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Experiencing London Solo (In Under 24 Hours!)

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

London was the first international solo trip I had ever taken, and from my experience, I can say that it was a good choice! On a trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to take a flight back home with a 17 hour layover in London...and boy, did I take it! I didn't know much about going solo abroad, it was my first time in the UK, but after some planning I ended up having a successful short trip!


Even with only 17 hours, I was worried that it still wouldn't be enough time to feel satisfied. I flew in at 3 p.m and had to be back at the airport at 9 a.m the next day. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to squeeze in!



 


Where to stay


I'll admit it right now that I am not a fan of hostels. I think it's a great choice for those looking to save a good chunk of money and having new people to meet, but it's just not my first preference. As you would imagine, London is not cheap, and I was fresh out of college with not a whole lot of money.


After doing some internet searching, I stumbled upon Sohostel, which is in the Soho district of downtown London. It immediately caught my attention because it is so colorful and inviting-looking in all of the photos I saw! It was cheap, clean and I felt incredibly safe the entire time. You can see more about Sohostel here: https://www.sohostel.co.uk/



 


Things to do Solo


When I first started solo-tripping, I was stuck with a fear that I would look silly going out and doing things by myself. If you feel that way, I promise that it is just something to adjust to! Actually, it will feel so liberating to know that you can do whatever you want, on your own schedule. In London, there are actually a lot of tourist attractions that are easy to do alone!

When I arrived in London at settled into my hostel, it was around 4 p.m., so I had the whole evening to myself. I knew there was one, big obvious thing that I had to cross off my list: The London Eye. Be warned, the line for this will be long. If you're on a time crunch, they have an express ticket option that can get you through a quicker line. I ended up getting incredibly lucky, as a sweet woman came up to me and gave me her extra express ticket! SCORE! (A great perk of being by yourself!) It's a really fun ride, as you get to see a bird's eye view of downtown London. The gondola's are gigantic too, and can fit a ton of people into one.



After a ride on the Eye, just down the street you'll find Big Ben... so obviously you need to get over there to take some pics! I was INCREDIBLY sad that it was under construction and covered up when I was there, but heck, I was already there so I took a petty photo in front of it anyway! Once you're finished there, you can take a quick walk over to St. James Park, which I like to dub 'The Central Park of London.' I found it adorable how so many locals were picnicking here and sipping tea, it made me want to do the same! This park also made me notice how much cleaner the UK is versus big American cities.





The next thing you need to cross off your list is Buckingham Palace. This is also an easy walk from St. James, plus it's 100% free to walk up and check it out! Of course, you can't go past the gate but you don't need to! They do offer tours but they seem to be at very selective times of the year. Still, it's so cool to see the palace up close, and seeing all of the infamous guards standing around. The gardens right in front were probably one of my favorite things to see. It was filled with colorful flowers and flags...just stunning!



So yes, I was able to fit all of this in by 7 p.m.! Not gonna lie, I was so exhausted from walking everywhere that I headed back to my hostel earlier than intended, but I had felt so fulfilled in what I was able to accomplish that I was totally okay with it! That was a great thing about touring London for a short amount of time - Everything is easily accessible and it is such a walkable city. I'm already excited to go back one day to explore in more depth!




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ABOUT ME

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Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!

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