|Posted by Gary & Lynette Landy on February 10, 2011 at 12:50 PM|
As we have indicated previously, we decided to spend a few more days in London as let’s face it why come all this way from Melbourne & not see all that London has to offer when it is only an hour or so away, by train. So after driving to Ham Street railway station where we have secured free parking for the next 8 days (a considerable saving let me tell you) we again caught the train to London. It’s amazing that there is not one train fare applicable from say Ashford to London, and let’s forget the fast train. It depends on who you get at the ticket office & in this instance which rail operator you purchase your ticket from. Gary has travelled to London on at least 5 occasions (all after 10:30am & returned after 6pm the same day on either a Saturday or Sunday for the football) and on this our last trip up to London we find out that he has been overcharged each & every time. Discounts apply when travelling after 10am each & every day let alone on the weekend……thanks South Eastern Rail Network, we’ll be sure to remember that & pass on your consideration to fellow travellers.
Our previous stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge being so good, the complimentary upgrade to a studio suite didn’t hurt either, we decided that we would again utilize the services of this hotel for these additional 3 days in this vibrant city. We were delighted to once again be upgraded to a studio suite, so lucky us!
Gary began his time in London by attending his final football match for this trip. So whilst he went out to White Hart Lane to watch Spurs beat Bolton, I relaxed at the hotel for the afternoon. Sunday saw us head to Hyde Park for a walk, a stunning place in the winter & we can only imagine how beautiful it must look during the spring & summertime. It was then time for us to investigate Harrods & all it has to offer – oh what it would have been like to spend a few hours in this store without Gary holding both our American Express cards…..I can only dream! We managed to find a fabulous little Italian restaurant quite near our hotel, where we dined Sunday evening.
Monday we had previously decided was to be our ‘big’ day – Westminster Abbey; Westminster Cathedral & Parliament buildings. So an early breakfast, well early for us (8:30am) then out we went. We had been lucky with the weather this time, whilst it was mainly cloudy and very windy, it wasn’t raining. Anyone who has been to London and has not been to Westminster Abbey has really done themselves an injustice as with so many of the major historical sites in and around London they offer so very much which is fascinating to view and read. We ended up spending around 4 hours just ambling through the Abbey, at time overawed with the history and relics and tombs that were viewable. Gary was convinced that Royal marriages weren’t conducted at the Abbey but at Westminster Cathedral so that was our next port of call. Upon exiting the Abbey we were told – “it’s a 5 minute walk straight down that road then turn left at McDonald’s”. Well it was the longest 5 minute walk either of us has ever walked…..we walked, and walked and walked. Finally we arrived at McDonald’s, turned left and saw Westminster Cathedral. A rather unimposing site one could say from the outside – certainly not what you expect for Royal weddings. So, inside we went. This is definitely NOT where Royal weddings are held. Westminster Cathedral is just a church – no more, no less. Despite our disappointment with the Cathedral it was a nice, but long & windy, walk through the streets of London. Our way back to the Parliament buildings saw us stop off briefly for a bite of lunch before joining the lines to sit in the public gallery at the Houses of Parliament.
We stayed long enough to hear the beginning of a speech being made by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron before heading over to the House of Lords – the public gallery here is called the strangers gallery! After our time at the Houses of Parliament we decided to walk back across Westminster Bridge – me for some much needed rest and Gary for some much needed time in the hotel gym; before heading out for a late dinner.
Categories: 2010 - 2011 UK; Europe & USA