Day Two: London sites for free.
Begin the day with a tube ride to Kings Cross-St Pancras Tube station. This is the busiest station in London as is serves to connect underground to above ground regional and international trains at both Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. It is reachable by the Circle Line (yellow), Hammersmith & City Line (pink), Metropolitan Line (magenta), Northern Line (black), Piccadilly Line (dark blue) and the Victoria Line (light blue).
Kings Cross above ground station, Platform 9 ¾: For all those Harry Potter fans, you can visit Platform 9 ¾ which offers a fantastic photo opportunity with a brick wall, archway, sign labeling it and a cart stuck half way in the wall. After your photo-op at Kings Cross, head to the British Library.
Walk out of Kings Cross station and walk past St. Pancras train station; you should be on Euston Road. On the right hand side you will see the British Library.
British Library: The British Library is home to a permanent collection of rare books, stamps, manuscripts and notebooks that is free to visitors. While the British Library is probably most well known for the Gutenberg Bible, Europe’s first book printed in 1455 using a moveable type, its notable collection also includes the Magna Carta, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and Leonardo’s notebook. If you see nothing else, make time to see the Gutenberg Bible and Leonardo’s genius work.
As you leave the British Library, exit onto Euston Road once again. Turn left onto Upper Woburn Place, walk past Russell Square Gardens until the road turns into Northampton Row. Take a coffee and or snack break at Café Nero before hitting the British Museum. After you finish your coffee, take a right on Great Russell Street and on the right side you will find yourself in front of one of the most impressive museums in the world.
The British Museum: The British Museum is the home of the Rosetta Stone as well as many pieces of Greek, Egyptian and Middle Eastern history including sculptures, gates, and sarcophagus’s. As you enter through the main entrance on Great Russell Street, pick up a map of the museum to help guide you through the labyrinth of rooms. First, head into the Great Court and take a picture of the Reading Room and Great Court, the glass ceiling is incredible. After taking in the Great Room, orient yourself on the map, and head to the Rosetta Stone.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite walking through museums, its time to grab a traditional British plate; fish and chips. From the British Museum, exit through the main entrance, and go to your right toward Museum Street. Turn left onto Hanway Place, right onto Oxford Street and left onto Berwick St, Fish and Chips will be on your left.
Fish & Chips: Its rare to find a fish and chips plate with fish that is light, flakey, not greasy, and fried to perfection. But that is exactly what you will find at “Fish & Chips,” not to mention large portions that two could split and great prices. Although the shop is not much to look at inside or out, the fish and chips are amazing here, better than at the pubs. For two dishes of fish and chips and two cans of soda, it costs under £20.
After a wonderful lunch, meander through the rest of SOHO, through Piccadilly Circus and to the British National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. Continue on Berwick Street towards Peter Street, turn right onto Shaftesbury Ave, left onto Great Windmill Street, left onto Coventry Street, right onto Whitcomb Street, stay to the left to stay on Whitcomb Street and finally turn left onto Trafalgar Square.
National Gallery: Art lovers rejoice! The National Gallery showcases everything from Leonardo da Vinci to Vincent van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne to Titian and Botticelli and Caravaggio. After walking through the main entrance, pick up a floor plan of the museum, it is suggested to work your way backwards starting with the most recent art (1700-1900) on the right hand side of the museum to the back through the oldest works (1250-1500) and ending in the left wing of the museum. Don’t Miss: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and various other works that are on display until the 5th of February 2012 (there is an extra charge for this special exhibit).
If you have the energy to continue museum crawling, The National Portrait Gallery is next door to the National Gallery and is worth a pop in for the notable artists and subjects. If you are tuckered out and hungry, head to Chinatown and experience the wonderful sites, lights and cuisine. After dinner, enjoy London at night, rest your feet, grab a great night sleep and prepare for DAY THREE.