Sunday, November 17, 2019


London The Unfinished City
A crocodile in London.

Saturday November 16, 2019.

It was a typical walk around London with my friend, Gary, that resulted on me stumbling across this Crocodile, in Marylebone.

As with most of my walks there is little in the way of a route. Rather a meandering left here, right there, until it is time to head home.

As such I never know what I will see or discover. Such as this life-size crocodile, clambering up a waterfall from the basement of the Lacoste boutique on Duke Street.

Lacoste Crocodile London
Definitely no swimming!

To find out why Jean RenĂ© Lacoste used a 'crocodile' as his logo, we have to go back to 1923.

Friday, November 01, 2019

London Ghost Bus Tours

London The Unfinished City
Emma, Erin and Keilyn waiting to board the Necrobus.

Thursday October 31, 2019.

My wife, myself and our two daughters, who are 6 & 7, managed to grab some tickets for the 19:30 tour, on Halloween 2019, and were not disappointed. 

Our pick-up was on time and all of the staff on the street and on the Necrobus were warm, friendly and helpful. 

Being one of the first groups on the Necrobus, we were able to pick some of the best seats, which were upstairs. They were remarkably comfortable, with curtains and lamps in the windows, making it feel warm and inviting, which helped people relax. 

This sense of ease, to which we succumbed, caught us off guard as various ghostly goings on plagued our trip.

London The Unfinished City
The seats, curtains and lamps on the upstairs of the Necrobus.

Our conductor, Marcus, was very knowledgeable and obviously enjoyed his role. His stories were accurate and, equally, ghastly and entertaining. I think he managed to point out every murder site, haunted place and execution spot on the route, along with names and dates. 

Mr. Hinge, the Health and Safety officer, took his job seriously, too, ensuring that there was full disclosure about 'events' that had happened on the Necrobus, in the past. Although, it did take him a while to get all of the facts out of our conductor.

London The Unfinished City
A lamp that flickered, normally when a spirit was present.

We travelled around Whitehall, Westminster, the City of London, through Holborn, crossed the River Thames, visited Southwark and more, before heading back to our drop-off point. 

So much more went on, but I would hate to spoil it for anyone that hasn't taken the trip. Suffice to say that we will be taking this tour again.

A bit of trivia, about our Necrobus:
  • It had run on a designated route, in London, until 2005
  • It's designation was RML2528, with the registration plate of JJD528D
  • It was purchased by The Ghost Bus Tours in 2013
  • It is painted in a midnight black livery
Ghost Bus Tours London

As a side note, they also operate Ghost Bus Tours in York and Edinburgh.

London The Unfinished City
The Necrobus.

'Wellington Hotel'

London The Unfinished City
The perfect place for an overnight stay.

Thursday October 31-November 1, 2019.

Since it was half-term and we had a few things planned (London Ghost Bus Tour, British Museum), we thought it wold be simpler to stay in London, overnight, rather than travelling  back and forth to Watford.

Usually we stay at Premier Inn, but, on this occasion, we decided on somewhere different. We had walked by the Wellington a few weeks before and thought that it might be an interesting place to stay. Situated just across the River Thames, from where we were to pick up our Ghost Bus, on Northumberland Avenue, it was also close to all the transport links we might need. The Wellington was perfect.

Our check-in was at 15:00, which was the exact time we arrived. The lady at reception was friendly and efficient and within minutes we were booked in. With swipe key in hand we made our way to the top floor, where our family room was situated.

The room was quite spacious and had 'London Eye' wallpaper across one wall. All of the rooms have this sort of design, apparently. With an en-suite bathroom, desk, television, well-stocked fridge, kettle, heating, free wi-fi and more, our room was perfect. There are also other room sizes available, depending on your needs.

London The Unfinished City
Our Family Room. 
Once we had settled and watched a bit of TV, and had a drink, we made our way out for some dinner. Just around the corner, on York Road, is the 'Enough to feed an Elephant' restaurant, where we had eaten before, while waiting for our trip on the London Duck Tour. Fully fed we headed off to catch our Ghost Bus.

Following an excellent Halloween evening out, we headed back to the Wellington. With two tired girls soon tucked up in bed it was time to relax, take stock of the day and plan for the next day.

The windows and blinds were very effective in blocking out the noise from the road and train line outside, allowing for an uninterrupted night's sleep. This allowed us all to wake up fully refreshed and ready for breakfast. Hurriedly we descended the stairs to the restaurant area of the bar, where the girls tucked into croissants and cereal, while Emma and I decided on the Full English, washed down with fresh juice.

The food was perfectly cooked and served without delay. The staff, again, were friendly and helpful, making for a great experience.

London The Unfinished City
The Losers.

After breakfast we headed back to our room to pack and get ready for the day ahead. Checkout was a breeze and, after a nice and interesting chat with the landlord, who was possibly the friendliest landlord I have ever met, we headed off on the next part of our two-day adventure.

With so many great thing going for it, I don't think it will too long at all before we stay at the Wellington Hotel, again.

London The Unfinished City
The Victors.
If you are walking past Waterloo Station and fancy a really nice beer, great food and an amazing pub, you should pop into the Wellington and, at the very least, check out the murals.