A Sunny Day Out in London

 

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I had the pleasure of doing a university visit with my daughter Emily on Saturday. She wants to study Geography and today’s lucky uni, was Kings College London. We only live about 35 minutes train ride from London, so KCL would be a good choice for Emily should she choose to go there, as she would be able to live at home.

None of us in our house are strangers to London and frequently go in, either for work, or perhaps a concert or just to have a wander round. It’s a great walking city! As I often do, I took my camera along for the trip, and thought I would share the pictures that I took.

The KCL campus is spread about the centre of London, and we were headed towards The Strand campus. This is an easy train journey to London Waterloo East, and a walk over Waterloo Bridge to the Strand. The weather was, quite simply, superb.

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To the east, St. Paul’s Cathedral on the left, then Heron Tower, Tower 42, the edge of the Gherkin, the ‘Cheese Grater‘ and the ‘Walkie Talkie‘. The face of City is changing all the time.

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Looking west from Waterloo Bridge, the London Eye on the left, The Houses of Parliament (including ‘Big Ben‘), the hotels of the Strand, and the back of Charing Cross station.

The walk across the bridge is one of the nicest in London for views, and drops you right onto the Strand just a short walk from Covent Garden. However, we turned right and headed along to the KCL building. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the open day information properly and now realised that we had to walk all the way back across Waterloo Bridge to attend the welcome talk. (d’oh!)

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A great view from behind the Royal Festival Hall, of Big Ben (see FAQ here) seen through the London Eye. The sky was so clear and blue during the morning. Not a cloud to be seen.

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To the west of Waterloo Bridge is Hungerford Bridge, which is a rail bridge that brings the trains into London Charing Cross station. That’s another very nice walk. About 10 years ago, Hungerford Bridge was renovated and two pedestrian walkways were added to the bridge, one on either side to mark The Queens Golden Jubilee.

These also make great places from which to view London, and also make for a great walk from Charing Cross over to the Royal Festival Hall and South Bank complex on the other side of the river.

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A British Airways Boeing 747 seen through the ‘eye’

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Big Ben bracketed by the supports for the Hungerford Bridge walkways.

 

 

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A Qantas Airbus A380 seen over the top of the London Eye…

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A Qatar Boeing 777 flies over the London Eye. This one taken from Victoria Embankment underground station, by Hungerford Bridge

London is a fantastic city…there is so much to see and do. It’s not the cheapest place in the world to visit (or live!), but there are many things you can do for free such as walking, visiting the royal parks or the museums and galleries etc. (check a good guide book for details), and it is a city steeped in history.

If you view London on the basis of the Tube map, it’s possible to think it’s larger than it is, but you will find that if you walk, places tend to be easily walkable, although it’s a good idea to have a street map to make sure! It’s useful to know that if you fancied walking from Tower Bridge to say, Kensington Palace; it’s long walk!

But, when the sun is shining (and mostly even when it’s not) there is no better place to be – although all city dwellers in New York, or Paris, or Sydney would say the same about those places I imagine!

 

© Copyright Richard Debonnaire