Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal


Julia Fusco

On Feb. 11, I was up long before the sun for my 6 a.m. flight to London. The flight was only $43 round trip, so I had no complaints about being up early. As soon as we landed in London, my friends and I were off to start sightseeing. We had a long itinerary and only two days to cover everything we wanted to see.

We flew into London Stansted Airport, which is unfortunately pretty far outside of the city itself. We had to take a 40 minute train ride on the London Stansted Express to get downtown, and then we took the Underground, London’s subway system, to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard.

The changing of the guard was only happening once the whole weekend, and luckily we made it just in time. There were huge crowds, so it was hard to see at times, but it was still amazing to witness this traditional ceremony in person. There were dozens of guards in their iconic hats marching around the palace. 

Some of the guards were playing instruments, which added to the whole experience. I was, however, surprised to hear them playing modern music like tracks from “The Greatest Showman.” Once the ceremony concluded, we walked down the street towards the Thames River, where many of London’s main attractions are located.

When Big Ben came into view, I couldn’t help but smile. I found myself thinking, “I can’t believe this is my life.” It’s crazy that I’m going on all of these trips and seeing all of these popular tourist attractions that people always talk about. 

Of course, we took our typical tourist photos with the iconic red London phone booths in front of Big Ben. We spent the afternoon just walking around, seeing the London Eye, The Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.

That evening, two of my friends and I had tickets to tour the Harry Potter Film Studios in Watford, so we took the train up north. We paid around $70 each for these tickets, and they were worth every penny. As a Harry Potter fan, this was one of the biggest highlights of the weekend, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who goes to London.

The tour of the film studios lasted more than three hours, and it took us through all of the original film sets, like the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank. They had thousands of original props, costumes and accessories. It was fascinating to learn more about how the movies were filmed. They also had a cafe that served Butterbeer, which was delicious.

On Saturday a few of us toured the British Museum, which was right across the street from the hostel we were staying in. Tickets were free, and there are a bunch of cool ancient artifacts inside, like the Rosetta Stone and pieces of the Parthenon.

It was breathtaking to see these amazing structures, but also a bit unnerving, when you think about the fact that none of these objects really belong to the UK. They were stolen and they definitely shouldn’t be here.

There was a lot to see inside the museum, but I didn’t get to spend a ton of time there because I had scheduled a tour of the Tower of London, a former prison and execution site. We were given a tour by an official Yeoman Warder (also known as a Beefeater). Besides giving tours, these ceremonial guards are technically responsible for looking after prisoners (although there are no longer prisoners at the Tower) and guarding the Crown Jewels.

Getting to see the Crown Jewels was my favorite part of the tour. We saw swords and coronation crowns encrusted with thousands of diamonds and precious jewels. One of the crowns features a 530 carat diamond, the largest clear cut diamond in the world. I could hardly believe it was real.

Following our tour of the Tower of London, we walked across the Tower Bridge, which is often regarded as the London Bridge, even though that’s not its correct name. We then headed over to the London Eye, where we took a ride up in the ferris wheel to see the panoramic views of the city. The London Eye is right across from Big Ben and several other landmarks, so it was beautiful to see from up above.

That night, a few of my friends and I ended up getting rush tickets to see Les Misérables in the West End. I love musicals, and I had never seen Les Mis before, so it was an incredible experience. That was definitely another one of my favorite parts of the weekend.

We were up at 3 a.m. on Sunday to take the train to the airport and catch our plane home (that’s what happens when your flight is only $40). Between waking up early and walking more than 12 miles over the span of the weekend, I was exhausted. My wallet is also crying – London was a very expensive city.

With that said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so grateful to be in Europe having these experiences. I can’t believe this is my life!

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About the Contributors
Grace MacDonald, Graduate Copy Editor | she/her
Grace is a graduate student from Seekonk, Mass., majoring in communication with an integrated marketing communication concentration. Besides having a passion for writing, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, watching movies and exploring the city. She loves to travel and rock climbs in her free time. After graduating, she hopes to work in corporate communications. Follow Grace on Twitter @GraceM123456
Julia Fusco, Graphics Editor | she/her
Julia is a senior from South Hamilton, Mass. majoring in media & film at Suffolk University. Julia is part of four student organizations and counting and is on the E-Board for three of them. When she isn't working at the Suffolk gym or in class, you can often find her taking time to engage in her hobbies, which includes photoshoots with her friends, graphic designing, dancing and grabbing some boba to go!

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