts Express and listening to everyone talk about getting a tea before dinner. It was a short time in London, but I was able to see my favorite touristy sites. So that next time I can probably chill at a bar and watch some proper “footy” with the locals (said in my best British accent).
Does anyone else have an inner nerd that peeks out once in a while?