Monday, 24 December 2007

A trip to London Part II

So, we arrived in the wonderful and characterful Borough Market. Held in the perfect setting, just a few yards away from the River Thames and underneath the Railway line. The atmosphere was buzzing as people bustled around the market searching for their Christmas groceries. Each stall slightly different, with sweet and savoury aromas wafting through the air.

I hold no apology for including so many photos of Borough Market, as it was such a wonderful place. I whole heartily recommend to anybody planning a visit to London to include a trip to Borough Market on their schedule.

London - Borough Market 16

London - Borough Market 27

London - Borough Market 25

London - Borough Market 22

London - Borough Market 21

London - Borough Market 19

London - Borough Market 18

London - Borough Market 16

London - Borough Market 13

London - Borough Market 12

London - Borough Market 6

London - Borough Market 13

London - Borough Market 9

London - Borough Market 4

London - Borough Market 2

London - Borough Market

After a couple of hours walking around the market, sampling the wares of the stalls and enjoying a glass of hot ginger and honey tea, it was time to pull myself away to take a walk along side the River Thames.

Just around the corner of Borough Market is a street called "Clink Street". This is named after what is believed to be the first men's prison in England, dating back to the year 860AD. The existing building was built around 1106.

London - The Clink Street

I didn't visit the Clink prison, as I have been several times before. But I do recommend you make a visit there when you are passing, as it is an important part of England's past - and it is also very interesting to see what types of "tortures" that we bestowed upon prisoners of the past. Perhaps there would be fewer crimes around now, if some of these contraptions were still used today.

London - The Clink 3

London - The Clink 2

That evening, we decided to take a trip up on the London Eye.

London - The London Eye

It was a clear and dark night and the views were going to be amazing... We queued up and made our way into one of the cars. Our journey began....

London - A view from insdie the London Eye

London - The London Skyline at Night

London - St Paul's Cathedral at Night

London - The London Skyline at Night 2

London - On Top Of The London Eye

London - On Top of the London Eye 2

London - The London skyline at night 3

London - Westminster in its glory at night

The ride came to an end after 45 minutes. We climbed of the London Eye and made our way across Westminster Bridge, past Big Ben and through to China Town to grab a bite to eat. I always forget the name of the restaurant that I always frequent. I love going there as the food is great but the service makes me laugh. It is a kind of fast serving restaurant and they try to get you in, sat down, fed and out again as quickly as possible. I always enjoy going there and taking my time. If the food wasn't very good, I'd probably find somewhere else (after all, China Town is fully of great food places).

So, day two came to an end... it was back to the hotel to grab a few hours sleep before my last day. The next morning I awoke and decided to go somewhere different for breakfast, so jumped on the underground and made my way to Notting Hill. Now, I am sure none of you need an introduction to "Notting Hill". This was the area made famous by the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts film of the same name.

London - Portobello Road W11

The house used in the film is situated on Portobello Road. At the bottom of the road is yet another market. I will spare you more photos of markets at this time, but nontheless it was a lovely place.

London - Notting Hill

I stopped half way down the highstreet and found a Bistro to have breakfast. It was delicious and it was fun watching the world go past as I enjoyed my "Full English".

Time was now fast running out. There was just enough time to wander over to Buckingham Palace, where the Elizabeth II Queen of England was in residence.

London - Buckingham Palace

The whole area was alive with tourists, and it was as much fun watching them as it was viewing the Palace itself...

London - Toursists 2

London - Tourists 6

London - Tourists 5

London - Tourists

London - Queen Victoria

Finally, I took a brisk walk through Hyde Park before returning to the Hotel to collect my belonings and head for the bus.....

London - A squirrel in Hyde Park

London - The Birds of Hyde Park

London - The Birds of Hyde Park 2

A week later, I was back in London. This time I was with my family and we had booked a visit to the Royal Albert Hall to enjoy a festival of Christmas Carols.

We arrived early on Saturday morning, dropped our bags off at our hotel enjoyed a yummy chinese buffet in China Town before making our way to the hall. When we arrived, the queues were already beginning to build up outside...

London - The Royal Albert Hall 2

London - The Royal Albert Hall 3

London - The Royal Albert Hall

We made our way inside and to our seats. We were situated in the perfect position, high in the circle and directly facing the stage. This provided us with the perfect view of both the choir and the audience around us.
London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols

London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols 3

London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols 5

London - The Royal Albert Hall 5

London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols 9

London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols 8

London - The Royal Albert Hall - Christmas Carols 7

The show was fantastic. Two hours of joyous singing of all the favourite christmas songs is enough to bring a smile to anyones face. But to do this in such an elegant place as the Royal Albert Hall is simply emotional. Chrsitmas had finally arrived!!!!! I would like to add, at this point that attending a concert at the Royal Albert Hall used to be one of the things I wanted "To do before I die". Over the past three years, I have seen a couple of Classical performances put on by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. I truly recommend that, if you get the opportunity, you try and visit the Royal Albert Hall at least once. It is the most amazing experience!!!!

That evening we made our way to Hyde Park to visit the winter fair. There was everything from amusement rides to stalls selling their wares, to Ice Skating. Perfect for the time of year...

London - Hyde Park Fair 15

London - Hyde Park Fair 10

London - Hyde Park Fair 9

London - Hyde Park Fair 8

London - Hyde Park Fair 7

London - Hyde Park Fair 6

London - Hyde Park Fair - Candy Time

London - Hyde Park Fair 17

London - Hyde Park Fair 16

London - Ice-skating in Hyde Park

After wandering around and absorbing the atmosphere (as well as enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate), we left Hyde Park and made our way back to the hotel, stopping off at a few places on the way. Including....

A return visit to Fortnum and Mason.

London - Fortnum & Mason Shop Front at night

(If you remember back in my first set of photos, the store was crammed with people. Well it was now 9pm, and it was almost empty. So much easier to look around at this time of evening.).

London - Fortnum & Mason inside store 6

London - Fortnum & Mason inside store 5

London - Fortnum & Mason inside store 4

London - Fortnum & Mason inside store 3

London - Fortnum & Mason inside store 2

London - Fortnum & Mason inside Store

We then continued down the road towards Piccadilly Circus...

London - By night

London - Piccdilly Circus by night 2

London - Piccadilly Circus by night

Past "The Ritz"...

London - the Ritz Hotel 2

London - The Ritz Hotel


Past Birlington Arcade, in its full splendor.

London - Burlington Arcade 2

London - By night

We finally found our way back to Covent Garden for a meal before retiring to bed. I couldn't resist taking a few opportune photos before going to sleep...

London - A view from my hotel room by night 5

London - A view from my hotel room by night 4

London - A view from my hotel room by night

Sunday morning soon came. We had breakfast in the hotel before catching the undergound to Borough Market. We then took the pleasant walk down the side of the River Thames back to Westminster Bridge. This time the weather had changed. The fog had decided to close in as a warm front blew in. I had never seen London look so spooky yet so beautiful. It was like a scene from a movie...

London - The London Eye in the fog

London - The River Thames in the fog 2

London - The River Thames in the fog

London - Westminster Bridge in the fog

London - Westminster Bridge in the fog 2

London - Westminster in the fog 2

London - Westminster in the fog 3

My second weekend in London had now come to an end. It was time to head back Paddington Railway Station for the journey home...

London - Paddington Train station 3

London - Paddington Train Station 2

London - Paddington Train Station

And I couldn't resist a quick photo of the famous Paddington Bearbefore I left...
London - PAddington Bear 2

Alas, there ends my lastest post. I hope you found it interesting and that it provided you with a small flavour of some of the sites and scenes of London, England's capital city.


There are a few more photos from both of my trips to London on my Flickr.com site. Please feel free to visit it if you, by clicking on http://www.flickr.com/photos/getty72/ .


Cheerio for now!

19 comments:

Omega said...

hey Graham, Merry X-mas!!! May the new year bring you lots of adventures! Great photos of London! last time i was in London it was 1992 or so, time to go visit again, besides that, i've never had a chance to check out the Clink prison. I also haven't seen snow for about 10 years, time to go to europe, the winter is calling :)

Linguist-in-Waiting said...

Hello. I've stumbled across your blog thru BlogCatalog. I also got the travel bug in me, and because of that, I found it very interesting to read and vicariously experience the places that you've been. Thanks for sharing.

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh My God.

Marvelous. Fabulous. Amazing. I am seething with jealousy.

Merry Xmas. Happy New Year! xxoo

:)

Marjie said...

Well call me crazy, but I actually find the market pictures very comforting. I spent a good amount of years in Asia with those kinds of markets my mom regularly shoped in, so I had missed the whole fresh market atmosphere. I've yet to find one here in the US. The closest to them that we have is China town in California--which little by little, as far as I'm concerned, is also losing their "fresh marketing" sparks.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Graham, and I wish you a very Blesed and Happy New Year as well!

love lots...xxoo..
~M

Choc Mint Girl @ Crystal said...

Wow!! Lovely!! Fantabulous pics and post. Love it!! :)

I'm sure you had a wonderful Christmas. Wishing you a promising New Year 2008!!!

Getty72 said...

Omega, thanks and Merry Christmas to you too!!!!

Linguist, thank you so much for your kind comment. I look forward to visiting your blog too!

Hey Meleah Rebeccah!!! Well, you are just gonna have to come and visit!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!! xoxox

Marjie, Borough Market was a dream of a place to visit. I totally recommend it to everybody who visits London. The food, the smells, the sights, the tastes... they are all so memorable!!!

Hiya Crystal :) Great to hear from you and thanks for the nice comment. I wish you the greatest of New Years to you and your husband!!

kris said...

these photos are so vibrant. thank you for sharing these great shots, you are quite talented!

Zhu said...

Wow, how did you get the pictures so clear?! Really nice, it looks almost like professional work!

Cute little squirrel - we have a lot too in Ottawa (as well as rabbits, deers etc... in the city!).

The Moose said...

I really enjoyed your photos. I am glad I stumble across you.

dutchie said...

Beautiful pictures!!
Makinf me long for London.
May all your wishes for 2008 come true!

Bon Ami said...

Hi, I'm so glad I just found your blog. Now, I can go on armchair journeys for free:) Happy New Year!
Bon Ami

Muse said...

amazing amazing amazing photos! Love that are you taking so many of the everyday life of england vs just the landmarks and scenery. It's intereseting to see what the everyday folk look like along with how tourists stick out like a sore thumb..lol

i don't know why but the ferris wheel in the fog is my fave

Cyprus Apartments said...

Looks like you had a great trip to London. Happy New Year

Michelle Hix said...

Graham
Thanks for visiting my blog! Where do I start with these photographs...I absolutely love the market photos. I felt like I was looking at a published book of photos. The colors of the food and the lighting set the mood. And then the London fog...so beautiful. I've never been there but now I feel almost as if I have.

Michelle Hix said...

Graham

I read your "about me" and I love where you say "The desire to experience new cultures; the want to meet new people; the need to learn more about yourself." I just love that. I feel SO so much like that also. I've talked a little about it in my blog. Somewhere deep inside me is this strong need to connect with people of all culture on a very basic human level. Also, I wanted to tell you that there is something very "story book" about your profile picture. As soon as I saw it, I pictured you, perhaps with a cup of tea and full of ideas, as an author sitting down to write some mystery novel. (I have a big imagination, haha)

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

I've never felt so jealous!

I seriously need to get away!

Linda R. Moore said...

You have really outdone yourself with these photographs. Awesome, just awesome. :)

Anonymous said...

hello, i dont know you, I just stumbled onto your blog randomly, just wanted to say your photos are so beautiful. the foggy London ones in particular.

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