The V&A

Well yesterday was a little laid back. We had contacted our friend Colin from Wiltshire earlier in the week to see if we could get together during the week, His wife was working but he could meet us in town on Thursday afternoon, so it was off to London Bridge station to meet Colin. We agreed to meet there next to the Costa (Coffee shop) at 2. We had been to London Bridge Station the day before and getting off the train at platform 14 we spied Costa Pronto on the Lower Concourse. Well that was handy, Colin must know his way around this station. About 10 past 2 we had a phone call from Colin “Where are you?” I can see a theme developing here.
Colin was on the Upper Concourse next to the Costa. Once we managed to get together we headed outside for some refreshments.

The Shipwrights Arms

Directly outside the station appeared the Shipwights Arms. How convenient. So we took refreshment inside dinning on bangers and mash, and fish cakes and peas. liberally washed down with cider. After catching up on all the family news we decided to take in the view from the Shard. Well rocking up to the door we nearly collapsed at the price of entry, thinking we could spend our money in better ways we headed off through Guys Hospital.

Colin was in search of a watering hole he had visited on a classic pub tour some time back, it was near Borough Markets but wasn’t on the street but in an alleyway. We found it, The George which was rebuilt in 1676.
The weather was a little threatening but we managed to sit in the courtyard supping fine English Ale and cider accompanied by more chin wagging. the weather held out and the sun shone till it was finely time to say goodbye to Colin and make our way home.

Today it was time to have a look at a museum or two. We headed for South Kennsington for the “Victoria and Albert” but first a coffee. Yet again I noticed a Flat White was one price without a choice of drink size and dearer than a Latte. As we were finishing our coffee I asked a staff member why this was and apparently a flat white only comes in one size but has double shots, a latte has 1 or 2 shots according to size. He recommended ordering a latte with and extra shot but check to see if they charged for extra shots. We live to drink coffee another day.

After coffee we headed for the Natural History Museum. This is a magnificent building housing a large collection of Dinosaurs etc.

Lunch was sitting in the street at a restaurant. This style of dinning has certainly become popular since the first time I came to the UK. The sun shine certainly makes it very popular.

The Victoria and Albert saw us wandering from exhibit to exhibit till at last with weary feet it was time to head home.


Public Transport

Today wasn’t a fantastic day weather wise it was cloudy all day with occasional bouts of drizzle. The temperature was quite good up around 18 degrees. It was time to try our hand at using public transport and go into London. The nearest station is around a 20 minute walk from the accommodation. The trains from here will take you to London Bridge Station. Traveling on public transport is quite easy as you can use any contactless credit or debit card to pay your fare. Just make sure you use a card in pounds as your bank may charge a foreign currency transfer fee. We have Qantas Money card and that works a treat every where we go. With your card you just tap on and off just like the local Oyster card. Train journeys are £2.80.

The train takes 15 minutes to get to the city from Forest Hill. We arrived just as a train pulled in so our timing was spot on. The journey home took a little longer at London Bridge as the platform information wasn’t available till 5 minutes before the train was due to leave.

London Bridge Station is in an old and new section of the South Bank. The dominate structure is the Shard the tallest building in London and the tallest building in Western Europe.

The Shard

From this point you can see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and HMS Belfast.

Tower Bridge
Tower of London
HMS Belfast

After dinning in Hornimans Bar we boarded a Thames Clipper which is a ferry service up and down the Thames. This service took us up to Greenwich.
The Royal Observatory is where all time is measured from. This is also the site of the Old Royal Navy College. Here also rests the Cutty Sark

Lamp on the Royal Navy College
Gates from the Thames
Entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel

UK and Beyond

London 2019

We didn’t get to travel much last year, with buying and selling houses and moving, now we have time and start with a week in London.

After nearly 24 hours of being flung through the air we made it to London yesterday. Blurry eyed we managed to escape to confines of Heathrow Airport to find our Uber ride. This is when you realize you are not quiet functioning as well as you thought. We were to meet our Uber ride in the South Short Stay 3 car park, Level 3 Row A. We wait for the ride in Row A. The driver texts to say he is waiting where are we?
We are in Row A where are you?
I’m in Row A Level 3. A quick check to find him but no we can not see him but we do notice that we are on Level 1.
It does help if you are on the right level.

After an hour and a half in peak traffic we made it to out AirBnB in Forest Hill. It turns out to be a delightful bedsit in a leafy suburb.

Leafy Flat in Forest Hill
Even some wildlife hang out around here

Our host was kind enough to get in some bread, milk and cheese so we didn’t have to go out and forage for a evening meal or breakfast.

Horniman Museum

Not far from were we are staying is the Horniman Museum. This is a free museum for the people started by Frederick John Horniman, Victorian tea trader and philanthropist, began collecting objects, specimens and artefacts ‘illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world’ from around 1860. His overarching mission was to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ and educate and enrich the lives of the local community. 

The Horniman Free Museum
Clock Tower
Impressive Building


London from the grounds of Hornimans Museum
Grounds of Hornimans Museum

After several hours of wandering around the gardens and museum it was time for lunch and buy something for dinner.
The walk was a chance to see how we would fare on the up and coming bus tour. Tomorrow we will take the train into London.