Monday, 26 March 2018

London - A 12 Hour Taster

Hi there everyone

I've seen a few posts on other blogs I follow where people have managed to capture the course of their day with one photo an hour and I thought my day trip to London last week might be a good chance to have a go at this to see how I got on.

I will confess up front, I found it tricky. We did and saw so much and I took over 100 photos. Slimming this down to just 13 was very difficult for me. In fact, I am sure there will be another post, following very shortly, which will give the 'best of the rest' and fill in the gaps.

But here we go ...

7.00am
I was up bright and early, it was very cold, but looked like it was going to be a bright and clear day ...

8.00am
There was just time for the last piece of banana and sultana flapjack for breakfast before starting out ...

9.00am
Martin took me to the station, where it all got a bit chaotic. An earlier London train looked to be cancelled because of problems with the overhead cables and I was a bit concerned that mine may be cancelled too. Nobody seemed to know quite what was going on and it was a bit of an anxious wait ...

10.00am
Luckily my train wasn't cancelled, though it was a little late. After all the uncertainty at the station it was lovely to just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. Next stop Euston ...

11.00am
Having arrived safely at Euston and managed to work out how best to negotiate the underground I arrived at Temple Station. It was pretty chilly ...

12.00pm
Now, this is where it starts to get tricky, as we crammed quite a bit in over the course of this hour. I was meeting my friend at 2 Temple Place, literally a two minute walk from the tube station. We were planning on exploring the Inns of Court and it was a really handy place to meet. It's free to enter, there's a cafe and there is currently a jazz exhibition on, though we were more interested in the building than the exhibition.

Within a couple of minutes of me arriving, my friend appeared and we both warmed up over tea and cake. After a good old catch up we decided we would have a wander round the exhibition before heading out to start our walk.

It is a lovely building, but I can't show you a photo, as we left before 12pm ๐Ÿ˜– There will definitely have to be another post.

At 12.00pm we had started our walk and were at Temple Church, the church of Inner and Middle Temple, two of England's four ancient societies of lawyers. For me, the lure was the part it played in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code ... as you will know, I am definitely a fan.
It's an extraordinary looking church and just literally seems to appear out of nowhere, being surrounded by buldings on all sides. It was instantly recognisable from the film and I couldn't wait to get inside and have a look around.

It costs just £5 to go in and is definitely worth the visit. There isn't loads to see but there is lots of information about the Knights Templar and their history, along with a current exhibition of the Temple in WW1.

From here we wound our way through narrow passages and across quiet squares and gardens, crossed over Fleet Street and Holborn heading for Gray's Inn.

1.00pm
Having had to detour to avoid construction works we finally found our way into Gray's Inn ...

2.00pm
We headed back South from Gray's Inn, through Staple Inn to Lincoln's Inn, where I was gutted to find the view pretty much hidden by construction work and container units, though it was easy to see how lovely it was and we did get some good photos, which I will have to save for later.

We were starting to feel the need for refreshment by now and decided that we would head for Somerset House for lunch, passing the Royal Courts of Justice on the way ...
We ate in Fernandez & Wells, which was an interesting experience, though not quite what either of us was expecting and we decided what we would do for the rest of the day.

We agreed to catch a bus from just across the road to St Paul's cathedral, then walk across the Millennium Bridge and along the South Bank, before heading back across the river to Covent Garden, where we planned to eat again, before heading for home.

3.00pm
We got really lucky and jumped on a bus pretty much as soon as we reached the stop and it was only a short ride back along The Strand and Fleet Street to St Paul's. I was beginning to feel like I was on the monopoly board!

The bus journey was a real treat. Although it was only a short ride we got to see so many interesting old buildings, tucked in between newer and modern architecture, it always amazes me how some tiny ancient bits manage to survive and often, it seems to be the pubs that stand the test of time, while everything around them changes. We also got to hear the bells of St Clements for real, which was a bit surreal, having grown up playing 'Oranges & Lemons'.

The path down to the Millennium Bridge gives you fabulous views looking back at St Paul's ...
The views of and from the Millennium Bridge are also something that I will share with you in another post as they were pretty impressive and, by this time, we were being treated to a perfect sky for photography.

On the South bank of the river it was a lot busier and there were lots of people about. We got to see The Globe Theatre and wandered through The Turbine Hall of The Tate Modern as we made our way down towards The London Eye.

4.00pm
As my creaking joints were beginning to tire we had a bit of a sit in the sun by the side of the river, shared videos of our favourite little people and just watched the world go by ...

5.00pm
By 5.00pm we were heading across the Hungerford Bridge, starting to make our way back towards Covent Garden.

There were some great views of The London Eye to be had from the bridge ...

6.00pm
By now it was starting to get quite chilly again and the wind was picking up, but we were OK. We were tucked up nice and warm in Cafe Rouge just off Covent Garden, where we rested our legs, enjoyed our dinner and debated our day ...

7.00pm
Time to make our way back to Euston for the journey home ...

We had a lovely day. Whilst my friend is a frequent visitor of our capital, I can count on one hand the number of times I have visited.

For me, if visiting the city just for one day, you need a plan. Otherwise you could end up spending all day wondering what to do and travelling from one place to another. What we did worked really well, focussing in on one particular area and working out how we were going to get about beforehand.

We parted at Euston, agreeing that we would definitely have another visit, perhaps looking at the museum area of the city next time.

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Well, I managed it, just one photo an hour. It wasn't easy, I feel like I've left loads out and, though I know it's cheating really, I'm sure there will be another post coming your way very soon, which could well be quite picture heavy ๐Ÿ˜Š

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3 comments:

  1. What a lovely day you had. I love London too. I will be waiting your next post and more pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were very lucky with the weather Elena. Everything looks so vibrant against a clear blue sky, ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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