Friday, 12 October 2012

HOLIDAY: London - Summary and Reviews

Hi!
So who's fed up of me talking about London?! This is the last post now I promise but I thought it might be useful to some people if I provided a little summary of the things I did whilst in London and a few little reviews. If you're looking for something specific please feel free to scroll down as everything is split into different sections, I understand you might not want to read everything as it's going to be a long post but I hope there's some useful stuff in here for some of you! So here goes:

What I did in London

I was in London from Saturday afternoon to late Monday morning which considering how big London is isn't that long. That been said I crammed in loads of stuff and surprisingly I walked pretty much everywhere which I think shows just how accessible it all was. So on the Saturday I walked from my hotel in Victoria to Buckingham Palace, this only took around 10 minutes. At night I went to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre, again around a 10-15 minute walk from my hotel (by the way I walk really fast so it may be a tiny bit longer for other people!).

On Sunday I explored London all on foot, in total we were out for around 7 hours but this includes stopping for little sit downs, looking around museums and exhibitions, eating lunch, stopping to take photo's and looking in shops. We did walk quite far, from the hotel in Victoria all up the South Bank to the Tower Bridge, over the bridge and back down the other side to the Monument tube station where we got the tube to St James' park, along the way we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, the Clink Prison museum, the Globe theatre, the Shard, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge (and the Tower Bridge exhibition) and the Monument we then got the tube to St James' park and walked around there. At night after food we visited the Hard Rock Cafe. So as you can see we fitted a lot in, walking down the South Bank was lovely too as there was lots of little food stalls and things on the way.

Clink Prison Museum

We didn't know anything about this, we just stumbled across it whilst walking and it wasn't expensive to visit so we thought why not? It's £7.50 for adults but we got the student concession meaning we got in for £5.50. The museum is built on the original sight of the Clink prison which is thought to be one of the oldest prisons, inside there's lots of information and things to look at so if your interested in museums it's well worth a visit. The museum is around 5 minutes from London Bridge. 

Tower Bridge Exhibition

The exhibition is 42 metres above the River Thames in the high level walkways so you get stunning views across London. Inside the walkways are the great bridges of the world exhibition and cities of the modern games exhibition, your ticket also allows you access to the Victorian engine rooms which are just a very short walk away from the entrance to the exhibition. Prices are £8.00 for adults or £5.60 for students however you can get a combined ticket which gets you into the exhibition and the Monument for £9.00 for adults and £6.20 for students, we bought the combined ticket.

The Monument

The Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the city. After a 18 month restoration project which begun in 2007 it is now open again and visitors can climb the 311 stairs to the top to be met which lovely views across London. I'm not going to lie climbing the stairs nearly killed me but it was worth it at the top (even though I'm scared of heights). It costs £3.00 for adults or £2.00 for students but as I mentioned we got the combined ticked at the Tower Bridge exhibition. 

The Hotel - The Grange Rochester 

The hotel was paid for by my parents as this was a 21st birthday gift for me so I don't think it's appropriate to go looking at prices etc, it isn't the cheapest of hotels to stay I do know that but as I say it was a gift and if your looking for something special as a present I would 100% recommend this hotel, the room was beautiful, the breakfast was delicious and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. If you are interested this is the hotels website

Victoria

My parents chose a hotel in the Victoria area as the theatre for Wicked is there, if you are looking for a lovely area of London to stay in I couldn't recommend Victoria more, as I've mentioned it's really easy to walk to things from that area, there's plenty of nice restaurants and there's a good shopping area too.

The Hard Rock Cafe

It took us around 15-20 minutes to walk to the Hard Rock cafe from our hotel. There's a huge shop selling clothes, glasses etc and you can go into the vaults at certain times and look at all the guitars and clothing they have down there. Next door is the actual cafe, if you are wanting food you have to wait but if it's just a drink you're after you can go straight in. We just had drinks and although it's not the cheapest place on earth it's well worth a visit for the good music and great cocktails!

Wicked the Musical

Again the tickets for this were a present from my parents but prices are easy to find through the website. I was so glad that I had tickets for this as Wizard of Oz was my favourite film when I was a kid, I watched it all the time so I really wanted to see a different take on it. For anyone that doesn't know, Wicked is about the witches in the Wizard of Oz. The show itself was just amazing, words cannot describe how much I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it to anyone. I wasn't sure that Josh would enjoy it as it doesn't seem his sort of thing, even he admitted that but afterwards he said he really enjoyed it and that he would see it again so I think that's a great indication of how good it was. Wicked is on at the Apollo Victoria theatre Monday - Saturday at 7.30 with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30.

You can view my photo diaries from London here, here and here.

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