Our first night was spent at a
Holiday Inn near Heathrow (LHR
because of the late arrival and since we had to pick up a bus
to Stansted airport (STN
the next morning, to meet a coworker coming in from Dublin (DUB
I had previously decided to take a National
bus between the airports, since it was
cost-effective and the timing worked out okay. So after
a short and expensive taxi ride from the hotel (1 mile, 5
minutes £15) we were at the Heathrow
Central Bus Station
, which according to Wikipedia is the
busiest bus station in the UK, although it didn't seem
particularly large or intimidating to us. We waited
outside for the call which indicated which stand the bus would
be at, but this proved to be unnecessary, as when the bus
arrived, it said its route and destination clearly on the
side, and they called it over the PA. It was 5 minutes
late or so but got us to Stansted a few minutes early, so all
We headed into Stansted, stopping for a photo op:
Where we met our party, and then took an arranged service to
today's work location. After a hard day at the office,
we were off to the Chelmsford
, which is a lovely local inn with very nice
rooms and a good restaurant. Recommended.
The next day, after work, and continuing our use of public
transport, we took National
Liverpool Street station
. Along the way we got to
see some countryside.
We saw some of the new facilities for the upcoming London
And the London "Gherkin", formerly the Swiss Re building,
formally known as 30 St.
Got into Liverpool Street Station and had time for another
photo before taking our taxi to Marble Arch.
After getting settled in, we decided to take a walk to the British
. Since it was a Friday, the museum was open
late so we thought we'd have a good opportunity to see a lot
in one day. After taking lunch along the way, we found
our way to the north entrance. Admission is free
except for special exhibits. Great value.
Saw one of the Crystal
One of the highlights was seeing the Rosetta
. I thought it would be larger than it was.
We spent quite a few hours going through a lot of the museum,
trying to see what the oldest items were we could find.
We saw things nearly 10,000 years old.
The next day we went off to see some famous London
landmarks. After taking the Tube
and getting Dad an Oyster Card
we were off to Westminster
and the Clock Tower (which houses Big
The other side of the Palace of Westminster.
We walked over to Westminster
, but didn't go in, rather choosing to take a walk
up the road to Buckingham
. We figured we'd come back to the Abbey
later in the afternoon.
, we noticed a statue to Abraham Lincoln.
There was conflicting information online regarding when the Changing
of the Guard
is, and it wasn't today. But we spent
some time looking at the palace and watching the guards walk
back and forth.
We then headed over to the Churchill
, which I had seen in 2006 and knew Dad would
enjoy seeing. Along the way we saw a monument to those
killed in a bombing in Bali in 2002.
After visiting the war rooms and having a nice lunch, we were
walking by the Horse Guard (Household Cavalry) and saw they
had a small
, so we went and checked that out. We got to
see the horses and all the regalia that goes along with them.
After that we headed back to Westminster Abbey, only to find
that they closed at 1 on Saturday! We thought they'd
admit until at least 3, but we were wrong. After
standing in the rain, we decided to take a walk to Lambeth
Road and the Imperial War
stopping for one final photo op.
Outside the museum
which had seen action on British
s in WWII.
The exhibits covered a lot of ground, with some excellent
material on WWI which we hadn't seen elsewhere.
This is an exhibit of what WWI trench
was like. Pretty terrible.
For movie lovers, here are the actual robes worn by Thomas
(aka Lawrence of Arabia) during his time
Having done a lot of walking, we took the tube back to Marble Arch
where our hotel was.
The next day being Sunday, we thought to go to church at St.
. It was a beautiful day...
...except for the Occupy London people living there.
(They were evicted a couple weeks after our visit.)
We went to a couple of services, and were able to see the American
, which is located behind the high altar,
which was very moving to both of us.
After that we took a city bus to the Tower of London.
You can see pictures of that from my earlier
, but there had been some changes. First, I'm
not sure what's up with this dragon made of armor:
Second, I don't know where they moved the painting of Henry
VIII to, but we never did see it.
Got a good look at the royal
coat of arms
Afterwards, it was back on the tube to the hotel.
For dinner we ate at the Grazing
, a nice pub a short walk from our hotel. Good
food - this was the Sunday
of beef and yorkshire
Tomorrow, we were off to Dublin!