London

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For my family’s latest visit to London, we stayed in an area known as Hampstead, a beautiful little neighborhood on the outskirts of London. Hampstead is one of my favorite parts of London because it is out of the hustle and bustle of the city and is completely manageable to explore. Another great aspect of Hampstead is the ginormous park on its border called Hampstead Heath, which I spent a few hours exploring during my visit.

My parents and I took two day trips – one to the University of Oxford and the other to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford, and I highly recommend visiting both places! The University of Oxford was crazy busy, but it was well-worth the crowds to see the ancient buildings and impeccable landscaping. While in town, I recommend grabbing lunch at Brown’s Restaurant, which is the quintessential British experience.

The Harry Potter Studios tour in Watford was a dream come true because I’ve been a Potter-phile for years. Touring the studios and having the ability to see costumes, props, and sets from all eight movies was fantastic. Make sure to carve out a couple of hours to tour the studio because it takes a while to get through everything.

Some of my favorites sights to see in London are Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Globe Theater, and Notting Hill. Try to get to all of these attractions early in the day because they fill up really quickly, especially during the summer. I saw the Shakespearean play Measure for Measure in the Globe Theater and it was excellent. I had seen another play at the Globe before, but this one in particular was fantastic.

My favorite restaurants in Hampstead are Côte Brasserie and Tip Top Thai. If you’re in Belsize Park, which is the town right next to Hampstead, I highly recommend trying out Belsize Kitchen and ordering the traditional pancakes and fruit plate. In London, try out Lebanon Express for excellent Lebanese food.

Do you have any recommendations for things to do/places to see/places to stay while in London? I would love to hear your suggestions!

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