Monday, 8 September 2014

Summer Hols: London

We were lucky enough to head up to Town during the holidays.  We love to go to London, there is just so much to do and see and even sitting on a bench becomes an experience when every corner has an entertainer or a statue to look at.  It was the first time I have braved a trip by myself with the girls but it went very smoothly.  They are not difficult children to manage and I really enjoyed having this time with them.

First up was the London Eye.  Now L and I have actually already done the London Eye many moons ago when she was ever so little, before we lived in Germany and B was born, but she doesn't really remember and I was happy to do it again at B's request.  The London Eye, for anybody who may not know, is an enormous carousel on the South Bank of the Thames, from which you get fab views of the whole of London, especially the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.  The queues were long but we maintained good humour, especially as MrHT was able to join us for this part of proceedings.  If I'm honest the photos we got whilst on board were very average but just for the sake of completeness here is one to give you an idea of the sort of thing you can see from up there...
 and here are a couple of the London Eye itself...

The houses of Parliament had far less scaffolding on them than last time I came, they really are great big neo-Gothic visions of grandeur...
I took the above picture from Parliament Bridge.  I prefer the one below from the South Bank where you get a lovely view of Big Ben (I know that it's really the bell inside the clock tower which is called Big Ben and the tower itself is official known as The Elizabeth Tower, renamed as such for the Diamond Jubilee, but let's be honest, everybody calls it Big Ben)...
After the excitement of floating above London we were all quite hungry and we headed through London on the river boat back to the Kings Road (near where we were staying).  As we walked back to the flat I took this picture of the River in the dark...
I'm fairly sure that's the Albert Bridge as we were walking over Battersea Bridge.
The next day we started early with Breakfast at a cafe on the Kings Road after which we headed to the Tower of London.  This was L's request for a trip and wow, was there ever a lot to see!  The first thing we were struck by as we walked towards it was the moat full of poppies...
This is an evolving display, so as the day went on we watched more poppies being added and this will continue until the moat is full.  In the end there will be 888 246 poppies, one for each British soldier who died during the First World War.  It is a very striking display, especially when you consider that this is only representative of the British soldiers who died during those terrible years.
The ceramic poppies themselves are very beautiful...
They will be sold to raise money for six service charities.
Inside we had a very busy and full day enjoying as much of the Tower as we could.  The girls aren't really up for guided tours so we made our own way round with a guide book.  There was plenty to see and do, we especially enjoyed finding the various animal models around the place...
Apparently Henry III was the first to keep wild animals in the Tower, a tradition which carried on until relatively recently in the eighteenth century when the were moved to London Zoo.  Those poor animals weren't well kept it has to be said and it wasn't uncommon for people to be gravely injured by them   If you are interested there is more about them here.
Eventually we felt we had seen enough of the tower and, after a brief stop to have an ice cream and watch Tower Bridge open and close...
 we headed for Covent Garden.  Covent Garden is one of my favourite places in London.  I was bought up in the suburbs and would often catch a train up on Saturday afternoon and wander among the market stores, watch the street entertainers and meet friends for a drink at the pub.  I had a feeling that the girls would like it and indeed they did.  They loved the Living Statues and stood watching them for ages.  For some reason I only got one photograph...
Finally we met Mr HT again and went to China town for noodles.  
We had one more morning in London where we met friends and went to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for a picnic and a play.  I can't share many of my photos of that as I haven't asked my friend's permission to put pictures of her boys on my blog; but just to prove we were there here is a picture of my girls next to the famous statue of Peter Pan...
J.M. Barrie lived close to Kensington Gardens and commissioned this statue to mark the spot where Peter lands after he flies out of the nursery window in one of the stories.
So there we are.  I don't know how many of you will have got to the end of this post but I know that when I look back at it a lots of happy memories will be there for me to see and that's a big part of blogging for me! There has been knitting going on so I will be back to share that and our trip to Crete before too long.


  1. Your trip to London looks like so much fun.
    Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  2. Ooh! What a delightful trip. Still dying to travel across the pond. I'm so curious to see what your Chinatown looks like.

  3. The view from the London Eye is spectacular to me...even through the window, and the poppies really give one pause to consider the magnitude of life sacrificed for peace. So glad you had a happy holiday and thanks for posting about it so we can enjoy some of it, too, Harriet. xx

  4. Hi HT.. thanks for sharing London with us.. I descend from Englishmen and even one King.. so it's a great disappointment to me that I have not gotten to visit. I hear there is a statue of one of our ancestors in a square there somewhere... Shacklefordshire? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. What great fun! Love the pictures and descriptions of London. It is one of my very favorite cities. The girls looked like they enjoyed themselves very much!

  6. Oh my! Such gorgeous pictures of the city. I love the perspective you brought in the shots you took. They really brought out the majesty of London. Anyway, your trip sure sounds like it was a lot of fun. Thank you for sharing! I hope you're having a wonderful autumn!

    Jeff Riley @ Happy Guest Lodge

  7. That brings back memories! I used to work in the old County Hall and had my lunch in front of Westminster Abbey most days. I'm not a big city gal but London is special!! It is ever changing as I can see in these wonderful photos. I think I need to have another chat to Sr P about a trip to London again.

    keep well

    Amanda x