We spent close to two weeks traveling around London, Dublin, and Paris while I was pregnant. With amazing public transport and great walkability, it was so easy to visit Europe while pregnant. Our second stop was London, England. In this post, I will go over what we did on Day 1 of our babymoon in London. If you haven’t already, check out Babymoon in London Part 1 and Babymoon in Dublin Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Stay tuned for more posts about London, Paris and our last day back in Dublin!
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After checking our hotel, The Waldorf Hilton which I discuss in Part 1, I was ready to eat. I was pregnant so food was pretty important just about always. Borough Market was high up on my must visit list, so I was happy to incorporate it into our first day. We took about a 15-minute bus ride from in front of our hotel to the London Bridge then walked across the bridge and over to the Borough Market. This was a great way to see some of the city right at the start of the first day. Dating back to around 1000, Borough Market has a fascinating history, delicious artisan foods, and great people watching.
Fish & Chips
The food of the trip was definitely fish & chips for my husband. He successfully ate this dish in every country and it was first on his list for London. After wandering the market a little he picked ou the best looking fish & chips and decided on Fish! which is a full-service restaurant that offers a stand where you can get take away fish & chips. We got one piece of cod with chips from the stand. This was his favorite fish & chips of the trip and I agreed it was very well cooked and delicious.
While my husband went for the fish & chips the pregnant lady went for a donut from Bread Ahead. Go figure! I actually stumbled upon countless articles about their donuts during my London research and searched it out like a hawk once we got there in true preggo lady style. The simple yet amazing cream filled donut didn’t disappoint. It was a perfect blend of sweet cream and donut topped with sugar… and now I’m drooling just thinking about it!
After wandering the stalls and browsing all the delicious food at the market and sharing the fish & chips and donut for dessert, we were primed and ready to take on London. I could have easily spent hours in the market and visited for every meal, but we had places to go and things to see so it was on to the next site!
Tower of London
One of my favorite sites in all of London is the Tower of London. I first visited this historic site when I was 6 and I remember it very well. For some reason, the tower walls and stories of battles, disappearing twin boys, crown jewels, beheaded wives and torture really suck with my 6-year-old self. In all actuality, we had an amazing Yoeman tour guide who took extra time explaining the Tower and history to my sister and I and let us go “behind the scenes” to see special rooms. To this day I do not know if my parents bribed him if any of it was allowed or he just lied and took everyone to “special rooms”, but it was back in the mid-90s and it must have been a slow day. Whatever or however it happened it made a huge impression on me and a lifelong fan of the Tower and its history. I’ve seen more Henry the 8th and Tower documentaries than I care to admit. Needless to say, I was VERY excited to go back to the Tower of London and my husband loved it just as much as I did.
What’s inside the Tower of London?
The Tower of London has been a fortress, a castle, a prison, and even a zoo. This historic place has a number of different exhibits and a full day worth of things to do and see. We just spent one afternoon. Included with admission you can take a Yoeman Tour, visit the White Tower, Bloody Tower, Torture Chamber, Tower Green, Battlements, Medevil Palace, Armoury, learn about the royal beasts, royal mint, royal infantry, the line of kings, and Tower ravens, but the most popular attraction is seeing the Crown Jewels.
Beheadings, Divorce, Torture & Jewels
Of course, I enjoyed seeing the Crown Jewels, but my favorite part of visiting the Tower of London is the history of the royals who lived there and the prisoners who died there later. After taking the Yoeman walking tour and visiting the Chapel, we wandered around the different buildings and battlements looking at many of the exhibits. We spent the most time inside the White Tower and ended our time viewing the Crown Jewels.
Every 30 minutes one of the wardens named Yoemans and sometimes called Beefeaters lead large group tours included with admission. Each tour is different and the Yoeman will tell different stories and focus on different places within the Tower of London, so you can even take more than one and see and learn something completely different. They are very entertaining and informative and it’s amazing to learn a little about the history of the Yoemans themselves, who have been the bodyguards of the Tower of London since the early1500s and still live onsite to this day.
There is so much history at the Tower of London and a lot of different things to see on a visit. Included in our train ticket from the airport that was a visit to the Tower, but the entry was only valid on the same day as the train ticket. This worked out well with the time we were arriving in London, but we didn’t have the entire day to spend at the Tower either. We definitely could have seen a lot more, but being pregnant my feet were sore just from the amount of walking and ALL THE STAIRS. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk! We were there at the end of the day just two hours before closing and this was perfect because there were much lower crowds than we would have experienced earlier in the day.
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Walk The Tower Bridge
In case my feet didn’t hurt enough already we just had to walk across the Tower Bridge. It’s so iconic when you think of London and even though I was tired, we decided to walk across it. We were meeting friends on the other side of the river and nearby the bridge, so it worked out well for us. I wouldn’t recommend that much walking after a day of walking for a pregnant lady, but hey you live and learn! We got some great photos and had fun. It’s a wonderful little walk if you want to head there take some photos and get a cab instead!
Experiences With A Local
My husband has a few friends that live in London that we wanted to see for just bit during our busy babymoon. We met at a local pub and after a few rounds of pub trivia, we walked over to this cozy little speakeasy type bar Two One Four Bermondsey. It is a totally hidden spot kind of reminded me a speakeasy in a major US city. They specialize in gin and craft cocktails and offer a gin tasting game they like to call the “The Great British Gin-Off”. They also offered this special tonic water called BTW made in London. I love tonic and sparkling water so it was really fun to try the Tonic while my husband and friends tasted and guessed gins. Pictured below is my empty tonic bottle and glass of tonic along with our friends and my husband’s gin tastings and drinks. I will be going back here non-pregnant to try the martinis and guess some gin myself!
Maybe this doesn’t sound like most pregnant women’s ideal night, but I fully believe that just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun night out with friends or your spouse. We had an absolute blast playing pub trivia and sharing stories while they tried to guess the gins.
Late Night Pizza
After all the fun we had this pregnant lady was hungry. Pizza was the perfect thing to pick up to take back to our hotel. Our firends recommended the restaurant Franco Manca just down the street from the bar we were at. Franco Manca locations are located all over the city and they create delicious made to order individual sourdough pizzas. For around 7£ per pizza it is also a pretty good deal for London. We walked in and placed a takeaway order and then sat reminiscing about our day while we waited for it. I got a zucchini (called courgette in the United Kingdom) pizza and my husband got some sort of house curred meat. I can’t recall which one, but it wasn’t pepperoni. After, catching a bus back to our hotel we sat on the bed and ate the delicious pizza resting our sore feet. Basically, the exact same thing we did for dinner on our first night in Dublin.
Our first day in London we hit the ground running. We visited the Borough Market, Tower of London, walked across the London and the Tower Bridge, met up with some friends to see some of the local London life and finished off the day with some takeaway pizza in our hotel room. It was a wonderful first day in London and a great kickoff to our time in this amazing city.
Stay tuned for more posts about London, Paris and our last day back in Dublin!