Brown City Travels: 12 Hours in London

Last week I had the opportunity to go to Johannesburg, South Africa (the experience of a lifetime)! On my way there, I had a 12 hour layover in London -- I've been wanting to visit London for years so this was the perfect opportunity for me to explore the city. 

12 hours definitely was not long enough (I can't wait to go back to London for longer) but I did get to see a lot! 

I was meeting my friend Bianca in London since she was flying in from DC and I flew in from NYC. Her flight arrived about an hour after mine so I waited in the airport and sipped on a flat white with soy milk. 

Once Bianca arrived, we got an Uber and headed to Picadilly Circus. The Uber wasn't that bad -- costing about $40 to get from the airport to Picadilly Circus. 

Once we got to Picadilly Circus (which reminded me of Times Square a little) we wandered around and stopped at a cafe for breakfast.

The Underground at Picadilly Circus

The Underground at Picadilly Circus

Breakfast at a cafe in London. This was sooo yummy -- a pumpkin seed roll with butter and a cinnamon pastry. 

Breakfast at a cafe in London. This was sooo yummy -- a pumpkin seed roll with butter and a cinnamon pastry. 

Now that we were fed, we made our way to really explore London and the landmarks that every tourist goes to! We walked to Chinatown, Big Ben, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace.

Bianca and I walked about 6 miles and it was sooo worth it. We got to see a lot in the few hours we spent in London.

Check out the pics below:

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The Diana - Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

The Diana - Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

Guard at Buckingham Palace

Guard at Buckingham Palace

The walk from Buckingham Palace

The walk from Buckingham Palace

Walking a bridge on the way to see Big Ben & The London Eye (you can see The London Eye in the bottom right corner)!

Walking a bridge on the way to see Big Ben & The London Eye (you can see The London Eye in the bottom right corner)!

The London Eye and Big Ben. I was surprised to see that they weren't that far apart from each other. 

The London Eye and Big Ben. I was surprised to see that they weren't that far apart from each other. 

Big Ben is beautiful!

Big Ben is beautiful!

I could look at Big Ben all day!

I could look at Big Ben all day!

Bianca and I took these pics in a photobooth as a souvenir to us both!

Bianca and I took these pics in a photobooth as a souvenir to us both!

I had such an amazing day in London -- it really set the tone for the rest of my travels. Also, I was tired from exploring so it made the 10 hour flight to Johannesburg a little bit easier. 

From this experience, I learned that a lot can be done in 12 hours with planning and time management. If you ever have a long layover in a city you've never been to; get out and explore!

Until next time,

Kelsey-Marie