London Layover…what can you see in 3 hours?

By June 13, 2017 Europe, Photos, Travel
london layover

I’ve been back home now for a little over a week, and I’m still wishing I was on vacation. The entire trip was amazing from the start with my long London layover, through the middle in Spain, and all the way to the finish with a brief layover in Dublin. I truly had zero desire to return back home, but sadly life demanded I do so. I did plan to keep you dear readers updated while I was actually traveling. However, spotty internet and so many other things around to distract me, led to the story being told from the TinCan where I now sit in the comfort of a new A/C. Don’t worry. I know I still owe you a post about the new A/C too. For now just know that it works soooooooo much better than the old one. Good thing since Summer is now here.

Let us not jump ahead though. We shall now travel back in time to the first day of vacation. My flight was on British Airways. Since I love to fly shall I share my thoughts about the flight? (I must say I found my thoughts about it very entertaining. I even took notes of these thoughts throughout the flight. Yes…I do stuff like that) First thoughts: Am I being escorted to the 3rd class level on the Titanic? I think I’m going to be one of the people they won’t let on a life raft. Yes, I’m definitely a peasant. Why do I feel this way?

First…I’ve never heard so many different colors, cards and memberships for priority boarding in all my life. It became quite comical. A lady in line with me started laughing. “I’m waiting for them to call for all American Express Card Holders or Library card members to board”, she says.

Finally we board! I walk down through the plane to my seat in the back. Walking through first class: Nice! Then through business class: Wow! Finally I arrive at my section: I don’t think my feet will fit between these rows. (note: I wear a size 6 shoe.) Seriously, the seats were so close that I thought I might face plant into the little tv screen. No way can I reach my activities bag stowed under the seat. Oh my…this is going to be a long flight.

London LayoverThen…the flight attendants were lovely. “Would you like a complimentary drink?” Why yes, I’d like red wine. A whole little bottle appears with a glass. Lovely. Of course, the flight attendants all also spoke with a British accent. Wonderful! They asked questions such as, “Any rubbish?”, and said things like “Just let me check the trolley”. Then they said, “Would you like Chicken Tikka Masala, or…?” Sorry but I didn’t actually hear the “or” choice. I think it was some kind of pasta, but my mind simply stopped at Chicken Tikka Masala. It just didn’t need any more information to make a choice. “Would you like more wine with dinner?” Why certainly! After dinner, “Would you like any tea?” Why, yes I would! The legroom may be nonexistent but there is free wine, hot tea, and Indian food. I think I will survive.

Next a dilemma…how to get out to the bathroom. I feel like I am sitting between people who have taken a vow of silence. Finally the lady on the aisle gets up…out of the row all of us go one after the other. There is a long queue for the loo. Haha! Truly they have not enough loos for all of the complimentary wine and tea. However, there is an adorable man from the U.K. chatting with me in line. Good thing I’m not sitting by him. I might have been in love by the time flight landed.

London Layover

Travel time also included a long layover in London starting at 7:30 on Friday morning. What to do? Option 1: Sit in the airport? Option 2: Brave an escape to the city and hope I can make it back for the connecting flight to Malaga? Oh yes, I do choose option two. Hmmm…how do I get out of this airport? Done. No problem. Stamp in passport! Now to store my carry-on. A little more difficult to find the place, but nevertheless, accomplished. Get train ticket. Done. What?!? No train for 40 minutes?!? Now what to do…give up my dreams? Then a very nice lady hears me talking with the train attendant. She gives me an express train ticket!!! Woohoo!! I make my way in comfort straight to Paddington layoverlondon layover

I have just enough time to walk from Paddington Station to see all of the following:

Sussex Gardens.

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The Italian Gardens at Hyde Park.

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Mother Goose! (It was definitely her, and she even posed for me!)

The ugly duckling all grown up.

london layoverQueen Victoria. There is a button you can push and hear an actual speech by her. 
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Kensington Palace!!london layover

Gardens at Kensington Palacelondon layoverlondon layoverlondon layoverKensington Palacelondon layoverlondon layoverlondon layoverlondon layoverlondon layoverA tree on Palace Ave. where a number of foreign embassy’s are located. I somehow ended up on this street behind the palace. I’m not sure I was supposed to be there. Then I forgot the sign said no photos! Oops! Glad they didn’t come confiscate my phone!london layoverMore London architecture…everything begged to be photographed, but I was on a time limit.

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I love that they tell me which way to look since the cars are all on the wrong side of the street.

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Back to Paddington and the Airport…Not nearly long enough time in London!

I do think I love London except for their airport security. First impression…I just don’t think those people are very happy. They were diverting, emptying and hand checking nearly every bag. Brief notes on the flight to Malaga: Europeans heading on vacation are quite chatty and can get rowdy when their food is slow coming. Even and Irish accent sounds ugly saying R-rated words. Spanish flight attendants can be incredibly handsome. Old English couples can be adorable. Arrived in Spain!

Stay tuned for more adventures. Not all of the vacation posts will be this wordy…most will be more of a photo essay with less commentary. As you can tell, I took a lot of notes as the first day progressed. I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of my London layover on my journey to Spain. It was a most fun day!


  • ckmilliorn says:

    Love, love, love your travel notes and pictures! I can’t believe you were able to do so much on your 3 hr layover. Well done! Flew British Airways once…did you get the warm, wet towel to freshen up with?

    • aunt am says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! I was surprised at how much I was able to see as well. I never realized there was so much within such a close distance to Paddington Station. Warm, wet towel? No, I didn’t get one of those. Must have been part of the cut-backs along with having less bathrooms. Hahaha! I guess I can forgive them since they gave me free wine though.

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