I decided late on Saturday that I would go to London for the day on Sunday 25th May. The weather was forecast to be good and I had a rail voucher from my disastrous return journey from seeing Therapy?. Essentially this was a free trip to see some stuff. I planned to spend some time at the British Museum and see what’s there. A few years ago I had listened to a podcast series about the history of the world in 100 objects and it was fascinating. One day, I’d like to take the time to listen to it all again and actually see all the objects.
I got the train from Ebbsfleet International as it is really the easiest way for me to get into London, and the British Museum is in the area of St Pancras [kind of]. I got into town and then took the Northern Line to Russell Square and then walked across the square, with fountain, to the museum. It was OK but didn’t knock my socks off. I think another trip another time, sans children, will help me appreciate it more.
A short walk then followed to get to a golden arches restaurant and decisions about what to do with the afternoon. Perhaps I’d try a river cruise? The weather was nice and it’s a good way to take in the history of out major city. Tube time it was, on my own I would have walked, and this was the route we took:
Central Line from Tottenham Court Road to Bond Street but Bond street was closed and so I changed to the Piccadilly line at Oxford Circus.
Oxford Circus to Green Park to change to the Jubilee Line.
Green Park to Westminster.
The seat of our government looked lovely in the sun and the sound of Big Ben calling out the hours was a delight. The queues for tickets for the sightseeing cruises were massive. Really not worth trying. I had an ice cream as I pondered where to walk, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden maybe. Fortuitously, once the ice cream was finished the queues for one of the ticket offices was quite short and there was a sailing in twenty minutes. Tickets were bought and I got a third off because I had a travel card. Quite impressed.
My current view. pic.twitter.com/tTHACPq4mv
— Ian Parish (@iparish) May 25, 2014
The commentary was acceptable and I enjoyed the cruise although I was worried about getting sunburnt on top of my head [I long ago lost any natural protection]. London really is a rather special place, even when there are so many tourists around. For some reason I don’t consider myself a tourist although I last lived in London in 1996!
The return trip was about two hours. My personal highlights were all the pubs along the river shore and the houses of famous people that were pointed out: Sir Ian McKellan, Dame Helen Mirren, Michael Crawford. It was really pleasant.
The journey home was simplified slightly by not needing to get to Tottenham Court Road. It was still a pain, I hate having to change lines on the underground.
Westminster to Green Park.
Green Park to King’s Cross and St Pancras.
The super fast train from St Pancras takes 18 [yes, eighteen] minutes to get to Ebbsfleet and so I can be from home door to walking outside of St Pancras is just under an hour. It is far better than using the line through Maidstone.
A really pleasant day overall. I don’t miss living in London, although I am glad that I have and at a time in my life when I could get out and about and see things easily. Mind you, when you live there it doesn’t seem as special as when you visit. I really like my current sweeping views over the Kent countryside living now in [or very close to] and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.