London Photo Diary: HMS Belfast, St Pauls + British Museum

Sunday, April 08, 2018
We were so lucky that we arrived when the cherry blossoms had started to bloom so I could take this gorgeous photo!
Yesterday I came back from a couple of days in London and we had a great time, even though it was exhausting and my feet are incredible sore now! Last year we did the same thing as for both trips we were able to get cheap train tickets in the Virgin seat sale so we saved about around £300! Also we stayed in the same Premier Inn (the London Euston one) which was great - the food is great, it's clean and the location is fantastic.

Last year we visited Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London so this year we visited a few places we hadn't before including The British Museum, HMS Belfast and St Pauls Cathedral as well as a quick visit to see Tower Bridge, the Millennium Bridge, The Golden Hinde and Shakespeare's Globe. I haven't visited London in the spring before and I'd definitely recommend - the weather was perfect and there are beautiful cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Today's post is a combination of a photo diary, review of St Pauls and HMS Belfast and a few travel tips and recommendations. If you follow me on Instagram (@ofbeautyand) then you'll have seen everything already on my stories! First up, my outfits: the stripy top and grey jumper are both from H&M, the jeans are ASOS Petite (the best place for petite jeans) and my coat and boots are from Newlook. Also the nail polish is a gorgeous rose gold from Orly which sadly chipped within a few hours...
I picked most of the place we visited but one location my dad wanted to visit was HMS Belfast which is a historic war ship and museum. We booked tickets online but we could have used the vouchers we found online at the ship but we didn't know how busy it would be. To get to the ship we took the Victoria line from London Euston to Victoria then Victoria to Tower Hill on the circle line and if you have a contactless debit card then you can use it to pay at the barrier without having to buy a paper ticket (it saves so much time if you can use contactless).

The walk from Tower Hill to HMS Belfast took us over Tower Bridge which is so impressive! You can go inside the towers but we were pushed for time so sadly we couldn't. HMS Belfast is very easy to spot and it has it's own shop and a couple of cafes - the price of pastries in London is so much more than up north!
HMS Belfast is fairly inexpensive but I'd recommend looking for discount codes or vouchers (especially if you travelled to London on the train as tramlines usually offer discounts). I'm not really interested in wars, battles or war ships but visiting HMS Belfast was definitely interesting but I would not recommend it at all if you are claustrophobic or if you have any mobility issues because most of the doors are above the floor level, there are countless ladders (most of them are very steep - VERY STEEP) and in some areas it's pretty much a giant climbing frame.
Despite it not being my thing, I did enjoy visiting HMS Belfast as it's definitely a unique sight to visit in London. It's my first view inside a war ship like this and it was quite eye opening and confirmed that I definitely wouldn't have been able to work within one. The engine room (down a few very steep/narrow ladders) was the most interesting part of the ship as well as the views of London from the deck.
There was one fairly creepy aspect of the ship that I definitely didn't like which were the mannequins placed around the ship. They were in the kitchens, dentist and onboard medical area, the latter was very creepy! Also, one thing to note is that if you want to explore all of the ship, it was quite a lot of walking - for the second day of our trip to London, I walked over 17,000 steps and 33 flights of stairs...
Next up, The British Museum which was only a 15/20 minute walk from Premier Inn (it was a nice walk, especially through Russell Square) and the British Museum is free! I actually think that most museums in England are free, with a few exceptions. We did have to have our bags checked in the British Museum which is fine but we didn't for HMS Belfast.

I have wanted to visit the British Museum for years so I'm glad we finally got to visit and again, there's so much walking/stairs if you want to visit all of the museum. The museum was first opened to the public in 1759, it's huge and easy to find - it also hold a gigantic collection of artefacts from around the world including mummies from ancient Egypt, items from Asia and Africa and British archeological finds from roman Britain, just to name a few.
Out of all of the places we've visited in London I'd have to say that the British museum is pretty much at the top of the list including Buckingham Palace and the Tower Of London. If you want to explore so much history (for free) then I cannot recommend The British Museum enough but beware that there are some human remains on display in the form of mummies and skeletons.

Additionally, the British Museum houses some incredible replicas and famous artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone and The Lewis Chessmen (the most famous chess set in the world - check out my photo at the end of the post) as well as an easter island statue and treasures from the Sutton Hoo site.
Sadly we didn't have the time to explore the entirety of the museum (there are a few exhibitions that are for members only or for ticket holders) which is annoying so I definitely want to visit in the future to explore it in more detail. The museum building itself is gorgeous, especially the roof and there are lots of shops/cafes and space inside - it would be the perfect place to spend a rainy day!

The only thing I didn't like about the museum was the layout as it was quite confusing, it's easy to become lost and it meant that we missed some amazing artefacts! I think the museum definitely needs an Ikea style navigating system with arrows on the floor to make exploring the museum easier and more efficient.
My favourite sections of the museum have to be the Egypt section on the ground floor along with the Egyptian mummies on the upper floors as well as the roman Britain section and greek artefacts! We send over two hours in the museum but I could have spend so much longer especially as we missed out on at least three/four sections of the museum. I could have also spent so money on souvenirs and books in the British Museum but I behaved myself and didn't buy anything (it was tough though!).
I need to mention one thing about my outfit, my bag which is from Zara was amazing for travelling with! The bag is only £19.99 and it comes in white, black and grey, I have the grey option. It contains three compartments, two in the middle and one zipped section, the latter is ideal for my phone/travel documents and tickets. The two inner sections were large enough to easily hold my large purse, umbrella, beauty essentials, sunglasses, phone charger and my Canon 750D camera body along with the kit lens. If you're looking for a handbag for a weekend away, school or work then look no further, I'm definitely going to be purchasing the black version!
Last but not least is the beautiful St Pauls Cathedral! We didn't buy tickets online and I'm glad we didn't as even though we had to queue for quite a while for the bag search, we were able to use the vouchers we found online to get our tickets half price! The cathedral is so gorgeous with cherry blossoms around the side and the inside is even more stunning.

One thing to note is that you can't take photos inside which is ridiculous (if I can take photos inside St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City then surely I should be able to here!). I did take a sneaky photo in the cathedral cafe which is near the tombs. The architecture is unbelievable, it's an incredibly beautiful building and it houses the tombs of various famous individuals from history such as Admiral Horatio Nelson, Wellington and the architect, Christopher Wren.
I absolutely loved visiting London again, it's always so exciting to see so many amazing museums and historic sites. I have now visited London three times and I cannot wait to go again, maybe next year as there are still so many places I'd love to visit including Kensington Palace, the natural history museum, the museum of London and the V&A, among many others! Lastly, below is a short video of some of the clips from London, let me know if there are any problems with the video!

Have you visited London? What are your favourites places to visit in the capital? 

17 comments

  1. Gorgeous pictures! Looks like you had a fabulous time!!
    Charlotte-Nichole
    x

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  2. Some absolutely beautiful photos, especially the photo of St Paul’s x

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  3. Your pictures are gorgeous ! And your hair is stunning 💕

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  4. Sounds like you had a really great trip! I've been to London a few times but I haven't visited any of the same places. I think my favourite is Camden Market. Next time I go back I really want to see The Globe.

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  5. Museums are such a great place to visit-you learn so much and all under the one roof x

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  6. Oh such beautiful pictures! I adore London x

    KatieLeanne.co.uk

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  7. Stunning photos. I live near London so I've been almost everywhere but I don't believe I've been to the British Museum before.


    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  8. That looks like such a good day! I need to go back to London soon, I need to take AJ to the museum too!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  9. Love your photos! It's great getting such a good bargain.

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  10. what stunning photos! I'm glad you had such a wonderful day in London!!

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  11. It looks like you had a great time x

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  12. Sounds like you had such a lovely time hun! St Pauls Cathedral is so beautiful.
    Chantelle x
    The Girl In The Tartan Scarf

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  13. It looks like you had a fab time! Great photos.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  14. I love visiting London and it sounds like you had a fab time! I love your blossom photos xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  15. Such stunning pictures here babe x

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  16. you've taken such beautiful photographs?

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