London July 07
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Used to go down to London regularly in the late 80's/early90's (yet another place my brother stayed for a while) to the point that it got boring and we would end up just going out pubbing it in Covent Garden, or more locally in the variety of 'Coloured Mammal'' pubs. He left in late '93 and I never felt the desire to visit 'The Big Smoke' again.
Went down with mates in August 2005 for a game with my mates and had a great time at that, and then the following April had to go down for work. Wifef worked in the same place at the time, so with us sharing it would be cheaper and we worked out flights for the Saturday and all in all we would save the business money,even staying in a penthouse room in the Holiday Inn in Camden :-) , so we had a case for an expenses paid weekend.
Decided we had maybe been a bit harsh in our assesment of what London had to offer, and with our kids having been to Lisbon, Amsterdam and Paristhought it was maybe about time we took them to the major city of the UK. Had planned it for the October school week in 2006 when we couldn't get cheap flights to Zakynthos, but did at the last minute so it was off. When we came to discussing holidays the following year they still had it in their minds and said that was where they wanted to go.
Decided to go by train,rather than fly, as it is easier city centre to city centre, and we would be carting more luggage than usual for London this time.
Left Glasgow Central and arrived in Euston 4 and 1/2 hours later. Had opted to stay in the Premier Inn at Putney Bridge, as a) we were paying for it this time and b) this is where I'd gone out with my mates when we were down and I liked Putney, lot's of pubs and a great variety of restaurants. Got the tube and the hotel wasn't really close to the station, and after we settled in went out and had a wander round the local area and over the bridge into Putney where we had dinner, before going back for a nightcap at the hotel.
Decided to do the Tower Of London first, waited until after9-30am to get the cheap travel cards for the Underground, and spent the morning here. The Yeoman Warders were great on the tour, very informative and very funny. Went round the Tower and its Armoury.From here we took the Docklands Light Railway out to Greenwich to the Prime Meridian Line and the planetarium. After we had done that we went down to the pier and took the river boat back down to Westminster,and as we were on it the skies had opened and only the foolhardy were out taking in the view . There was an old ferry and their historical society on an outingas we approached Tower Bridge and for the first time in all the years I had been in London Tower Bridge was raised.
Next day we set off for The Natural history Museum and had a great time in there. So much to see, and they had an Antarctic exhibition, where they had a big freezer exhibit that you could go in and experience it :-O. Probably the favourite though was the animatronic T-Rex in the dinosaur section. Came out and headed for Buckingham Palace and walked down through Whitehall and Wesminster and decided to go over and see how busy the London Eye was. Wife and I had been on it before, and said it was something you would only do once, but having the kids with us thought we had better give them the opportunity. Unfortunately for me and the wife it was really quiet, so we bought the £40 odds tickets and waited for our turn to 'fly'.
After a day of culture it was time for a day of fun and we took the train from Putnet to Staines to go to Thorpe Park. Was nearly £100 to get in, but worth it. Three of us love the big rides, but my son doesn't. Think we scared him by taking him on a log flume when he was 18 months old and then on the Aerosmith ride in Paris, he just won't go near them. Our daughter has been tall enough since she was 6 to get on the ones with the 360's, so her and I headed straight for Stealth, while the other two found something else to do.
Having spent a fortune it was time to hit the free museums again the following day. One unusual one I found years ago was The Bank Of England Museum in Threadneedle Street. Don't know why it fascinates me that much, but it's an interesting history of money and they have a gold bar in a secure perspex case that you can try and lift. From there we headed back west to the Science Museum. A lot of great stuff in here, though it was quite disconcerting that,particularly in the home section there were a lot of exhibits where I thought 'I used to have one of them'.
For our last day we went into Central London and had a walk about Piccadilly,Leicester Square and Oxford Street. Took the kids to Hamleys which just has to be the best toy shop. You don't even have to buy anything but on every floor you find staff demonstrating all the stuff and there were remote contol planes ,birds and butterflies flying about all over the place. Once we had our fill of that we headed for the Northern Line and took the tube up to Camden and had a look about the market. The first bit when you head up towards the canal isn't that interesting,just clothes really, but then there is the courtyard and the bit beyond that where you find stuff from all over the world on sale. A great place to lose yourself for a few hours.
That was it, we had to head home next day.