London is a bustling city with a character of its own. Having heard much stories from my brother who spent three years there, I was bursting with excitement when it was my turn to explore this city during my Study Abroad semester.
However, when I learnt that I was allocated to stay at Champion Hill, my mood was slightly dampened. It was in zone two which meant that I had to take a bus to reach central London and transportation was not cheap. While it was possible for me to appeal for a change in accommodation, I hesitated due to the lovely environment and facilities at Champion Hill. Unwilling to give up on both my plans and the accommodation, I thus strategised to explore London during the days when I had classes. This was possible as King’s College London is located at the heart of central London.
I often explored Covent Garden and restaurants that offer good lunch promotional deals in between classes. As for the days when classes end early, I would go slightly further and indulge myself with all that London has to offer. I watched musicals like Kinky Boots and Wicked, explored food markets and even popped by a few museums. It was an absolute delight to be able to explore and have fun without burning a hole in my pocket.
However, as time passed, London started to feel more like home and my desire to explore the city like a tourist dwindled. Just as I was starting to stick to familiar places only, my friends who were on Study Abroad in University of Edinburgh came to visit London. Those of us who were in London leapt at the opportunity to play host. It was only when I was compiling recommendations for them when it struck me that I have only scratched the surface of the capital of England. There were so many places left to discover like Hyde Park, King’s Cross Station, Primrose Hill and so on. Before I knew it, I was back to being a happy tourist in London.
With all the hustle and bustle in central London, it is easy to forget about the beautiful campuses of King’s College London. However, that would be a terrible mistake. The Maughan Library would be a case in point – the 19th century neo-Gothic building looks beautiful from inside out. One of my favourite would be the Round Reading Room with its domed ceiling and bookshelves stacked from the floor all the way to the top. It is definitely a must-see for all King’s College Student.
After four months in London, I felt that the capital of England is like an Everlasting Gobstopper. The more I explored London, the more layers and flavours I discover. The adventure never stops and I cannot wait to be back again.