Day in the Life of an American Girl in London (in Photos)

So as most of you know, I’m an American girl but I’ve been living in England for most of the last two years (and in London specifically for the last month)! I thought I’d share a little bit about a day in my life. If my life is interesting enough (hah), I might do more of these posts in the future!

You can also scroll down to see my stacking the shelves for the week!


My alarm goes off at an UNGODLY hour (6:30am) and pick up my daily dose of Starbucks. I don’t understand why, but the hot chocolate at Starbucks in the UK is significantly different than in the US. I prefer the US hot chocolate, but the UK hot chocolate is still pretty good!

Starbucks hot chocolate and panini next to Kindle


Then I make my way to St Pancras International, where I hop on the high speed train to Canterbury West. Although I live in London, I go to university in Canterbury, which means I have to commute! Yuck! The train takes about 50 minutes. When it’s a 7:40am train ride, I usually end up sleeping!

7:26am at St Pancras International Station


Now it’s time for a trek from the Canterbury West strain station up to campus. Luckily it’s such a pretty walk!

I usually only have one class a day. This term I’m taking: video game design, managers and organisations, and digital visual effects & post production. I also have the occasional lecture about my final year project.

University of Kent at Canterbury (Walk to campus)


After class, it’s time to head back to London! Since I’m more awake at this point, I usually read on the train ride back.

High speed train at St Pancras International

This is totally just another photo of St Pancras International, but I forgot to take a photo at Canterbury West station!

Elearnor & Park on the Kindle


Before heading home, I hop on the Underground and swing by Picadilly Circus for a little adventure!

London Underground - Picadilly Circus Station

Picadilly Circus

Statue of Eros at Picadilly Circus

I head down the street to Waterstones Bookstore. This particular Waterstones on Picadilly is Europe’s largest bookshop! It used to be a department store, so it’s laid out very much like one. They have six whole floors of books and over 8.5 miles of shelving!

Waterstones Bookstore at Picadilly

After browsing through the young adult section, I walk a few minutes down the street to Hatchards bookstore. Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop (established in 1797). It’s such a cute store with several floors and this really cool staircase. Also apparently J.K Rowling has done a signing there. She should totally do another one… *hint hint*

Hatchards Bookstore in London

Books on the shelf at Hatchards Bookstore


It’s getting late and I’m getting hungry, so I walk a short distance to Nando’s! This is one restaurant that NEEDS to come to the US! There are actually nine restaurants in the US (supposedly), but I think they’re all on the east coast, so they obviously need more on the west. This place is seriously amaaaaazing! If you like chicken (who doesn’t??) then you’d love it!

Nando's Restaurant

Nando's Chicken Wrap and Garlic Bread

Just taking a stroll down Regent Street on my way back to the Underground…

Regeant Street in London


And finally, it’s time to head back home! Snuggle up, whip out the Kindle, do a bit of blogging, you know the drill!

Home, Sweet, Home at iQ Shoreditch

Computer Setup: This is where the nerdom happens

Thanks for reading!

Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing more of these posts. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves

New books received for review

The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski
The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

Far From You by Tess Sharpe
Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Photo of Ashley
I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. Loved this post Ashley and would definitely like to see more 🙂 I would so love to visit one of those bookstores – sigh, we don’t have anything like that here 🙁

    Rosemary recently posted: Elle Casey News
  2. I loved this! Of course I desperately want to travel through England sometime, if not live there as well! I’m part English and am also an English major and school librarian when not blogging who completely in love with all things English Lit. like Shakespeare, Chaucer, etc. I even have tattoos to honor them.
    Anyway, loved the fun post. Thanks for sharing, plus I’m rather jealous of your mad techie skills!

    Ange/Libby Blog recently posted: Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  3. Sorta jealous of that big bookstore! J.K. Rowling totally has to do a signing there, I’d love to hear about it. You should definitely do more posts like these, it was so interesting to read. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Shelly recently posted: It’s My Birthday!
  4. Duh, of course I love hearing about your adventures in London, especially because then I can compare them to mine! I’m lucky in that I only have a fifteen minute journey from where I live to my uni. But, if I want to head into London for Waterstones Piccadilly, it takes me just under a hour. Speaking of which, I just went there last week so it’s so cool to see your photos of a place I was just at and think how we were both there! Oh wait, does that make me sound slightly stalkerish? haha. I only went into Waterstones for an author event and didn’t fully explore (aside from the teen section) and I didn’t head into any other bookstore. I think I will spend one day in the future just exploring the various bookstores in London! Sounds like fun.

    Asti (A Bookish Heart) recently posted: Bookish Life: Westgate-on-Sea for Holiday
  5. Cool! London really is beautiful – you’re so fortunate to be living there! But 50 minutes is a long ride >< Good thing you have a Starbucks and a Kindle to accompany you on the way!
    I used to live in Essex for a while before moving to Singapore, and my grandparents would bring me to London to visit Piccadilly, or Regent's Park, sometimes to go to Hamley's! But on a recent trip, I went Oxford and visited Waterstones; and I fell in LOVE. I understand how you feel about that bookshop 😉 There must be so many of them around! In Singapore there's only 1 where you can find everything 🙁 And it's a little of a ride from where I live, so not very convenient.
    Thanks for sharing Ashley! We all love seeing these little things that happen in your daily life 😀

  6. How did I never know about how large that Waterstones was and I’ve never even heard of Hatchards. Next trip to London, I’ll make sure to fit both of those in as they look and sound fab. I always love the buzz of Picadilly Circus and as for Nandos, yum, yum! Great post Ashley, I love hearing about your London adventures.

    Trish @ Between the Lines recently posted: The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish News
  7. Busy, busy day and way too early to start ;-). London looks pretty cool though and your campus is gorgeous. I attempted riding the underground transportation in Montreal and near about had a heart attack. I guess it’s something you get used to. My hubs wants to visit London. We have been discussing either a Euro trip or Mediterranean…so far, still undecided. How much longer are you there before coming back to the states?

    Ashley R recently posted: Crimson Groves eBook is FREE!
    1. Agreed!!

      I’ll be in the UK off and on throughout the year. I’m going home for a few weeks over Christmas, but otherwise I’ll be here until June-ish!

    1. At first I was afraid of that too… but after a while I think my body has just grown accustomed to waking up at the right time LOL. Plus there’s always an announcement that says “We will shortly be arriving at [train station]”, and that usually wakes me up for a moment anyway.

  8. I use to live in England for three years, but then I moved back to South Africa! We also have a Nandos here but it tastes a lot different to the UK one, it’s more spicy and has more flavour to it (well, the burgers do) 😀

    I loved going into Waterstones when I lived there, they always had such a fantastic selection! 😀

    Kyra recently posted: Stacking the Shelves #56

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