A Travellerspoint blog

London

11 September 2015 Friday

sunny

Slept in this morning and had a late start as I was trying to pack my bag to see if everything fits. It might.

Today was sunny and warm.

Left the hotel about 10:00am and caught the train to Westminster, where I had a look at Westminster Abbey. Did the tour of the abbey and, whilst it is impressive, it also gives the impression of being cluttered. However, I did like it, and after the tour, I walked around the abbey and school buildings, which are quite large.

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Afterwards, I caught the train up to Tower Hill, for a look at London Tower, Tower Bridge, and St Katherine Docks. The docks were hosting a boat show with some very unique boats, including what apeared to be the royal barge.

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Left the city just after 4:00pm, and caught the train back to the hotel to avoid the peak hour crush. Dinner was at the local pub at Bayswater. Then returned to the hotel to prepare for tomorrows flight. Shoud be home on Monday morning.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 00:50 Archived in England Comments (0)

London

10 September 2015 Thursday

sunny

A sunny day today and warmer than it has been, No jacket needed today.

A leisurely breakfast and departed the hotel about 9:00am, catching the train to Westminster. From there, crossed the Westminster Bridge, turned right and up to Lambeth Palace, then right again across Lambeth Bridge before turning right again to encircle Westminster Palace, which was looking good in the sun.

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From there, down to the London Eye, as I had already purchased a discount ticket at Madame Tussauds. Saw a short 4D video on flying above the Thames and London, which was quite good, before doing the ride on the London Eye. Great views from the Eye.

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Interesting fact is that the City of London is only small, and only takes in a few city blocks in the financial district. The rest of London is the City of Westminster.

From the Eye, I walked further along the embankment befor crossing the Hungerford Bridge, and making a detour to arrange tonights activity. Then continued along the embankment, past Cleopatra's Needle, as far as the Millenium Bridge, befoe deciding I needed to get back to the hotel and change. During the walk, I even saw a birthday cake being moved up the river Thames!

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Cut up to St Pauls Cathedral (took a few quick photos) and the caught the train from St Pauls Station back to the hotel. A quick shower and change, and I was back on the train to Charring Cross. I had earlier found a nice pub near Leicester Square where I had intended having tea, but it, and every other eating place in the area were fully packed, so I guess everyone had the same idea. Eventually found a large burger place where I had a burger and a beer, before making my way to St Martins Theatre to see 'The Mousetrap'. This is the Agatha Christie play that has been playing continuously for 63 years. The theatre was old world, and the play good. The show started at 7:30pm, had a 20 minute intermision, and finished at 9:45pm. Walked back to Charing Cross station, and got the train back to the hotel. An enjoyable evening, although Nicole Kidman was performing in a play in another theatre just a block away. Hope she wasn't waiting for me!!

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Posted by HimalayanPeter 23:45 Archived in England Comments (0)

London

9 September 2015

overcast

Today was heavy overcast and cool, although some sun did appear this afternoon.

Feeling a bit lost and depressed today, think it might be time to come home (I fly out on Saturday). Slept in and had a late breakfast, and eventually left the hotel about 10:00am. Wandered through Kensington Gardens and visited Kensington Palace (didn't do the tour this time), before wandering through the gardens and then entering Hyde Park. Also saw the private entrance to Kensington Palalce, which is subject to heavy security.

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Its amazing how all the birds and squirrels in the park are unafraid of humans. Brief visit to the Lady Diana Memorial Fountain.

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Eventually got into the city, but with no firm plans, I got lost, and was feeling tired and sore from too much walking. Saw a few sites including the Animals in War Monument, the USA embassy where the police presence was heavy, and security extreme. Also found a police call phone box, and whilst it isn't the TARDIS (for Dr Who fans), it was old and looked out of place outside the USA Embassy.

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Eventually got the tube back to my hotel, and had a soothing bath. From what I have seen of the weather forecasts, tomorrow should be sunny, so I will head down to the Embankement, and hopefully ride the London Eye.

Found another pub in Bayswater (Prince Alfred pub) which was less crowded than the Bayswater Arms (where I have been eating the last couple of nights). Back to the hotel for a quiet night watching Inspector Morse. Feeling better now.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 13:54 Archived in England Comments (0)

London (or specifically Buckingham Palace)

8 September 2015 Tuesday

overcast

Today was overcast and relatively cool (needed my jacket most of the day).

Slept until 7:00am and late breakfast at 8:00am. I had prebooked a tour of Buckingham Palace state rooms several months ago, and today is the tour day. Left the hotel at 9:00am, and walked down to Buckingham Palace. Crossed Kensington Gardens to Albert Memorial and Albert Hall, before continuing down the edge of the park to head to the palace. Got distracted by seeing some horse guards traing in the park, and eventually panicked, thinking I was running out of time for the 10:45am tour. Got a cab, but turns out I was closer to the palace then I realised, so I was at the palace in plenty of time, and the queu was small. Airport security applies to access the palace.

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The tour of the palace was self guided using audio devices, and I spent about 2 hours in the palace itself. Visited the Grand Entrance, Grand Hall, Grand Staircase, Guard Chamber, Throne Room, Picture Gallery, Silk Tapestry Room, East Gallery, Ball Supper Room, Ballroom, State Dining Room, Blue Drawing room, Music Room, White Drawing Room, Ministers Staircase, Marble Hall, Bow Room, and exited into the garden. Over the past few weeks I have visited Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, and the Palace of Versailles in Paris, but there is something about Buckingham Palace that makes it more majestic. I can imagine living there. After the tour of the palace, I needed some light lunch, and where better than the Garden Cafe on the back verandah of Buckingham Palace. Capuccino coffee and a strawberry and cream scone.

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Exted via the back gate after following a path that led (via a souvenir shop) along the edge of the gardens.

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Afterwards, took a few photos at the front of the palace, before doing a tour of the Royal Mews.

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Finally left the palace just after 4:00pm and bagan the long walk home via Wellington Arch, Marble Arch, and the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens. Squirrels abound in the parks.

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Got back to the hotel just before 6:00pm, and downloaded the photos before adjourning to the local pub for Steak & Ale pie and some Fullers London Beer.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 13:34 Archived in England Comments (0)

London

7th September 2015, Monday

overcast

Weather was sunny but cool this morning, becoming overcast from midday. Temperature unknown.

Offically, the tour ended this morning after breakfast, and as such, I decided to sleep in till 7:30am. Showered, shaved and had breakfast before realising that I hadn't changed my alarm clock, and I was an hour early. Today I had to check out of the hotel, so at 9:00am I booked my bags into storage for the day. After checking out of the hotel, I walked down to Madame Tussauds, in time to join the queue just in before opening time. The crowds weren't to bad, but once in side, it was difficult to get a clear shot of the models, for all the people taking selfies etc. Also saw a short 4D film about the Marvel super heroes saving Madam Tussauds from destruction from the villain. Extremely realistic 4D.

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Afterwards, I went for a walk down Baker Street, then Oxford Street, Soho, Carnaby Street, the treatre district, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Admiralty Arch, seeing areas that I missed last time I was in London. Also, Soho and Carnaby Street have changed dramatically, and are now fashinable malls with good quality food places and fashion stores.

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For a bit of trivia, Covent Garden was the site of the first known performance of Punch's Puppet Show in 1662.

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By 4:00pm, I was tired, and I still had to pick up my bags, and move to the Thistle Hotel in Kensington, which will be my base for the rest of the week. Caught the train from Charing Cross back to Edgeware Road, then got a cab from the Hilton Metropole to Thistle Kensington. Mr room is not large, but it is comfortable, and I overlook Hyde Park. Dinner tonight was at the Bayswater Arms pub (iconic fish & chips and a few beers).

Posted by HimalayanPeter 14:10 Archived in England Comments (0)

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