I’ve recently ‘done’ London: 6 whole days… by myself!
It was my 40th birthday present from my fab family, who aren’t quite as bonkers about the place as I am.
Stayed in a new Travelodge (Wembley Central) that had the added advantage of being situated directly above a tube station!
[Click on pics to enlarge.]
Presenting my findings list-style… bitesize… so it’s easier for your (exceptional) brain to digest…
Fave free stuff
- Refreshing bottle of Lucozade (Caribbean) on arrival at Waterloo station
- Entrance to Westminster Abbey (courtesy of my minster’s parish pass)
- Entrance to Houses of Parliament (courtesy of my local MP)
- Ice cream sundae (courtesy of friends’ daughter, who didn’t want it)
- National Gallery/Portrait Gallery – especially using the audio guide to learn about Jesus/Tudor paintings
- Somerset House
- Music concert in St James’ Church, near P.Circus – Beatriz Boizan (pianist)
- Tour of Toynbee Hall, Whitechapel (to assist me with my current essay)
- Bridge-walking (a new London activity I invented, whereby you walk from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, crossing over any bridge you come to, if possible)
- Wandering aimlessly around P.Circus/L.Square/C.Garden… being a total tourist
- Taking copious photos – took 978 in all – yikes!
Cool stuff I got for a reduced price, due to my student card (yay!)
- Buckingham Palace (the State Rooms)
- Temple Church
- The Shard
- Bus tour (open-top, in amazing sunshine, complete with banter-tastic tour guide)!
- Walking tour – Changing of the Guard
- Audio-guides at the galleries
(And on the final day, realised that said card had actually expired a week ago… good job no one noticed!)
Fave stuff with friends (1 day only)
- River cruise (London Eye to N.Greenwich)
- Lunch in the O2 (Harvester)
- Emirates cable car
- Lolling around Canary Warf, pretending to fit in (not easy when you all come from Somer(cider)set!
- Chilling out on the steps by the Tower (of London)
Fave amusing moments
- Loo with a view (Shard)… crazy grateful that no helicopters passed by while I took advantage of these particular facilities
- Having THREE parliamentary assistants (all in suits) show me (just me) around the Houses of P, for an hour and a half!
- Being ‘escorted off the premises’ by a police officer at end of Houses of P. tour, due to the Victorinox (swiss army) card in my rucksack. All routine stuff, apparently!
- Changing rooms in a clothes shop (Oxford St) generously offered me a choice of lighting: Evening, office or outdoor
- Finding the room next door to me (in Travelodge) had ‘Police – do not enter’ tape across it. Fun times.
- On day 5 of my stay, finding that housekeeping had awarded my commitment to their hotel with one pink, patterned, increased-ply loo roll
- Abbey Rd (Beatles)
- Little Venice (boat along the canal, to Camden – v pretty. The canal, not Camden.)
- Chinatown (never been there before – quite interesting)
Best read (on the tube)
The Great Fire of London, by Samuel Pepys (purchased from Foyles, Charing Cross Rd… for just 80p!)
- Camden market chips – cooked in duck fat, with a truffle sauce mayo!
- A lamb kebab I had in cafe in P. Circus, where they baked their own pitta bread
- An iceream I had from Covent Garden… two amazing flavours… can’t recall what they were though
(No pics available – quality grub requires instant scoffing, not posing for the camera!)
If you’ve got this far down the page (well done, by the way) and are still even the tiniest bit interested, feel free to check out my top 20 pics via Facebook (that you can view whether you’re on Facebook or not):