Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Our Final Day In London

Sadly the end of our stay in London with friends is near and tomorrow we make our way back up t'North courtesy of Virgin Trains. Today we kept free so we could do whatever we fancied dependent on weather. As it turned out the weather wasn't too bad, with mainly sunshine until lunchtime and the occasional heavy shower afterwards. It didn't deter from our enjoyment at all.

We had a leisurely start after yesterday's busy schedule and took the Tube to Tower Hill. There is much to see and do in this location including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast.

What we didn't expect though, and hadn't managed to find on previous visits was St. Katherine Dock, a little gem of a marina located through a ginnel at the bottom of Tower Bridge. Once inside there are restaurants bedecked with flowers, vintage Thames barges, super yachts and Gloriana, the rowed barge that took part in the Queen's Golden Jubilee river pageant.

There is the Shard on the South side of the Thames, behind HMS Belfast.

And the Gherkin on the North side visible here behind the Tower.

The highlight of today's visit was to witness the volunteers placing a poppy for every serviceman killed during the First World War, around the moat of the Tower. When they are finished the area will be a sea of red.

We enjoyed lunch at a restaurant called Indian Fusion, just on the South side of Tower Bridge. We had picked up this from the 2 for 1 offers that are linked to our rail journey, and I printed vouchers before we left home that would allow us two free main courses. It is a most unusual Indian restaurant in that the decor was modern contemporary and the food was served nouvelle cuisine style with decorated artistically presented plates. Quality was exceptional although the price was more than we are used to at home even with our vouchers taken off. Very enjoyable in any case.

After a walk down the riverside towards London Bridge we caught the tube 'home' via London Bridge station before the more expensive rush hour fares kicked in. Our TFL Oyster cards allow us off peak travel all day long using either the Underground, London buses, or Docklands Light Railway for a maximum of £7.70 or £10.60 if peak time journeys are made, as we had to do yesterday to meet our schedule.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Another Fabulous Day In London.

Today we had more great weather for our second day in the city. The arrangement was to meet Matt of Fun London Tours at Piccadilly Circus. We had booked a walking tour to get the best view of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. When the group of 22, made up of British, American, Australian, Spanish and Indian visitors were all accounted for we made our way to St. James' Palace to witness the inspection.

On the way Matt paused at various sites of historic interest to pass on interesting information in a fun and humourous way.

As we arrived at our first destination it became apparent that the band supporting today's parade would be from the Lifeguards. As they marched off towards Buckingham Palace Matt guided us through the huge crowds, as we marched alongside the guards. Once at the Palace, being a sunny day in early August the crowds were huge, but again Matt managed to place us in the best position to view proceedings.

The tour ended at Clarence House, where we then made our way to Green Park station so we could get back to Leicester Square quickly for a drink and a bite to eat at the Moon Over Water, (Weatherspoons again). Then it was back to Knightsbridge and Harrods, Burlington Arcade, and Fortnum and Mason, before we enjoyed yet another brilliant afternoon tea at the Wolseley, next door to the Ritz on Piccadilly.

Another fabulous day.