Posted by: claire.mangine | February 22, 2013

Post Four- City Review of London by Lauren

Happy Friday. I’m so glad to finally be posting a city review! I thought these would be interesting to post to get people’s opinions of cities they traveled to or stayed in while abroad. This week: London.

Have you ever been? Did ya love it? Did ya not?I was in London over our spring break which was actually about a year ago today

 (wahhh 😦 ). We were there for three nights, stayed in Victoria in a hostel with
three-tier bunk beds (awful, yet hilarious), saw The Queen at the Changing of the Guards
and ate fish and chips (which was all I really wanted to do, anyway). I found England to
be a 
welcome change of pace because everyone spoke ENGLISH and after struggling
with Italian for 2.5 months, I embraced the fact that I could carry on a conversation
with anyone we met without any difficulty or language barrier. It was a great and
no-stress feeling.

Anyway, enough about me. Please let me introduce someone I’ve known for almost my whole life, and is basically another family member…Lauren.

Home University: St. Lawrence University (class of 2011)

Study Abroad Destination: London, England

When traveled: January-May 2010, junior year spring semester

Program Traveled with: SLU London Programme

University Attended: The St. Lawrence University London Programme 

Claire: When did you go to London? How Long where you there?

Lauren: Junior year spring semester. This was the best time to go because the end of winter was mild and the spring was BEAUTIFUL.

C: What was your favorite part about London?

L:The culture difference and freedom I felt there. There was always something different to do because London is such a big and diverse city. Each part of it is completely different and I never got tired of exploring. There are parts of London that I didn’t even get to that I still want to check out.

C: What was your least favorite part about it?

L: Going home and not being able to travel anymore!

C: What’s the weather like and what are some necessary things you need to pack if headed to London:

L: The weather was mild…it was a maritime climate so there was a lot of moisture. It made my hair look nice! It really didn’t rain as much as people said it would, but it was foggy…”Foggy Londontown.” I packed all normal clothes that I would wear here in New York State, except not a parka or heavy boots.

C: What did you pack/bring that you found unnecessary and why?

L: Hairdryers and straighteners. Even though I had energy converters and adapters, my hair tools still blew up!

C: Tell me some things you HAVE to do and see while in London?

This is why Lauren is awesome: she attached a whole list to an email of places in
London one should know if staying for a whole semester, or just a few days. It included grocery stores, markets, bars, clubs, restaurants, pubs and places to see, along with how to get to each place. She said she made it for some friends who were travelling there a year after she went. Here are just a few places she mentioned:

L:  Shopping:

Selfridges- A department store that is  bit expensive but worth looking at. It’s on Oxford Street, I would get off at the Bond Street tube stop on the Central Line

Harrod’s- Get off at the Knightsbridge Tube stop and Harrod’s is right there. It’s pretty close to Hyde Park. This is a famous department store that you have to go to just for fun, It has a market place for food and an ice cream bar that is DELICIOUS (but overpriced).

 Places to go and see:

Alexandra Palace- In the very back behind the building, there’s an open park area with a big hill and you can see all of London. Go with friends, take some beer/wine/snacks and lay out all day.

Hyde Park – has the Peter Pan statue and Princess Di memorial


Buckingham Palace

Tower Bridge/ The tower of London

Westminster Abbey

Parliament and Big Ben

C: Did you do/see anything that you thought wasn’t worth your time?

L: Never! Even when I got lost, it was an adventure, something new and exciting, even if I didn’t mean for it.

C: Name some other places that you traveled to outside of London.

L: The other places I traveled to and loved were Brussels, Naples, Pompeii, Rome, Florence and Venice. I was always excited to come back home to London.


C: Anything else that you would like to share about London for first time visitors?

L: It changed my life and I cannot wait to go back and visit. I still think and talk about it every day. I love watching movies such as Notting Hill or Love Actually so that I can see all of my favorite places 🙂

So folks, there you have it! According to Lauren, London is amazing (I agree!) and she can be your travel guide of the city.

Thanks, Lauren!

(photo credit on pictures: Lauren Drozynski)



  1. We would love to post the top picture and an excerpt from your interview at toemail if you do not mind?

    • Sure! Thank you for asking. I’m not sure if you mean the headline photo (travel while you’re young, with a plane) or the photo with my friend Lauren. If you plan to use Lauren’s photo please credit her as Lauren Drozynski. Thanks so much! Claire

  2. It’s posted now, with Lauren. Thanks so much, we really appreciate it! 🙂

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