Friday, October 29, 2010

Walking with Family: A Halloween Stroll

London The Unfinished City
Looking North, from below the MillenniuM Footbridge.

Friday 29th October, 2010.

It was an early start for us, as we were going to London with my Mum. The plan was go with her to Queen Square for her appointment, then we would all go around London as a family.

So, we got up, had a coffee and got to my Mums for 9 O'clock. We then booked a taxi to take us to Croxley Station. Then Alysha called. She had evidently changed her mind and wanted to come with us to London.

So, after a small detour to pick her up, we headed off to the Station. We didn't have to wait long for a train and the journey was quiet and uneventful. We arrived at Baker Street just before half ten and as I was checking the times for the next train, Mum said we wouldn't have time so we hailed a black cab. Within ten minutes we arrived at Queen Square. It was then discovered that the clock on my Mums phone was ten minutes fast!!! Could've caught the train after all.

While Mum went in for her appointment, Emma, Alysha and I headed off to grab a coffee and something to eat. We headed onto Great Ormond Street and then onto Lamb's Conduit Street (I do like that name!). At the corner of Lamb's Conduit Street and Dombey Street, there is a coffee and sandwich place called 'Bel's Cafe'. Although a small shop, the food is amazing. From Bagel's and different types of breads to sandwiches and full English Breakfasts (served all day). There are salads and fresh fruit and a good selection of coffees and drinks, both hot and cold. I have eaten there on all of the occasions that I have ended up at Queen Square and it is well worth a visit. When we had finished we went to meet Mum.

We then caught a train to King's Cross where we changed train and headed for 'Borough Market.' We got off the train at London Bridge and made our way into the market.

Borough Market is one of the largest food markets anywhere in the World, selling food from all around the World. It is said that a market has been in this locale since Roman times but it is first referenced in 1276. 

Borough Market is a marvellous place to shop. It is a mixture of chaos and order and is always bustling with locals and visitors and the ever present tourists. We all had something to eat and drink and much money was spent on gifts and purchases. Lots of photos were taken of the various stalls with carved pumpkins and the vendors in costume for Halloween. We spent well over an hour at the Market before heading off towards the River Thames for a walk along Bankside. Luckily the weather had improved slightly since the morning and, since the tide was out, this gave my Mum and Alysha a chance to go and 'play on the beach', while Emma and I walked slowly on.

Because the River Thames is tidal, the English sea coast continues all the way up to Teddington Lock. The river has a tidal rise and fall of 23 feet and is the longest river in England. 

We carried on along the South Bank, stopping for a look in the Globe Theatre and various other spots, until we found a coffee shop. Then we continued on and took a look around Gabriel's Wharf and stopped to take a look at the book stalls by the festival Hall. By this time Mum and Alysha had walked past us and were halfway across the Golden Jubilee Bridge. We eventually caught them up and this is where we left my Mum. Her feet had started to ache and so thought it best to head home.

So, as Mum got on the train at Embankment, we headed of towards the West End. Leicester Square had a fun fair in it and Alysha tried to win a cuddly toy, but narrowly missed out. We then carried on up into China Town to mooch around, before heading off to Piccadilly Circus to catch a train to Baker Street. Once at Baker Street we went for a wander around the Emporium, while Alysha had a waffle outside. We then went back down to the platform and caught our train home.

All in all a good day out.

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