Although I didn't write about everything we plan on doing, there are certain moments things we hope to experience including Afternoon Tea and I would like to try to some London pizza since I come from New York and you know how New Yorkers are about their pizza. We also have a list of possible food places to visit. I am not feeling overly confident about our list because we had a list when we went on our last trip and Rob pretty much threw that out the window. We definitely want to do some traditional British foods: Fish and Chips, Yorkshire Pudding, Shepherd's Pie, and such. We also want to have some "ethnic" foods: Indian, Thai, Portuguese, Turkey, Chinese.
Yeah. We'll only be there a few days. Not sure we can squeeze all that food in there without one of us exploding.
This is our final full day in London and what we do will depend so much on what we've already done. Rob will want to come home with a souvenir but he is not the type to settle for just any old thing. (Remember our first day in NY when we spent the whole day trying to find one jacket and one cap? Picture that only it can't be something ordinary, like an article of clothing, but something significant, symbolic, special.)
If Rob didn't already find Something Perfect, we'll head to Camden Market.
If, however, he has found something, then we're off on another all day excursion to Hatfield House.
If we haven't found a portrait of Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury by then, we'll find one at Hatfield House because this is the Cecil ancestral estate. (Oh how the mighty have fallen, but don't tell Rob I said that.)
So much will depend on so many things. Will we still have any money to spend? Will the weather be lovely or not? Will we have already found something for Rob? Seen a Robert Cecil portrait? All of these questions will determine what we actually end up doing on our final day in London.
I'll bet you didn't know that Rob is related to some very important people in British history. Well, he is. Which his why we are heading to the National Portrait Gallery one day.
We'll seek out the Tudor paintings (of course!) but we will also be seeking some very specific portraits. I am pretty sure we will see William Cecil, aka Lord Burghley but Rob is more interested in seeing a portrait of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury.
Then it's just a half mile walk to the Walking Tour because at 2pm there's a Rock n Roll themed walking tour. How perfect is that?
The walks are about 2 hours so we'll be done for the day by 4pm. We may borrow a movie (you can do that at the hotel) or go on a pub crawl (Rob doesn't drink but he thinks it would be fun to take me on one anyway) or maybe we'll find something else fun and fantastic to do.
BTW, weather it rains or not, we're doing this tour. We don't care. It's only offered on Fridays and we'll only be there on Friday so this is our one and only chance. We'll also be within walking distance of the British Museum so we may end up going back there to catch something we may have missed or revisit something we loved. The museums are open late on Friday so we'll have options.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that we will be going to the Tower of London.
This one is so overloaded with history that it's hard to know where to begin. Not really. Someone I know who's been said go straight to the Crown Jewels. So we'll start by looking at the pretty sparkly things.
They currently have the red poppies installation "Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red" by Paul Cummins. And there's a special exhibit focusing on World War I. I know far more about World War II so I'm sure I'll learn a lot.
After we leave the Tower of London, we plan on heading to the Tower Hamlets Cemetery.
We aren't looking for anyone in particular. We simply want to visit an old cemetery with old tombstones and such. As I said, though, so much will depend on the weather. Going to the Tower is a must but seeing a cemetery is a hopefully, if you know what I mean.
Our first palace visit naturally has to be one that is steeped in Tudor history. In fact, this palace is divided into two distinct eras but, as luck would have it, the "other" one is close for renovations or something. But who cares? Not I, obviously!
And yes, we will go through the maze. Wouldn't you? It's an hour there by subway so we'll be using The Underground to get there and back. Or we may grab a taxi on the way back. So much will depend upon how we feel.
Our hotel is within walking distance of so many delightful things that we get to do a little sightseeing while getting from point A to point B. On Tuesday, the plan is to walk over to the Tate Britain.
After the Tate, we're heading over to Westminster Abbey. Along the way, we'll probably have lunch, unless we eat at the Tate which comes highly recommended to us. Then again, we may decide to eat at the Abbey.
See? I'm not actually planning everything out. I mean, the Tate has several things to see as does the Abbey. We'll meander and explore at our leisure.
Early on in any trip, we want to make sure we visit a museum so we will be going to the British Museum all day on the first weekday we'll be in London. Why not sooner? Well, to be honest, we prefer to avoid going to museums when there might be a lot of children around.
Naturally Rob wants to go to the Ancient Egyptian section and there is a lot for us to explore there. In fact, the museum offers free tours throughout the day. You simply have to try to time yourself and be in the right place at the right time when the tour begins. How cool is that?
Having studied Medieval literature and history in college, I am chomping at the bit to see anything and everything connected with Sutton Hoo.
Alas, because of the timing of other exhibits, we won't be able to take an Ancient Egypt tour but we will be able to take one dedicated to Japan in the morning and Medieval Europe in the afternoon. Truly, we plan on spending the entire day at the museum and I'll try not to spend all of our money on things in the gift shop.
My parents have arranged for a car to take us around the city to help us get our bearings. It will pick us up at 10am and drop us off at 2pm. We weren't sure what we wanted to do with it so we'll probably leave it to the driver to find some fun places to take us. However, we do know where we want it to drop us off.
Oxford Circus is at the northwest corner of Soho and Rob really wants to explore Soho. Yes, dear readers, believe it or not, we actually plan on doing some shopping on our first full day in London. *sigh*
Our walk through Soho will carry us (intentionally) through Chinatown. It will be fun to compare London's Chinatown with New York's Chinatown.
We'll pass through Piccadilly Circus on our way back to the hotel. We won't even have to go out of our way. How cool is that?
We could have already walked through and around St. James's Park but, even if we have, we will have an opportunity to do so again on this day. My fingers are crossed that we will have found a perfect something for Rob by the end of this day because he is very fussy about finding The Perfect Something and if we don't find The Perfect Something for him . . . well, I'll let you know later in our Tentative Itinerary.
There's quite a list of people for whom we'll want to find gifts. But we've so many wonderful places to visit, I can't imagine we'll buy everything on our first day. Or maybe I just hope not, even as I desperately hope Rob finds his Perfect Something.
Today and through the 28th, I will be sharing our tentative itinerary for our trip to London. We cannot anticipate the weather so, if we plan a day of being outside a lot on a day when the weather will be raining a lot, we will probably shuffle things around a bit. Right now, the day I am typing this, the weather is predicting fog on the day we arrive. I would love that!
Anyway, without further ado, here are the things we have planned, aware that with mice and men such things are bound to go awry.
Our flight leaves at 6:17pm on Friday and we land at 7:40am on Saturday. This is an image of a 767-400 which is the type of Boeing jet we'll be taking. This is my first time flying for so many hours so I am not sure how I'll handle it so this will be a grand experiment.
Because we land so early, I am not expecting our room to be ready for us. But this is where we'll be staying: the Taj at 51 Buckingham Gate. When we went to New York, I didn't get a "before" picture of our room because Rob had food poisoning and had to lie down upon our arrival. Hopefully this time I'll have an opportunity to get a pretty picture or two before we start unpacking.
Even if our room is ready, we'll probably dash over to Buckingham Palace to see The Changing of the Guard. (Or we may decide it's not worth the bother. I think a lot will depend on how much we want to walk around or how very tired we feel because, if our room is ready, we may prefer to just take a quick nap.)
Assuming we are eager to walk around a bit, about a mile away from Buckingham Palace is the oldest Irish pub in London. Rumor has it, they serve wonderful bangers and mash so we hope to head over there for a little bite to eat before wandering back to our hotel and settling in for the evening. No specific plans for dinner at the moment. But with all the walking around we'll probably do and such, we are bound to spot a tempting eatery somewhere along the way.
And if we do go to the pub, here is what we'll pass along the way there and back: