A few months ago I started planning my trip with Monograms. When I planned my own trip to London
earlier this year, there was a ton of back and forth and hours spent on research. That can be fun, but it also gets tedious. Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It happens to me anytime I’m planning my own big trip.
It was a totally different experience planning my Monograms visit. They gave me choices for things to do in London and outside of the city. I sent my options and BOOM, a wizard behind the scenes coordinated everything. All I had to do was show up. Thank goodness for Monograms!
Day 1: London Walking Tour
The first day on a Monograms tour begins with a walking tour
of the city with a guide. This is so helpful and honestly the best way to start in a new city. Even in London, I learned about new places and facts that were all new to me. (Note: Can I might book a Monograms tour in my hometown?! Imagine all the new stuff I’d learn.)
We started bright and early at Buckingham Palace. The guides know all the best times to visit the landmarks, and this was the first time I had been to the palace without hordes of people crowded around.
Did you know you can tell if the Queen is in the palace just by looking at the flag?
The Royal Standard is flown over the palace only if she is home. If the Union Flag flies above Buckingham Palace, it signals that the Queen is not inside. Sadly, QE2 was not around while we were there. Maybe we’ll catch her next time.
After Buckingham Palace, we drove to St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most recognizable sites in London. I visited a few times before, but only to see the famous steps where the bird lady from Mary Poppins sang Feed The Birds. With our Monograms guide, we skipped straight to the front of the line.
St. Paul’s Cathedral dominated the London skyline for centuries. At 365 feet tall, St. Paul’s only gave up its status as tallest building in London in 1967.
St. Paul’s has been the site of many historic occasions, including Winston Churchill’s funeral and Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding. Visitors can come and marvel at the magnificence of the cathedral for a fee or attend a service for free.
If you’re up for it, you can hike 528 steps to get views of the Thames, the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe theater from the top of the cathedral. I didn’t do it (conserving my energy for the next few days!), but more power to you if you do.
Later in the day when the city tour was over, I had the chance to explore on my own… with a little help from Monograms. Based on the requests I sent when booking the trip, Monograms coordinated a visit to the Churchill War Rooms. I had never been inside the War Rooms – even after all my visits to London.
The Churchill War Rooms is an underground museum in London that was once the home of a command center during the World War II. This is where Britain’s leaders strategized, hunkered down and ultimately won the war with the rest of the Allies.
The Churchill War Rooms take about 1.5-2.5 hours to visit.
With Monograms, I loved that I had time to explore a little bit of London on my own. Can you think of a better way to end a first night in London than with a show in the West End? And though I’ve seen it before, I couldn’t say no to another trip to Oz! Wicked is one of the West End’s longest running shows and one of my all time faves.
Monograms coordinated tickets and I was thrilled to find the best seats I’ve ever had. We were so close to the stage, I imagine Elphaba could see the tears rolling down my face. I decided I missed my calling, even though I can’t sing or dance.
Maybe I shouldn’t quit my day job…