My Solo Trip to London
Back when we were free to roam as we pleased, I took my first solo trip down to London. I wanted to expand mself personally by going out and doing something by myself, without the comfort of a friend or family member with me. I chose London as my first destination as it was a place I knew well, with the same currency and the same language, but I didn't go often enough for me to know exactly where everything was. It was a nice challenge without it being too scary.
I took this trip in August of 2019 when it was incredibly hot in London, and I had a fantastic time, so today I thought I'd talk you through my trip to provide some inspiration for anyone considering a trip down to London, or your first solo trip by yourself.
I made my way to Edinburgh Airport about mid-morning to get my short one hour (ish) flight to London Stansted. There are lots of options for airports in London to fly to, but I tend to fly from Stansted as it's an airport I know really well, so I preferred to use this one in this case. From there I took the Stansted Express which took me right into Liverpool Street Station. Because I booked my train tickets so far in advance I got them incredibly cheap, and it was a nice train experience overall. The journey took about an hour in total.
From there I took the stairs down to Liverpool Street's tube station and took the Central Line to Holborn Station. From there it was about a five minute walk to the hotel I would be staying in that weekend, the Travelodge on Drury Lane. Overall, as a hotel, there were some positives:
The breakfast was really good; it was a pre-paid buffet so I could eat as much as I wanted!
The room I had was massive...way too big for even two people!
However there were also some negatives to it too:
My room happened to be in a separate building away from the main reception. It was unmanned so it didn't feel particularly safe as a solo female.
It was pretty basic. For this trip, it was fine as I wasn't looking for anything major, but if I were to go again, especially with someone else, I would look elsewhere.
Once I was all checked in I took a walk around the local area to explore, including having a good look around Seven Dials, which is my favourite place to shop. After a long day, I ordered Italian food to be delivered to the hotel. This is a great tip if you're solo travelling, or hungry in a new place and don't want to go out of the place you're staying...find out the local delivery services (e.g. Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat, etc.) and get your dinner delivered to the hotel. I tend to stand outside the reception so I can intercept the delivery driver before they bother the reception staff. Also, take into account that you may not have cutlery for some foods...so avoid ordering that soup until you have secured a spoon!
I began the day by rising early and enjoying my hotel breakfast. I then rushed to Holborn Station to take the Piccadilly line to Earl's Court Station, and then walking about twenty minutes to Olympia London. This is a large arena/convention centre that Drag World UK was occurring at that year. This event was really fun; there were amazing drag queens everywhere to see, panels every hour or so, and loads of creative vendors. I hadn't pre-booked any meet and greets, so I only ended up staying an hour, but as a big Drag Race fan, it was a fantastic experience.
I then made my way back to Holborn Station and spent a bit of time relaxing at the hotel. August can be very hot in London so it was nice to get into an air conditioned room for a while! From there I took some time to explore the area again, walking a bit further afield to areas of London I hadn't explored before, including grabbing lunch from one of my favourite places; Leon.
After a long day of walking around London, I took some time to relax in my hotel room again and take in some TV. Is that the best way to spend a short amount of time in an amazing city? No, but it's also good to take breaks (at least that's what I tell myself)! From there, I dragged myself out of bed to head down to The Arts Theatre, which was a short walk away from the hotel. Six is the current show in residence at the theatre, and I was so excited to see it. I'm obsessed with Tudor history, and so as soon as I knew Six existed I knew I want to go and see it! Let me tell you, the show is amazing. The talent is phenomenal, and it's such a fun show. It's also incredibly short and doesn't have an intermission, so if you're looking for an introduction to musicals, I think this is a good start! I made friends with an elderly couple from Australia next to me as well which was really nice!
From there I took the ten or so minute walk back to the hotel. It was late and dark, and so the walk back was a bit anxiety inducing, but there were lots of people around and I got back to the hotel alright, ready to dive into bed after a long day!
And that was my experience taking a solo trip to London! The following day I simply had a lie in and then get the train back to Stansted Airport. I had an amazing time exploring London by myself. If you're interested in taking your first dive into solo travel, I highly recommend a place like London. Start off somewhere that you don't go to all the time, but somewhere that you're familiar with. This means that if anything goes wrong, you fele comfortable getting back home or explaining your situation, but you're still exploring somewhere new.
I'd love to know the place that you first solo travelled to! Let me know on my social media:
Twitter - _globalsolo
Instagram - _globalsolo
Until next time,