26 Photos of London in Black and White + U.K Visa For Filipinos in Finland
The photos in this post were not originally taken in black and white, but I lost the original copy after my old laptop decided to die and took all of my original photos and files in its grave. However, these twenty-six photos of London in black and white are the only ones that survived – thanks to Facebook and Flickr!
Ah, seeing these photos makes me feel so nostalgic! I can’t believe how four years has passed faster than a blink of an eye. As a child, I always wanted to visit London and back then I don’t even know what to expect apart from what I’ve seen in the movies. Nowadays I feel like visiting the city again because I had such a great time during my trip and I would love to revisit old memories and see what has changed (a lot, I know, but still!).
Perhaps you’re wondering, why visiting the U.K was such a big thing for me back then? You see, I was born and raised in the Philippines – a faraway land (or island) from Europe with culture and traditions far, far, far different from everything else. Also, I love watching western films, and I was a child with a wild imagination (according to my mother, of course), and I always dreamt to one day visit some of these places I see in movies.
That said, I was a huge Potter head, and I loved everything about the Harry Potter franchise. I even once owned every book J.K Rowling has published and bought every magazines and poster with anything Harry Potter in it. Yes, nerdy, but that is one of the many reasons why I wanted to visit Europe, and that is to one day visit the country where it started (or the wizarding world!) – London. Also, would you ever believe I went so far as sending Daniel Radcliffe a fan mail!? I still can’t believe myself, but yes I did! And I got an automated mail response, but holy hell was I famous for a minute back in high school when I showed it off in my class. Ah, memories! Really can’t beat them, can you?
Anyways, when I was sixteen, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to move to Europe to continue my studies, and though I did wish to continue it in the U.K, I couldn’t have it all. Also, to study in the U.K, the tuition fee is freaking expensive, so my parents said no – duh.
In 2007, I moved to Finland, and I’m finally just a couple of hours plane ride away from the country I always wanted to visit! I made the visit to London in 2012 to celebrate the success of getting my continuous working permit after spending three years in cooking school in Vaasa and two grueling years battling with working visas (and looking for jobs) in Helsinki. With all I’ve gone through during my first five years in Finland, I needed a big whooping credit for surviving thus visiting the U.K was the treat I gave myself.
That said, I will most likely visit London once again but next time, I rather go traveling through U.K and see other places because I heard that there’s more to see than the capital! I’m pretty stoked about the idea, it must happen sooner than later.
However, despite my ups and downs, around this time I still haven’t had my Finnish citizenship and as everyone’s probably familiar with this funny situation regarding a Filipino with a Philippine passport versus the world – it can either be a big fat joke or not.
In my case, applying for the U.K visa for Filipino’s with Philippine passport was bliss. At this point in life back then, the last thing I want to do was deal with visa issues because of my Philippine passport – I’ve had enough. So, imagine how happy I was when everything went so smooth like an aged scotch? Yep, it was, like what I said, bliss. However, be reminded that I applied in Finland and not in the Philippines and I think that’s what made it easy for me.
I’ll lay down how I applied for the U.K visa for Filipino’s in Finland below. But for now, please have fun looking at these black and white photos of London!
Charming Photos of London in Black and White
1. During one of our strolls near Westminster
When I was in London in 2012, I was lucky enough to know few old friends who now resides in the U.K and had a place to stay in for free. London is known for its glamorous price tags but you can’t deny its grandeur and from time to time it is also nice to splurge a little for a little piece of luxury. Just check out these luxury hotels in London and see for yourself what else the city can offer you aside from normal touristy package.
2. When I see low price and wine in one sentence, I’ll be around!
3. London neighborhood is so pretty in black and white
4. I tried to remember where this is but I just can’t remember. Do you know?
5. London Eye, Big Ben and a double-decker bus in one photo – can that be anymore London than it is?
Granted you might think that nothing is for free in London because why such a city would give anything for free, eh? Wrong! If you’re a cheapo like me, you’ll find a way! True, I did found my way around London on a budget but I also did splurge a little from time to time. But lets face the fact that’s not always the case, right? Well, I tell you now, there are many free things you can do in London if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to spend that much in general.
6. One of our lovely strolls over at Kensington Palace
I don’t know how many hours I spent on my feet during my visit to London four years ago and I do believe it was a lot because all I remembered then was walking a lot visiting various tourist attractions and just simply getting lost. I’ve spent so many afternoons in London just admiring the old buildings and imagining what life has been back in the days in this city.
7. Where we met this cutie
8. And this lone man strolling his way through, as well!
9. One of our agenda whilst in Kensington Palace was to visit the Orangery!
10. To have an overpriced (but worth it) fancy high tea sesh with the girls
11. Plus, look how pretty it looks so beautiful, doesn’t it? Even in black and white it doesn’t disappoint!
12. London eye at its own glory
Ah, the London Eye! I didn’t went on it. I thought it was expensive and unnecessary but a lot of tourists can say great things about it. As for me, I just admired it from below and I think she’s stunning either way. However, if you’re interested to see London from above then go for it! I’ve seen videos and pictures and I must say, it is gorgeous from up there. It just was not for me at all.
13. A must visit if you are interested
14. And there’s big ben that looks big but not really
There’s no denying that London is an expensive city and quite a lot of tourists gets frightened about this fact. However, I actually thought that London was cheaper than Helsinki! The food, for instance, was far cheaper compare to the prices in Finland! I was pretty surprised about that. Anyways, yes, there’s a way to experience do this expensive city on a cheap – just follow these frugal London tips for your own good!
15. Somewhere in Brixton
16. Young lads doing their thing
London is undeniably beautiful and I’m really sad to lose the original colored copies of these photos and can’t show you guys how lovely this city is in colors. However, you really can’t deny how attractive London is even in black and white, doesn’t she? Anyways, if you’re interested in vibrant colors, London is filled with beautiful street art grafittis especially in Shoreditch! You must check it out if you happen to be in that neighborhood.
17. Because London is so diverse, Korean food for dinner – it was good!
Since London is so diverse, check out where you can get the best ramen in London!
18. And of course, what England is famous for – Fish and Chips!
When I went to London, I have few on my list regarding what to do and what to eat. Of course, as always, I was not a planner but more like a disaster at doing it. I did have fish and chips in mind and I was so close to not having it because I was not really feeling like eating it and rather have something else. It is still one of the best decision in my life to have it, I think it was awesome and possibly one of the greatest culinary invention men has ever made. And people think English food is shite, I kinda like it. No judgment!
But, if you really are looking for a nice culinary experience in London then you must not miss these top London Markets where you can find all sorts of delicious British delicacies!
19. And Sherlock Holmes, of course!
20. You’ll find him here, but you probably know that already
21. Random new friends
22. I can’t remember where I took this but I think it is somewhere in Camden
23. Double decker buses looks funny but cool at the same time
24. Yet more architecture of London
25. You see, I told you, Big Ben ain’t that big
26. So, how will you?
Apart from all of the awesome things to do in London, do you know that there are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London? You’d be surprised so make sure to read the post that links to!
How To Apply For U.K Visa For Filipinos in Finland
Before you start reading further, please be reminded that although I had an easy application to get my U.K visa four years ago when I still had my Filipino citizenship does not guarantee that you will have the same results. I’m not saying you’re not going to get it, but just be aware that the process is always the same, but the results are in the hands of who are handling the applications.
NOTE BEFORE THE PROCEEDING
- First things first, if you’re a citizen of the Philippines and is a holder of the Philippines passport; you need a visa prior entering the U.K. (here’s a link to check if you need a U.K visa)
- All application must be done online over at gov.uk main website – link to the application page
- All applications in Finland are not to be delivered to Helsinki’s British Embassy – all visa applications to the U.K are handled by TLS Contact.
REQUIREMENTS YOU NEED TO SUBMIT
- valid passport (it must be valid during your whole stay in the U.K – or better yet, not even close to expiration)
- original bank statement or payslips from the past six months (proof that you can provide for yourself during your stay in the U.K)
- your Finland residence permit
- printed application forms and receipts
Requirements you might need but do have them ready, it is always good to submit them just in case they’ll need to take a look at it and as well having them ready can avoid delay on your application.
- Date’s you’re planning to spend in the U.K
- details about your lodging (i.e., family, friends, or hotel information)
- estimate of how much the trip will cost
- current home address
- your parents’ names and date of birth
- how much you earn in a year
- travel history
- employer’s information
For more details, head over to the U.K website.
HOW TO APPLY
- you must fill the application form online
- pay the visa fee online (it is about 106€)
- print out your form plus the receipt of your visa fee payment
- book an appointment and register over at TLS Contact with your unique GWF Number
– TLS Contact is Helsinki’s only mobile biometric clinic where you get your fingers scanned and submit your documents. Stockholm is the other option to get your biometrics done.
- Attend your appointment with all the original copies of the required documents plus your printed appointment confirmation which they’ll send to your email after your booking!
- Be on time for your appointment! No Filipino time, for the love of God.
- Be patient and wait for the results!
It is important to register over at TLS Contact so you can track your application and as well if they need to contact you for more required information. Also, you must understand that TLS Contact does not process your application – it is usually sent over to Stockholm or elsewhere for processing. Four years ago, the mobile biometric clinic was in the British Embassy but they stopped doing it there, and TLS Contact took over.
IMPORTANT LINKS AND ADDRESS
GOV.UK – U.K government services and source of information
- Standard Visitor Visa Information
- Helsinki’s British Embassy
- Visa Application Page
- Visa Application Fees
TLS CONTACT – Mobile Biometric Clinic in Helsinki
ADDRESS: Bulevardi 7, 00120, Helsinki, Finland
OPEN HOURS: 8.30-14.30
That’s it! That’s how I applied for my U.K visa in Finland when I still used to have my Philippines passport. It is pretty standard but don’t take it lightly; you still need to go through the same process as everyone else. Also, you’ll have more chance of having a successful application if you’re diligent and submit all documents required plus be on time for your appointments. That said, just like for any kind of application, double checking everything is crucial.
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- Have you been to London before? Or do you want to visit one day?
- Did you found my visa tips helpful? I hope you did!
- Let me know if you have any questions in mind!
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