Short but sweet London visit

The travel files have been rather neglected of late, a casualty of staying home and finding what started as a change of bedroom carpet ended up as a full house house renovation! Much more advisable to keep travelling!!

So to reward ourselves we decided to have a quick trip down to our capital city, catch up with friends and stretch our legs.

Booking tickets is now so easy, no need for those piles of paper tickets you have to collect at the station, and hope you don’t lose en-route, a simple app download and you’re off!

So we caught the morning train from Wigan, ran the gauntlet of the crowds in Euston station, and were checked in to our hotel and ready to explore by 12.30. Having arranged to meet friends at a restaurant in Islington we decided we had plenty of time to walk there and explore an area of London we haven’t yet visited.

Passing the British Library and St Pancras Hotel, no pic of London is quite complete without a London cab!

The gardens of the British Library, there’s even a cafe there now to relax and enjoy the sculptures.

Having noted an exhibition at the British Library on the Voyages of Captain James Cook (not only was he born in the next town to me but sailed off from my favourite fishing village of Whitby, and we have visited a number of the places he visited on his journeys so there is a heavy interest) I was very excited to visit the next day, however, when checking on the opening times online I was mortified to discover the last day was the day we arrived in London so the visit was not to be.

How remiss of us, its a lovely village feel, not crowded and certainly not touristy. So much to catch up on we had a leisurely lunch,

a short stroll to the ice cream parlour, then another stroll to finish off the day with coffee before saying our farewells. After our early start we made our way back, retracing our steps to our hotel and an early night!

So we started the rainy day with a leisurely breakfast, which I have to say we were impressed with, the food was good, the ambiance good and the friendly staff very attentive, most unusual for central London.

After much discussion of what to do and where to visit, we decided that what we really wanted to do was walk. So we set off in the direction of Covent Garden, fortunately by now the rain had stopped and although cloudy the weather was warm enough.

Spotting the BT tower welcoming everyone to London we couldn’t resist a snap!

After a coffee stop and browse,

bypassing the crowds watching the juggler in the square

we headed over the river.

Strolling along by the Thames the sun began to fight its way through the clouds, not very successfully, but it was trying.

Banksy?

Tide must have been out, I don’t recall seeing beaches in the city before!

Fortunately plenty of resting places to enjoy the views along the Queens Walk

Passing on visiting the Tate Modern, the Shakespeare Globe,

I knew where Amr would find excitement.

And I was right, after he showed some concern at the street I took him down,

his face lit up when he saw the entrance to Borough Market.

With its many stalls so beautifully displaying the wares, fruits, cheeses, delicatessen, fish, breads, and then all the street foods from around the world, he was in heaven!

By this time our legs were weary, fortunately his recent ankle injury was holding up but we didn’t want to overdo it so we opted for a sit down restaurant and chose, yes, Arabica! Serving middle Eastern foods,

we had a few mezze dishes to share and the food was excellent.

Feeling sated and rested we headed back along the river,

via the Golden Hind,

the remnants of Southwark Palace,

now I know why we refer to prison as ‘the clink’….

to cross back to the north side over the Millennium Bridge.

The sun continued its fight with the clouds and the lighting of the buildings along the riverbanks,

and particularly St Pauls Cathedral shone with light against the dark clouds above them.

We made our way through Ludgate Hill,

sacralidge to treat such majestic builds so!

captures the reason we walk!

relics of the past on Fleet Street

past the Law Courts

and Fleet Street, along the Strand and a welcome rest for coffee at Covent Garden again before heading back to Euston.

21,000 steps, 14.6 kilometres and ten storeys we were glad to sit for an hour before our train home!

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