Saturday, 24 October 2015

One Day In London - Tower of London to Borough Market Area

I had booked a couple of days in London for the wife and me, which was mainly to celebrate my upcoming 40-something birthday. On previous visits to the capital we would usually aim for Covent Garden and end up trawling round countless shops, and end up in Oxford Street thoroughly worn out and wondering where the time had gone. Not this time however!
I had spent weeks planning, with military precision, where to stay, and what we would be doing, and how to do it cheaply, and not get bored.
A Travelodge is usually a good start, cheap and cheerful, and there just happened to be one near Tower Bridge which was the area I had in mind to visit. A search on the Tesco Clubcard site showed me I could use my points to get tickets for the HMS Belfast which is a museum ship that is situated within spitting distance of Tower Bridge.
I know how expensive restaurants can be so I also got vouchers for Cafe Rouge (£40 voucher only costs £10 - happy days!)

We decided to visit the HMS Belfast on the Saturday and, as it was nearby, take a look at the Golden Hinde II, and the Clinks Prison Museum too. All were well within walking distance of the hotel, and we could take in the Tower of London and Hays Galleria (shops & restaurants).

The HMS Belfast looks great from the shore, but truely comes to life as you embark.
Like Dr Who's Tardis it just seems to get ten times bigger inside.
With hundreds of rooms to explore, life-like models of sailors and crew in the rooms, its great entertainment and utterly fascinating. There's even a great little cafe onboard !
This enquiring fellow scares the bejesus out of you, suddenly appearing as you are walking along a narrow, claustrophobic corridor. So interesting to see how these sailors lived and experience what it must have felt like working and living on this incredible boat
Further along the Thames, at Pickfords Wharf, is the Golden Hinde II, a full-sized reconstruction of Sir Francis Drakes' famous galleon, which is colourful and impressive.

We had plenty of time to wander round the nearby Borough Market, which reminded me a lot of Camden. Literally hundreds of stalls selling and serving every food and drink known to man.
We had a takeaway Indian curry for lunch which was really tasty. We had to rub our eyes when Dawn French and hubby walked past.
Borough Market is simply stunning visually, and it's so good trying samples such as cheese, chocolate and mead. Our favourite was Sweet Roots which sold amazing varities of Liquorice. Definitely coming back with large bags!

We had a great time exploring this area of London, but I was already looking forward to Sunday when we had planned a visit to the Imperial War Museum.