28Jul/15

London in the Summer

London in the Summer has got to be one of my all-time favourite holiday destinations. There is something about the city that comes alive in the warmer months, a buzz if you will. Perhaps it’s due to the short span of the English Summer and the rarity of sun-soaked days that gets Londoners outdoors and gives the whole place a truly European feel. Regardless, there is a vibe and all who are fortunate to be in the vicinity can feel it and don’t want to miss a single moment. I certainly didn’t want to, so when the opportunity to visit the UK again presented itself,  I grabbed it with both hands.

This trip was rather unplanned, a spur of the moment affair. As such I didn’t have a lot of time to get organised and decided the best course of action would be  to use a travel agent to ensure the process was efficient and hassle free.

From the moment I walked into the Fig Tree Office of Sure Maritime Travel and was greeted by a room full of friendly smiles, I knew I had made the right decision. In a matter of minutes I had a ticket booked for the exact days I wanted to travel and it came in under budget.

Being on the Green Mamba (SA Passport) I was reminded that I needed a visa to travel to the UK, which as you can imagine had my admin alarm bells going. Fearing that the process would negate any efforts for an efficient and hassle free travel experience, my anguish must have been clearly visible. But thankfully the ladies at Sure Maritime Travel are completely on the ball. They assured me the process wouldn’t be a teeth-pulling affair and organised everything for me. All I needed to do was sit in an interview which was over in 10 minutes.

Armed with my ticket, visa and some of the Queens Currency I boarded my Virgin Atlantic flight and I was off.

The trip was absolutely amazing but rather than bore you with the details I have listed the top 5 things I did and hopefully these will inspire you to do the same the next time you find yourself on British soil.

1) Visit the Sky Garden – With its panoramic views of the city, you will be hard pressed to find a more exquisite venue for free. You can of course go on the London Eye or go up the Shard but both of these are expensive. I suggest booking in advance to avoid the queues, and if you feel like splashing out try one of the 3 restaurants on offer.
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2) Pop into Camden – The artsy esoteric nature of Camden’s Market is a must, you can find some real bargains, great food and do a whole lot of people watching over a few pints of ale.
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3) Go into the Country – Box Hill in Surrey on the outskirts of London is an amazing picnic spot. Grab yourself some strawberries and cream and make the most of the sunshine and spectacular scenery.

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4)And while you are in the Country – Stop by the White Horse in Sheer, an idyllic little village and pub made famous by the movie The Holiday.

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5)Get Arty – A visit to the Tait Modern is a must, but there is also a vibrant street art culture so why not keep a look out for Banksy graffiti while you roam the city streets, you may stumble upon a treasure like the one I found on Portobello Road.
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Here are a few more pics of the well known tourist attractions that you could see and should see especially if it is your first trip. And don’t forget to try out the British eating culture, there are some amazing dishes to be had.

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