Walking Piccadilly Circus, Shopping on Regent Street, Canada House and Whitehall Gardens, London, United Kingdom

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The City of London has so many attractions that you could spend a lifetime looking at them all. On our first day arriving to London, we decided to take it easy and do a general walking tour of Central London as we got used to spending our time in the city.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity City Visit: Walking Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Canada House and Whitehall Gardens, London, United Kingdom.

Having had a very early wake up the day prior when we left Lisbon, Portugal, on TAP Portugal Business Class Lisbon – London, we opted for an easy day of walking around to self situate ourselves, instead of heading for another attraction.

Starting off at Piccadilly Circus:

We left the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington and took the Underground train from Earls Court up to Piccadilly Circus. First off, the obligatory photographs of one of London’s most famous landmarks.

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Walking Down Regent Street:

Walking down Regent Street, we happened upon the Regent Summer Streets Festival. I hadn’t experienced this before, but the city closes off Regent street for a summer festival of bands, food carts and exercise events for 4 Sundays in the summer. It was a bit strange to wander down the middle of Regent Street without cars, buses or traffic, but I certainly didn’t mind.

A First Visit to Hamley’s Toy Store:

We had a great time wandering the street, eventually coming along to the great Hamley’s toy store. I practically had to beg WT73Jr to go into Hamleys’; responding “I’m too old for it”. Once he got inside, it was teenager boredom until he located all of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter collectables on the top floor and basement. “Wait a second… …this might actually be interesting…” (laughing).

We were there for about 20 minutes conducting a through examination of all sorts of objects in the hysteria that is Britain’s greatest toy store. The research proved to be a though provoking exercise for Junior for his future London souvenir aspirations.

Passing through Leicester Square:

From there, it was a short walk past London’s pubs through up to Leicester Square via the Piccadilly Hard Rock Café London Store where another large amount of souvenir merchandise was seriously examined.

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A Visit to Trafalgar Square:

We then wandered down towards Trafalgar Square, where we took a seat and appreciated the surroundings. Being beautiful summer, everyone was out appreciating the day and the fine weather which had been on an improving trend for the day.

Strolling by Canada House:

We took a stroll by Canada House where we got to see likely the largest embassy presence Canada has in any country. It was a neat sense of pride to be able to show your representation in a foreign country as a teenager starts to experience and understand his own identity and place in the world.

From there, we walked down Northlands towards Embankment and took a look at the London Eye; something Jr really wanted to see but was terrified to go up. From there, I took my first look into the beautiful Whitehall Gardens near Parliament.

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Peeking into Whitehall Gardens:

It was my first look into these gardens and I was really surprised to see this corner of beauty in this part of London.

We took the District Line Train back to the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington hotel where I cooked breaded chicken on the HOB, along with pesto pasta and corn on the cob courtesy of our neighbourhood Tesco’s. We watched a little TV about a British sailor ship on ITV and off to bed! An easy first day!!

WT73Jr Satisfied with Home Cooking

If you’ve visited the City of London, what attractions do to take in on your first day arriving to the city ?

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