London Day Two: Madame Tussaud’s, Sherlock Holmes, and trying not to sleep in Ripley’s

A waxwork of The Beatles from Madame Tussaud's

Warning: This post uses the phrase “whale foreskin” more times than I ever thought I could use whale foreskin in one post. I’m sure my mother is incredibly proud.

Yes! It’s time for day two of my London trip! If you missed my day one post click here to be amazed and astounded by the amount of things I managed to cram into six hours. If you’ve already read the first day, then stay here to be amazed and astounded by the ridiculously excessive amount of things that were crammed into day two.

Day two was actually meant to be a calmer day, with the original itinerary only involving two museum visits, but Andy asked if we could add in a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not after he’d seen it in Piccadilly. So it ended up being incredibly hectic, involving a 10 mile walk, three different locations and an overwhelming amount of things to look at. I actually got so tired that the second half of the day seems like a complete blur, which explains why what I’ve written about Ripley’s does not do Ripley’s justice at all. I should definitely never be allowed to do their marketing…

Anywhere, here goes. Grab a beverage and snacks – it’s a long one.

Madame Tussaud’s

A waxwork of Madame Tussaud
Madame Tussaud, made from wax.

We started the day bright and early, with a 9’o’clock slot at Madame Tussaud’s on the horizon. If you haven’t heard of them, Madame Tussaud’s are a company who make waxworks of famous people, with museums across different parts of the world. I’d never been to any prior to my London visit, so was excited to see what it would be like to live my teenage dreams and stand within touching distance of Lady Gaga…

Lady Gaga, made from wax

It was amazing. Obviously. Teenage me would be very jealous right now.

The first room we went in was filled with all the mega famous people, like Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. I was incredibly surprised to see the waxworks standing alone without any barriers. We were both expecting them to be cordoned off to keep them safe, but they weren’t, which meant we could get some really fantastic photos.

After taking so many photos in the first room, we worked our way through another couple of rooms of celebrities, historical figures, film, sports personalities, singers, musicians and YouTubers, which were all amazing. Even the celebrities I’m not crazy about were great for photo opportunities and I loved the experience.

Waxworks of the Royal Family. Oh, and me.
Am I royalty yet?!

After that, we had to wait a bit because “the ride needed testing” so I was left facing a red door for twenty minutes, terrified about the fact I’d have to go on some kind of ride. Yes, I know. I am a child. But I really, really, really hate rides.

Fortunately, it was only a slow little taxi that took you through London, but every time it moved up or down I was still sure to make some overdramatic and ridiculous gesture, to make sure Andy knew how utterly terrified I felt I should have been. I know, I’m so annoying.

Luckily, at the end of the ride we were rewarded with a booth selling chocolate-covered goodies fresh from the chocolate fountain. Even though it was way too early for dessert, I bought myself a big pot of milk chocolate covered strawberries, which I scoffed ridiculously quickly so I could get back to taking photos. #NoRegrets

The last two parts of the tour were the highlight of the experience for both of us, and made me so so SO pleased that we’d included Tussaud’s in our trip.

The first of the two was dedicated to Marvel, and featured superhero waxworks that would make any Marvel fan joyfully cry into their chocolate strawberries. This section also involved a 4D cinema experience, which was the correct mixture of terrifying and amazing. I’d never been to a 4D cinema before, so I was very surprised when my chair started spraying my head and feet with steam, and tickling my back. Definitely an unforgettable experience!

Spider-Man!

The second featured tonnes of Star Wars exhibits, all of which I needed to take multiple photos with. I got some of the best pictures of the day in this section, including a paid-for photo of me being choked by Darth Vader/The Force, which looks so cool. I also got the chance to do my best impression of an astromech droid, which looks so ridiculous.

Ah well, you can’t win them all…

Sitting with a Chewbacca waxwork.
He’s my hairspiration…
A waxwork of the Darth Maul lightsaber scene.
Look at those lightsabers!
R2-D2 and C3PO
This is me, pretending to be R2-D2. Anything for a funny photo…

So, as you can probably tell from my overuse of the word “amazing”, I really loved Madame Tussaud’s. There were so many different exhibits in there, as well as a wide variety of fun extra bits which are included in the ticket price. I’d definitely recommend going at 9am if you want a better experience though. We were the first in so it was really easy to get photos and we didn’t have to wait for other people to finish. I imagine it’s a nightmare later in the day, especially in the Star Wars section!

The Sherlock Holmes Museum

The outside of The Sherlock Holmes Museum

The sign for The Sherlock Holmes Museum

First things first: Chipotle is terrible. We went there for lunch expecting an amazing, life-changing burrito experience, but instead had a really disappointing burrito experience. The rice was ridiculously dry, the sauce was boring, and the fillings were exactly the same as the ones at my local burrito place. I couldn’t believe I’d spent £10 on it!

Unfortunately, the disappointment continued into the next part of the day, when we found out that the Sherlock Holmes Museum had a twenty minute outdoor queue time, which couldn’t be avoided. I’m not sure why, but The Sherlock Holmes Museum doesn’t do pre-booked tickets and they don’t do set timeslots. So you end up standing in the street with no clear idea of how long the queue will take. It’s definitely not the best system.

Also, The Sherlock Holmes Museum wasn’t as great as we expected it to be. We paid £15 each for tickets, so I assumed that it would be a full-size museum packed with amazing Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. However, as we discovered upon entry, it was actually just a recreation of what Sherlock’s house would have been like if he wasn’t a fictional character. So we basically paid £15 to see four Victorian-looking rooms, with a few character mannequins inside. It was very anticlimactic, especially after queuing for so long.

While the tour isn’t great, I would recommend the gift shop next door, which is filled with amazing Sherlock Holmes souvenirs. Andy got a couple of really nice hardbacks in there and I lusted after the Holmes bears. Definitely way better than the tour!

Some of the mannequins in The Sherlock Holmes Museum

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

A gorilla, made from car tyres
A gorilla, made from car tyres
A robot made from car parts
Car part robot dude

I’m not gonna pretend that I remember all of my Ripley’s experience. I don’t. All I have is a hazy, tired memory of my legs aching as we followed a family of strong Cockney accents through a mishmash of weird things. Like half a sheep, a gorilla made of tyres, and whale foreskin.

Yes, those are actual exhibits in Ripley’s. I wasn’t that tired that I hallucinated whale foreskin.

Ripley’s is a paradise for strange things, and it’s definitely something you should do at the start of the day. There’s a lot of reading involved to find out what things are and revel in the weirdness. I wish I’d done it as a fully functioning human being, and not a tired mess of a woman who had to pay £1 for a Snicker in order to survive the five whole floors of madness.

Even though I was very, very, VERY tired, I actually really enjoyed Ripley’s. There were some amazing exhibits and we even got to go in a mirror maze, which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

And they had whale foreskin. #DoItForTheWhaleForeskin

A description of whale foreskin.
I wasn’t lying…

Here are a few snaps of a very tired Amy looking at all the wonders of the world:

Unbelievably, this is me stood next to a model of the world's heaviest person, weighing myself in comparison
Fuck you, scales.
A photo of me, sitting on a very tall chair.
Take me to my throne, bitches.

For our evening meal, we went to Shake Shack, which was absolutely amazing. I got the vegetarian option, which was a giant mushroom with tonnes of cheese covered in breadcrumbs. It was definitely miles apart from the Chipotle experience we had!

We finished the day with a visit to the Lego store, where the staff told us everything we ever needed to know about the London Lego store. It was a nice touch for tourists, but I was so tired that I just wanted to be left alone to mindlessly stare at Lego bricks. I do not do well after ten miles of walking.

A Lego dragon wearing a top hat and monocle with an umbrella in his mouth
I could mindlessly stare at him all day…

So that’s Day Two! Judging by my calculations it might only take me until 2019 to get the rest of my London posts done.

I’m just kidding. Hopefully they’ll all be posted by 2018. It was just such a busy trip that they take soooooooo long to write.

Thanks for reading!

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6 Comments

  1. I haven’t been to Madame Tussauds in years and I had NO idea they had a Star Wars exhibit. It’s clearly time to get back there.

    Sounds like you had a good time despite the exhaustion… and I think everyone would be that tired doingthat much walking!

  2. I am glad to hear you had a great time at Madame Tussaud’s! It would be such a great place to see with so many figures! The photos are brilliant. 😀

    🙁 How poop that the Sherlock Holmes Museum wasn’t that good. At least there was so good stuff in the gift shop.

    Even though you were so tired it’s cool you were able to see many things in Ripley’s! 😀 I have always wanted to see it.

  3. I’ve never been to a wax museum, but I’ve always wanted to. It seems really neat! That’s too bad you didn’t have a good Chipotle experience. I personally really love their burrito bowls. They’re 10x better than Taco Bell’s. The one here is all the way on the opposite side of town though, so I don’t get to go as often as I would like. That sucks that the Sherlock Holmes museum was disappointed. I would think it would have been pretty cool. I’ve never been to a Ripley’s either, though there is one in Ocean City, MD where I’ve been on vacation quite a few times. I always contemplated going in, but I was afraid to pay the fee in case it was terrible. lol

  4. A 10-mile walk sounds like a lot! I mean totally worth it, right?? It’s so cool how these wax are made to look super authentic. THAT TALENT THOUGH! I know I would’ve been crazy with Lady Gaga, haha. The StarWars exhibit looks pretty cool! Do they have BB-8???

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Chipotle. I’m not too pleased with their food either so we’re in the same boat! At least you got to have a better experience with Shake Shack. Haha, that car robot dude is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots! Ok, I sounded super nerdy there ;P.

    YESSSS LEGO STORE IS AMAZING.

  5. LOVE Madame Tussaud’s! I remember going to the one in Vegas when I was a kid. It honestly trips me out how real they look! It’s a little freaky when you really think about it… Yikes!
    And that whale foreskin! HA! Oh my gosh I’m dying over that. Definitely NOT something I thought I’d read about in my lifetime haha. Glad that Shake Shack saved the day in the food department!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

  6. I’ve never been in a Madame Tussaud’s, but the wax statues look amazing! That’s a good idea to get there early when there’s less people. I bet it’s more fun to be able to take photos without dealing with crowds. I would totally geek out in the Marvel and Star Wars section too!

    That’s really unfortunate about the Sherlock Holmes museum, plus the fact that you had to wait for it. There’s so many neat things about Sherlock Holmes! Such a missed opportunity!

    Ripley’s looks like a cool place to visit! That’s too bad it was towards the end when you were tired, but I’m glad you still enjoyed it. I’m laughing at the whole whale foreskin thing, haha. Other than the disappointments in the middle, day 2 looked like a fun day!

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