Last month we were on our travels to London. The main event that led us to getting a plane to Heathrow was Fulham Vs Crusaders at Craven Cottage but we decided to make a little bit of a holiday around it. So here are some photos from the couple of days we visited the capital of England at the end of July.
After our flight to Heathrow we bought an Oyster card each and topped then up before taking the tube into the centre of London. After getting off at Covent Garden tube station, without realising it at the time (and unfortunately for me, as it was my idea - I honestly thought I could hear the street above) we took the stairs... all 193 of them. It turns out it's one of the deepest London Underground stations... and unsurprisingly, it has many stairs to climb - only really beaten by Hampstead Tube station having over 320. With bags on our backs that contained clothes for 4 days, it wasn't the easiest climb. Half way up I think I may have sold it to Norngirl as an alternative gym workout, she wasn't impressed.
Once we'd had breakfast in a cafe opposite Drury Lane Theatre and had a look around some shops we got some cupcakes and headed back on the tube to the V&A Museum of Childhood. Before we went in we sat in the park next to it and ate our goodies. Mine being a nommy chocolate number that didn't taste as much of glitter as it looked, indeed it was quite delicious.
It was then into the museum which was free and we headed to a section that had games you can play. We rewrote the rules for snakes and ladders but had fun playing anyway before looking around the rest of the various toys, games, activities and displays.
Most of the toys were in glass cases but it was fun to see some toys we'd forgotten existed from our childhoods though I was disappointed after seeing things like the Turtles and Sooty that there were no Manta Force toys, I used to love those! The mechanical toys section was pretty cool though and I finally got to see the boxes/put names to some of the toys and bits of plastic we used to get given to play with at primary school.
Once we'd relived some of our childhood it was then back on the tube to go take a look at the already famous construction site of the Shard, one of the new skyscrapers to have popped up around London.
From the bus station at the base of the Shard, we went for a walk down past the Scoop at MoreLondon. Personally I thought it seemed like quite a depressingly corporate part of town given the cultural highlights of a performance going on in the Scoop and the River with HMS Belfast floating not so far away from Tower Bridge.
The buildings, as shiny as they are, each looked quite dark and cold, reflecting the overcast day above them. It was also hard to miss the depressed looking office workers walking out of them with sullen looks on their faces trying to find a spot to sit to eat their lunch.
To be honest the Tower of London looked more inviting.
We were soon at Tower Bridge and I was competing with the other tourists in taking some pictures of the Bridge and the skyline.
Lunch was a trip to a Mexican fast food place for Burritos and Tacos. It was then on to Fulham to the hotel before heading out to sample what the Fulham and Putney Bridge areas had to offer. After a drink on Fulham's North End Road, we headed down to Putney Bridge itself.
A meal south of the river in a Weatherspoons, we headed on to the football match.
The next day we woke up to a brighter Friday morning. First port of call was a tour of BBC television centre.
There we got a great insight into how things like the news and weather are produced, the layout of the building and where the guest stars of BBC shows get to stay. The best bit for me was seeing one of Kryton's heads from Red Dwarf and a Tardis from Dr Who.
After the tour we headed down to St Paul's Cathedral where we had a walk around the building.
It was then time to head to One New Change a relatively new shopping centre that opened in October 2010.
The thing that took us there, other than it appearing on 'The Apprentice' TV show, was the roof terrace that is open to the public which gives a great view of the surrounding area.
We had some nice pies from the fast food place 'Eat' and sat in the sun eating them and trying to find on our phones a new plan for the afternoon.
We didn't really have one when we headed to get some essentials like a razor (the problem of only having hand luggage on a plane), after that little bit of shopping we just headed west, the plan was to find a pub and work from there. Instead I found a sign for the Museum of London. Wires slightly crossed, I ended up leading us towards the Museum. Norngirl realised this before me and so we stood debating what the heck we were doing next. As it became clear a pub indeed was a priority I got rather lucky in that when we turned around we'd been stood right outside a bar - the Lord Raglan. We went inside and I bought Norngirl a London Pride as a peace offering.
In the end we decided to give the Museum of London a try, after all it was free. It turned out to be an enjoyable visit and I learnt a lot about London, especially how the settlement developed and how the various parts of London merged to be the megacity it is.
Another tube ride and we were back in Fulham getting dolled up for the night. We'd booked some tickets to go to see the musical Wicked as Norngirl really wanted to see it and I was curious as to what the hype was all about. We headed to the theatre and picked up our tickets before a quick visit to a supermarket to pick up some snacks and sandwiches to eat before we headed to the show. A pint of ale in a nearby pub later and we headed back to find our seats.
Little mini binoculars purchased we watched the show, and you know what, quite a show it was! There aren't as many individually great stand alone songs as you'd get in something like Les Misérables but in terms of a spectacle it was brilliant. It had a great use of the stage and stage effects and some really strong voices. Oddly the peak of the show came with 'Defying Gravity' which is sung as the pre interval crescendo. It was a great plot and show and if you get chance to see it, I have to warn you that you'll never watch The Wizard of Oz in the same way again... in a good way though!
A slight mishap with tube stops resolved by a short walk and we'd got back to Fulham a little late for a meal in a restaurant so we headed out for what turned out to be a Subway and Dominos.
We had a great time in London but it was bedtime and we got some rest to be ready to travel to Cardiff the next day... though we didn't set off the next day until we took a slight detour to take a look at Stamford Bridge.