Our trip to London, England was a long time coming. My husband has wanted to get us (Mini Me and me) there for a long time since it is where he was born and spent the first five years of his childhood. As luck would have it, the right flight deal popped up, which landed our family of three plus six other family members on an 11-day visit to the United Kingdom.
Our London Digs for our 11-day Trip
Lately, we have been booking Airbnb’s when we travel. This time, my husband found a beautiful house in Dulwich Village that fit comfortably all ten of us, which included my husband, my mom, our daughter, plus my brother-in-law with his wife, their two daughters and his mother-in-law. It was a full house, indeed, but we each had our own space and enjoyed our meals together in the well-lit open living/dining area.
10 people + one house + 11 days to conquer London
Day 1 – Ready to Take on London
Our first day in London was spent relaxing, taking in the place that we would call home for the next 10 days. We eventually went out to explore Dulwich, a beautiful town with Georgian Mansions and in close proximity to the supermarket, transportation and Gail’s Bakery, which would quickly become a staple in our daily lives while there.
Day 2 – Stocking the Fridge at Sainsbury’s
A house full of adults and two teenage girls means we had to stock up on food supplies. Thankfully, the Sainsbury’s was at least a 15-minute walk away. Aside from the husbands, as they were at a Tottenham game, we all took an early morning walk to the Sainsbury’s to stock up on food items we would need during our stay.
I am so happy I bought extra Urban Market Bags with me because they came in handy.
Day 3 – Playing Tourists
Armed with two Londoners – my husband and brother-in-law – we took to London like the locals riding the iconic red double decker buses and the tube.
When you’re traveling with such a large group finding things to do that is both interesting and economical is key, which is why our trip to the Natural History Museum of London was perfect, as it was FREE!
Day 4 – ZSL London Zoo
Whenever we go away whether it is local or out of the country, we seem to always find ourselves at a Zoo. This time we visited the ZSL London Zoo. We spent most of the day there. We loved seeing the lions as up close and personal as we could get.
We worked up an appetite spending hours walking through the park, so we took a walk through Camden Town, and headed over to Nando’s. Boy, do we love that place!
Day 5 – Chill Day
Keeping the fridge stocked to feed 10 people is not an easy task. We made plenty of runs to the local Sainsbury with my Urban Market Bags in tow. This day, it was my mom and my turn to cook dinner. Fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese and candied yams were on the menu that night. Yummy!
Day 6 – Milton Keynes and Harrods
We could not come to England without visiting my husband’s family, some of whom he and his brother haven’t seen in years. Off we headed to Milton Keynes, which was about a 45-minute ride from London Euston, but first, we stopped over in Central London to explore historical sites like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and more.
On our way back from Milton Keynes, we were able to take a walk through the famed Harrod’s, which is a high-end department store. While some of our group did some shopping, the rest of us opted to treat ourselves to gelato and milkshakes from the Ice Cream Parlour.
Just before that, we got a chance to visit Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s memorial, which is located at the end of the escalator going down to the lower level of Harrods. The memorial features a wine glass and Princess Diana’s massive engagement ring she was to receive the night of the accident.
This was a full day, and I was more than happy to head back “home” to rest and prepare myself for a two-hour Black History walking tour.
Day 7 – Black History Walks
One of the things that I wanted to do when we visited London was to do a Black History Tour, especially since we would have our daughter with us. Yes, traveling for leisure is fun, but we also want her to learn and take away something from her travels. I was happy when my husband let me know that he had in fact, booked a walking tour with Black History Walks. The particular tour taught us about the hidden history in and around Trafalgar Square.
In two hours your guide will expose the links between Africa, India and the Caribbean and explain how history was whitewashed and racism institutionalised. In 2007 there was a huge emphasis on the 200th anniversary of the British ‘abolition’ of the human trade in 1807, but African freedom fighters in Haiti defeated the French, Spanish and British armies and had already declared their independence in 1804.
Day 8 – Mommy-daughter Time
My mom is pretty fearless and independent. She’s definitely a city girl or should I say, woman. Just 8-days in London, she thought she would be able to explore the city all on her own. But, what kind of daughter would I be if I’d let her do that? Not a good one. So, I spent the better part of the day exploring Central London with my mom. Let me tell you, I’ve never done so much walking in one day in my LIFE!
We started off at Buckingham Palace and walked through the Horse Guards Parade back towards Big Ben. We walked to Trafalgar Square and even did a little bit of shopping.
I was so happy to find a bookstore so that I could finally purchase Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. I fell in love with that show while in London; I binge watched the season in two days. Seriously, if you haven’t watched it, watch it NOW! I had the chance to read the book while in Trafalgar Square, as we waited for my husband and crew to return from their trip to White Hart Lane to pick up Tottenham gear.
I had the chance to read the book while in Trafalgar Square, as we waited for my husband and crew to return from their trip to White Hart Lane to pick up Tottenham gear.
We worked up an appetite from the hours upon hours of walking and headed to Nando’s once again. Before heading back to Dulwich, my husband and I stopped at the largest LUSH ever! Three floors packed with tons of delicious smelling soaps, bath bombs and more.
Day 9 – The First Train to Paris
Instead of taking the last train to Paris like Diddy, we ended up on the very first Eurostar to Paris. There were at least twenty of us heading to Paris, without proper planning this day trip could have turned into a nightmare. Thankfully, my cousin-in-law booked us all on a Big Bus Tour.
If you ask me, hop-on-hop-off bus tours are the best option for large groups like ours. We got to see all of the sights in a short amount of time. I was able to stop by the famed macaron shop, Laduree to pick up treats for my sister. My husband and I, both fragrance lovers, even had a chance to stop by Serge Lutens. Of course, we treated ourselves to something. We also happened upon a small cafe for drinks before heading back to the train station to head back to London.
Day 10 – London Eye
We could not leave London without doing two things: the London Eye and seeing family. Early that morning we headed back over to Central London so that we could finally ride the London Eye. The sights were amazing! Plus, my mom and I were able to see how much walking we truly did on our day out together. My husband believes we accumulated at least 20,000 steps according to his FitBit.
After the London Eye, we tried to do a little bit of shopping, but most stores were closed, even Rigby & Peller, which was one of the places I wanted to go most while in London. Next time, right? But we did find a Shake Shack!
After that, we headed over to my husband’s uncles to see more family before we left London to head back to the states.
Day 11 – Til Next Time, London
Before we headed home, my husband and I made one last stop with our Urban Market Bags in tow to the Sainsbury to stock up on goodies to bring back to the States. There was no way we were leaving without our favorite tea, Maltesers, Wotsits and Fruit Pastilles. In fact, we brought an extra bag (or two) for it.
FYI: The LeSportsac Global Weekender is the TRUTH!!!
After shopping, my husband and I were able to steal away some time to have one last meal together in London: breakfast at Gail’s Bakery. Trust me, this place has the best baked goods ever in life.
My husband, daughter, mother and I were all packed up and ready to head back home. This time we left from London Heathrow Airport. To our delight, we found a Nando’s waiting right there for us. We couldn’t leave without having their delicious peri-peri chicken. I wish I had some right now as I am writing this.
We have to go back!
London is a beautiful city. There’s so much to do and see, especially for families. I wish we had more time to explore and see everything that we wanted, but that just means that we have to make a return trip. My husband and I would also like to revisit Paris and stay longer than just a few hours, and on our own.
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What are some of your favorite things to do with your family while in London?
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