last time i came to london was in oct2011. that time my wife & i & our son walked around saint james park.
this time as we had more time, we decided to follow the london for free/royal walk route. we took the victoria line from kings cross to green park & changed to jubilee line to westminster on 22.8.2014.
we started with 10 downing street, but the street was closed with security post and not accessible to tourist. 😦
from there we walked along richmond terrace towards river thames, crossed the road to victoria embankment next to the battle of britain memorial. 🙂
the london eye was opposite. i had not taken the london eye nor indeed the singapore flyer. i did not pay much attention earlier as the initial thought was paying £18 (S$33 for singapore flyer) to spend 30mins (32mins for singapore flyer) with 20+ strangers (25 in 1 capsule for london eye & 28 for singapore flyer). but in a way it is like paying to go up eiffel tower or empire state building to view the city. i may try them some time….
the appreciative & the critical, from wiki on london eye–
Sir Richard Rogers, winner of the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, wrote of the London Eye in a book about the project:
The Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or rich people, but everybody. That’s the beauty of it: it is public and accessible, and it is in a great position at the heart of London.
Writing for G2 in an article from August 2007, Steve Rose described the Eye as follows:
The Eye… exists in a category of its own…. It essentially has to fulfil only one function, and what a brilliantly inessential function it is: to lift people up from the ground, take them round a giant loop in the sky, then put them back down where they started. That is all it needs to do, and thankfully, that is all it does.
we walked along the embankment towards house of parliament aka palace of westminster.
there was winston churchill’s famous quote – “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” by the memorial.
big ben was right ahead. we crossed the road to the house of parliament aka palace of westminster.
there was the statue of winston churchill at the parliament square.
apparently one cannot find any pigeon resting on the head as it is wired & will give the poor creature an electric shock.
the house of parliament aka palace of westminster was an impressive sight. it would be an awesome sight if we had seen it in any european city. here in london we might have went past it many a times. still such an amazing architecture. 🙂
It is the largest gothic building in the world with over 1,000 rooms and two miles of corridors in it. the current building dated back to 1840 (rebuilding was initiated after the great fire of 1834), took mostly more than 20years to build, with construction completed only in the 1870s.
many great treason trials have taken place here. in 1305, braveheart was sentenced to death here and in 1606 guy fawkes, the man who tried to blow up Parliament, met a similar fate.
westminster abbey is steeped in 1000 year history. it has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of 17 monarchs. 1000s of people were buried here. the last burial in the abbey was in 1906; since then, only ashes have been accepted.
we past the dean’s yard which housed the remaining grounds of the former monastery of westminster, not occupied by the abbey buildings, including the church house, the headquarters of the church of england.
we crossed over victoria street & birdcage walk & walked by the pond in saint james park, passing the duck island cottage, a picturesque lodge that housed the offices of the london historic parks and gardens trust in saint james’s park.
we reached the guards division memorial.
looking in the direction of river thames & the london eye, there was horse guards parade, a large square in front of whitehall flanking the ministry of defence on the left. took some nice panoramic photos of whitehall & horse guard parade. 🙂
we cut across saint james park westwards in the direction of buckingham palace towards the mall.
we were lucky to catch the horse guards riding past, along the mall from buckingham palace. 🙂
we walked along the mall to Buckingham Palace. 🙂
we walked through green park.
then along piccadilly to piccadilly circus & shaftesbury avenue to my son’s former apartment which he rented for 2 years with 3 other friends. it was very centrally located along shaftesbury avenue between soho & chinatown. 🙂
from there, my son took me to monmouth at covent gardens to enjoy a great cuppa!
after that we proceeded to a very interesting lunch at honey & co on warren street. 🙂