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London is my favourite city. By far the most infuriating, but nevertheless my favourite. Every time I visit I return back to my little and crappy northern town feeling overcome with creativity and inspiration and the urge to just do something, anything, to get me out of here and back to the place I love. It makes me want to be productive and it makes me want to create things. In all honesty, I don't understand it. I often struggle with a lack of inspiration and a horrible tendency to procrastinate (take one look at the dates on my blog posts and you'll see exactly what I mean) so I can't quite put my finger on why something as simple as a change of location can provoke such a change in me.

I returned from London almost a week ago now and the little spark of inspiration in my brain is still burning away so I thought whilst it's still there I may as well make use of it in the little corner of the internet that I love the most.

The reason for our trip was primarily to visit the Warner Brother's Studio Tour at Leavesden, as it's been a few years since we first went and they've added a few things that we wanted to see (especially the Hogwarts Express. My mum's face when we stepped onto Platform 9 3/4 was truly something.) It was also the last week of #HogwartsInTheSnow, so we desperately wanted to see that too. Since we were going across my days off from work, we decided to make a little trip out of it and spend a day or so in the centre of London as well. We arrived on Monday evening, dumped our bags in the hotel - more on that in a moment - and off we went.

We didn't do too much that night, time was already ticking on and we were both quite tired, but we managed to squeeze a few things in. First off we wandered down to Covent Garden. Being a cold, weekday evening it was understandably quite quiet; a lot of the shops were shut and there weren't too many people around. It didn't stop us from having a bit of a mooch round before we head back to Leicester Square for dinner. We ended up in Pizza Hut (not everyone's choice I know, but I always find the Leicester Square branch to be a high standard of food and customer service) where we ate so much it was hard to move. We also nipped into M&M World before leaving because, shock horror, it was relatively quiet. I know, it's a miracle. If you haven't been and ever consider going there, I'd definitely avoid it on weekends or school holidays because it can get pretty mental. It's a fun place, but not worth the stress.

We booked the London ExCeL Travelodge for our stay. It was quite far out, but it was relatively cheap and we were on a somewhat low budget trip so we compromised. About 45 minutes away from Leicester square (DLR - Tube - Tube, if you were wondering) the Travelodge was right near the Thames and London ExCeL. It was also very close to London City Airport, but I was so shattered from all the walking we did that I slept through all but one of the many planes that landing/taking off during the night. As far as Travelodges go it was one of the better ones, with a restaurant and bar that were open around the clock. We didn't make use of them, but the fact it even had them was satisfying enough for me. If you're looking for somewhere on a budget, I'd definitely recommend it.

On the Tuesday morning we got up early and headed to the Tate Modern. We decided to go there because it was raining quite a lot and it definitely didn't disappoint me. My mum was another story, she walked around the place looking rather confused and periodically sighing and saying "I just don't get it." Nevertheless, we walked round all the free exhibits and saw some truly brilliant, and downright strange, pieces of art. I think this is the place that really sparked the inspiration I mentioned earlier. After a quick stop in Starbucks and later Primark to buy a brolly, we walked to the British Museum to look at the mummies. My Mum loves that kind of thing, but having only been last year I found it slightly boring as everything was the exact same as the last time I visited. We then hit the shops on Oxford St. and I spent an embarrassingly long time running excitedly around the Disney Store with a big grin on my face. I'm nearly 19 I swear... (I also found a denim skirt for a tenner in Topshop. Total bargain. And spent £20 in Lush. Not so much a bargain.)

The next day was finally Harry Potter day, and oh my god did I have a good time. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil it for anyone that hasn't been, but it was easily one of the most magical days of my life so far. I also don't think words could do that place justice, so I'll probably just let a few photos speak for themselves. I'm a massive Harry Potter fan, almost embarrassingly so, and that place has me in my element. I had such a good time there and spent so much money in the gift shop (Gryffindor scarf, Crookshanks, chocolate frog, Marauders' Map mug... The list goes on.) Whether you're a hardcore fan or you just like the films/books, I'd recommend going. Even the most casual of Harry Potter fans will leave the tour being completely in over their heads. Trust me, my mum was one of them.

I hope you enjoyed/took something from this long ramble! It feels good to finally come back to blog after another long break and I hope that this time I can keep it up. No promises, but I'm feeling optimistic. Have you been to the studio tour? Let me know so we can fangirl together.
Until next time!

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