After a comfy night at the Hyatt Regency Churchill we stumbled down for breakfast at 9am. Plenty of choice, from fruit, meat, cheese, cereal, yogurt, pastries and the good old traditional Full English. I had fruit, yogurt and full english – set up for the day along with copious cups of tea!
Over breakfast we decided we would do a real touristy thing and join one of the Hop On/Hop off open bus tours. A quick check on the internet revealed that the ‘The Big Bus’ was the one to take if you want good commentary and a bit of fun. Big Bus Tours.Com
The tour has around 50 stops and you can get on busses with live commentary(red route) or recorded that you listen to via headphones (blue route). You can also take a river cruise and any or all of 3 walking tours.
We checked out of the hotel and decided to walk back to Victoria Bus Station and drop off the overnight case in the Left Luggage. A quick walk back up the main road to the Big Bus stop. At £27 each it seems rather expensive but we would only have traipsed aimlessly around all day and probably spent the same amount on the underground and busses. We hopped on and sat on the top open deck (oh a word of advice at this point… if you go this time of year wear warm clothes, scarf and hat as you are in the open and quite exposed to the wind!), the guide started his commentary and it was very interesting and funny. How they can make it sound fresh every time I don’t know – imagine having to say the same things day in, day out without it sounding boring.
The tour took us from Victoria through Belgravia and onwards to Marble Arch – you can get off here and get the blue route that takes you to Knightsbridge – Harrods and all the posh shops. We stayed on and carried on through Portman Street, Marylebone Road, Regent Street, Whitehall and Westminster Bridge. This is where we made our first Hop off to take a closer look at the London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.
So here are a few photos from our first stop.
BIG BEN taken from the open top bus.
Big Ben / Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge
We got to London at 10.30am – gasping for a cup of tea,we stumbled into a little cafe near Victoria Bus Station. I checked Google maps and realised we were only about 1.5 miles from the hotel and it would be good stretch of our legs to walk along Gloucester Place and through Hyde Park.
We set off heading towards Marble Arch. Hyde Park was a buzz of activity despite it being very windy. There were joggers, walkers and cyclists all seemingly enjoying their time in the park.
We got to Marble Arch at about midday – a bit early to book into the hotel but we thought we’d go there anyway and drop off our overnight case. We were warmly welcomed at the Hyatt Regency Churchill and informed that they had rooms ready and we could check-in.
The hotel stay was a prize won by a fellow comper via Last Minute. Five star luxury – comfy room with breakfast and dinner included.
We dumped our bag in the room and had a cup of tea before setting back out to explore Oxford Street. Well we did go to Edgeware Road first as there is a Wetherspoons pub on that road (The Tyburn). Oxford Street was pretty busy and we eventually called it a day at about 5pm, we were both tired – having been up since 6am – and my feet were really shouting at me!
We headed back to the hotel to shower and change ready for dinner. We went down at 7.30 to meet up with our new friends. We had a really tasty dinner from the set menu and lots of laughs talking about competitions. We headed to a local pub for a drink but we gave in to tiredness at 10pm and headed back to the hotel.
I’ll tell you more about our Sunday in London tomorrow. Please stay tuned.
These photos are of Marble Arch (after adding a sepia effect) and London Horse sculpture by Nic Fiddian-Green
Well we were a bit busy today. My oldest son, his girlfriend (GF) and their baby boy moved from their first floor flat into a 3 bedroom house.
Hubby had been nights’ for last 2 nights so was in bed most of the morning – I know he hadn’t slept well as I could hear him moving about and tossing and turning.
I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen down and prepping a pork casserole for tea. (pork, onions, chorizo, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, sage all dumped in the slow cooker!)
I arranged with my son to get to his flat for 12.30pm. A lot of the bulky furniture had been moved and GF’s dad had borrowed a small van. Most of their belongings had been moved by 5pm so I called it a day and returned home. Got some spuds on and got small bag packed for our weekend in London. (More to come about this!)
By the time we had tea and got showered and washed my hair it was gone 8pm. Time to settle down for the evening and plan what we do in London.
So as a taster of my London photos this is Jelly Baby Family, by Mauro Perucchetti. It’s on display at Marble Arch end of Hyde Park until April.