London – Day 6 – July 15, 2019
We took the Thames River Clipper from North Greenwich to Embankment. It was a great way to see the city, and it’s way cheaper than the tour boats. It felt like we kept circling around Canary Wharf, but we were just following the dip in the Thames. It was our first really cool day and it was quite refreshing. Jackets all around, and a cup of tea for the journey.
We wandered down Embankment and recreated our Cleopatra’s Needle/Sphinx photo from when we were going out. G&B are so patient with our shenanigans.
We went back along the river and made our way through some of the amazing parks and gardens that are on the other side of the road. There are statues and art everywhere. We found one of William Tyndale which was cool. We walked past the Ministry of Defense building and New Scotland Yard.
We made it to Big Ben which was sadly swathed in scaffolding which we knew about, but it was a bit disappointing not to see and hear it. Glad it is getting some TLC though. Wandered through the park filled with statues of famous people near the Houses of Parliament.
We carried on and walked past Horse Guards and Number 10 Downing Street and on to Trafalgar Square. Had a look is St Martin’s in the Field Crypt which was one of my favourite places to go when I was out and about in the city for a quiet cup of tea. It’s been upgraded and expanded and it’s lovely, but the tea is much more expensive now!
Had a sandwich lunch (Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local have great lunch meal deals that we availed ourselves of, several times throughout the trip. I also love the sandwich varieties that the UK has) on the steps of St Martin’s. Then we went in for a free lunch time concert and enjoyed hearing the Southend Girl’s Choir perform.
Then it was on to one of my most cherished places in London, the National Gallery. We had such a great time. The boys continued their education – lots of nudity and violence. You don’t think about it until you go with kids! There was lots of laughter and fun as well as being in awe at the amazing works of art.
I got a bit emotional (shocking, I know) as I sat in front of The Execution of Lady Jane. I just felt overwhelmed with the beauty and emotion of the painting and with the fact that I was there with my family and friends, and a little bit sad thinking about not having a life in London. We talked about the art we saw. Graeme told me what he loves about his favourite painting. We discovered some pieces that we hadn’t noticed before. Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, Turner. Colin discovered his favourite painting. I am so thankful that these world class galleries are free, there’s no barrier for anyone to experience the art and be moved by it. There are hundreds of free galleries and museums in London.
After that, we went to St Bartholomew the Great Church, it was very cool outside, but we didn’t go in. William Wallace was put to death near the church and later his funeral was held here.
Then we went to Postman’s Park, another Pinterest find and it was incredibly beautiful as a park and moving as a memorial to people who had given their lives to save the lives of others. There are plaques along a wall telling the stories of people who died saving others.
After this we took a couple of buses through the city to Limehouse to a fish/burger/kebab/chicken shop and got kebabs and chips and ate them at Limehouse Basin. The chip shop was across the street from our old YWAM base.
Back to Stratford, the boys played on the playground for a while. My DSLR camera was in my backpack and got dropped on the concrete. I thought for sure it was a goner, it was absolutely fine and I am very thankful.
Becky and I had a bit of shopping time in the Mall. Sadly, throughout our time together, there just wasn’t enough time for much shopping or charity shops.