Last week was the first time in two years that I’ve found myself in London without summer school. I’m very familiar with some of the best known tourist sights in the capital but, when I’m in London with work, I don’t get much free time to see things that aren’t part of our itinerary. The majority of famous sights in the capital are included in the kids’ tour but there are a couple of things that I either hadn’t seen before or hadn’t seen for a long time. So, since I didn’t have sixty eight teenagers to keep an eye on, I spent the best part of a day wandering around a combination of my favourite places, sights I wanted to visit again and things I’d never had the chance to see before.
The first stop on our London tour with work is always the Tower of London and, although I’ve seen it zillions of times now (from the outside), it’s still a lovely place to just stand by the river for a while watching the world go by. The next stop was St Paul’s Cathedral, which I last visited ten years ago, when I did the full tour of the inside. This time though, it was just a stroll through the grounds before heading towards the river to walk across the Millennium Footbridge (that’s the one that collapses at the start of the sixth Harry Potter movie). Looking across to the other side of the bridge I was amazed at how tiny The Globe Theatre looks in comparison to all of the modern buildings surrounding it! After wandering along the river bank for a closer look at The Globe we took the tube from London Bridge to Trafalgar Square. London Bridge tube station is directly beneath The Shard which looks even taller when you’re standing right next to it staring into the sky! From Trafalgar Square it was a short walk up to Piccadilly Circus, which I have never seen so quiet! It’s usually such a nightmare to attempt to count a group of sixty eight kids when it’s really busy in the summer. From there we wandered through Leicester Square to Covent Garden by which time my feet were aching, signalling the end of the sightseeing day.
Before my train home the next day, I went for brunch at Granger and Co. I ate their classic Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Honeycomb Butter accompanied by a ‘Bill’s Raw’ milkshake made with almond milk, raw cacao, banana and honey which was absolutely incredible. I love chocolate milkshakes, I use a similar recipe at home for breakfast and I love to pick up a ‘Raw Choco Fix’ from Filmore and Union whenever I’m in York, which until now was my favourite chocolate milkshake!
After brunch while waiting for my train I had a look round the shops in St Pancras station. I had no idea there were so many miniature shops of well known brands hiding just a few hundred metres away from Kings Cross, where I often spend quite a bit of time waiting for trains. An hour passed really quickly with so much to do, there was just enough time for a quick swing in the bird cage on the way over to Kings Cross before my train home.