Looking Back at My Year in London

Tower Bridge

It’s moving out day!! How quick did that come around?! I’m currently on a Virgin train to Liverpool (again) having battled my way through my least favourite station in the world – Euston – with three large suitcases and my mother in tow. All of my belongings were picked up yesterday and should hopefully arrive in Liverpool tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

I don’t know what it was about London, but it never felt like home. Being on my way back to Liverpool now, I feel like I’m finally going home. In London I never had food in the fridge, rarely ever cooked and felt like I was always on holiday, coming and going, never staying put. Now that I’m headed to my flat in Liverpool, I already know it’s going to feel so much more like home than London ever did.

London was an amazing experience, and one I won’t forget in a very long time but I never truly felt like I lived there. Will I be rushing back after I graduate? At the moment, no. I feel like I’ve done Liverpool and now I’ve done London so I’m eager for the next adventure and the next city that I can live in.

I know for sure that I’ll be back in London by the end of my twenties, ready to settle down and make my way in the London PR world, but for these early years of my twenties, I want to experience as many cities as possible. I want to live and work in different cities, different countries and different cultures. I don’t want to take six months and travel. I want to experience actually living somewhere else.

Most of you probably know that before moving to London, I made a London Bucket List. Now that it’s move out day, I thought it would be a good time to look back over my Bucket List to see what I achieved and how much I was able to tick off. It’s also a good way to kill two hours on this train. There were 50 things to tick off on my list, so I won’t be boring you with all of them, only the best ones.

I’ll definitely be making a Final Year Bucket List for university, but I don’t think it would be a great idea to share that with all of you…

In the last twelve months I have:

1. Seen 10 shows on the West End

I thought I would struggle with this one the most, but I’m so glad I was able to tick this off the list. If I included the shows that I’ve seen twice, it would be up to 12. The shows I was able to see were: Les Miserablés, Wicked, The Woman in Black, Chicago, Annie, Matilda, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Dreamgirls and Kinky Boots. There’s a post on my blog of them all ranked in order from best to worst (if you’re interested).

2. Went to a music festival

I was able to attend Lovebox (VIP, might I add) during my first week at Coty and I really wish I had been able to attend more festivals during my year in London, especially since there are so many. Glastonbury took a break this year but hopefully I can add this to next years list of ticked off items.

3. Walked past a celebrity in Soho

I thought this would also be quite an impossible item to tick off my list, but I actually encountered more celebrities than I ever thought I would. It helped a lot that I attended a lot of celebrity events during my year at Coty, but I also walked past quite a few during the weekends and at other random times.

I was stood across the street from Mylene Klass as she waited on an Uber, Noel Fielding walked past me when I was having breakfast, I said ‘Hello’ to Nick Clegg in Somerset House because he looked familiar and I couldn’t quite place his name, I walked past Conor Murray (Ireland rugby player) in Shoreditch, Alex Mytton from Made in Chelsea was in the same bar as me in Wimbledon and Laura Whitmore was in the VIP section of Lovebox when I was there. I wish I could throw the Ed Westwick sighting in here too but that was a work event so it doesn’t count here. There were a few others that I saw walking around London (I’ve been on the tube with Chloe Meadows from TOWIE, Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet and Tom Daley) but I would be here all day if I was to list them all.

I was always quite pessimistic when I thought about bumping into celebrities on the streets of London, but it really does happen! Take your head out of your phone and you may just see one yourself!

4. Visited as many districts of London as possible

These were listed out separately in my Bucket List but I’ll put them together here. I think I visited most areas of London with my favourites being Clapham, Brixton, Greenwich, Chelsea, Camden and Shoreditch. Even though I have a Croydon postcode, I never actually ventured into the area.

5. Ate from as many markets as possible

Borough Market, Portobello Road Market, Camden Market, Spitalfields, Brick Lane, you name it, I’ve probably ate from it. The areas of these markets are also great to visit. Portobello Road is in Notting Hill and is a gorgeous area to walk around. Brick Lane is huge and there are so many other streets and warehouses filled with markets in the surrounding area of Shoreditch and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Brick Lane

6. Sailed along the Thames on a boat

If you follow me on Instagram you’re probably sick of seeing me sail down a boat on the Thames as I seem to do it quite regularly. But in my opinion, what’s the point in taking the tube when you can see the amazing sights from the roof deck of a City Cruise boat? And when a return ticket is only £16.00 to Greenwich, you can’t beat it.

7. Learnt to navigate London without a map

Ok, I wouldn’t say I’m a pro just yet but most of the time there was no need to pull out the City Mapper app as I knew how to make my way around. Especially with being in central London so often, or walking around Southbank and The Strand/Covent Garden so many times, all of the streets were embedded in my brain. I would hop off the tube a few stops early just so I could walk and take in the sights.

With London being so huge, I’ll most likely never fully know my way around but I would be quietly confident with the majority of it. But there are many times when I don’t seem to have the best sense of direction and pretend it’s my phone’s fault…

8. Been the most cliché tourist at Christmas

One of my favourite times in London is definitely Christmas. When all of the skating rinks start popping up everywhere (not that I ever ventured onto one) and the most amazing lights are displayed throughout the city. There’s no better time than Christmas in London and there’s so much to do. I was able to visit Winter Wonderland, Winterville, the light switch on in Trafalgar Square, the lights on Regent Street and Harrods at Christmas to name a few. It really is a magical time and I’ll definitely make sure to be back again this Christmas.

9. Attended amazing events

Although most of these events were through work, it wouldn’t feel right not to mention them. During my twelve months in London, I was able to attend London Fashion Week (twice), the European Premiere of Black Panther, the BRIT Awards After-Party, the GQ Men of the Year Awards, the OK! Beauty Awards and so many more. It’s been the most amazing celeb and prosecco-filled year and I don’t know how I’m going to cope going back to being a poor student, but I’m going to have to adapt very quickly. All of these events I will remember for the rest of my life and won’t be forgetting any time soon.

10. Seen the views of London from every rooftop possible

From the Shard to Sky Garden, from the Rumpus Room at the Mondrian to the viewing platform of the Monument – I’ve probably seen the London skyline from every direction possible. There’s nothing I love more than a good view, and I’m willing to climb to the highest vantage point of any building or hill just to catch a glimpse. I never did see the view from Primrose Hill but I did see it from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich as well as from Alexandra Palace when I went to see Dua Lipa perform there. I’ve learnt that the further outside London you go, the nicer the view.

Monument London

But there are still so many things left to do

I could never possibly see and do everything in London. There’s always something new going on, something else to visit, something else to experience. There are still many things on my Bucket List that I didn’t get around to ticking off. They’ll be staying on my list so that I can tick them off in the future – either if I’m living in London again or just visiting.

It’s been a blast of a year and although I may not be back as a resident in the near future, I’ll definitely be popping back for a visit.

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