Sea of anemones

/ Thursday, April 22, 2021
Location: Park Teatralny, Kołobrzeg, Polska
 Language #1 - Read in English      Language #2 - Czytaj po polsku


London for the weekend. Is it possible? hmmm ... It will be very hard, but let's try.

Have you already found cheap tickets? That's good. Where will you land? If it's Luton airport, I use the train. From the airport, there is a shuttle bus to London Luton Parkway railway station and from there a direct train to central London. Check the place where you will be staying and which station to get off.

If you come to Stansted? Use the train or coach. The latter will be cheaper (£ 14 compared to £19.40 for a train ticket), but slower (2h5min compared to 47 minutes). They stop in different places, so it's worth checking the airport page for directions, again keeping in mind where to stay for the weekend.

If you land at Gatwick? Definitely take the train to Victoria Station.

If it's Heathrow, it's the easiest thing to do. Take the tube (subway, metro).

So you drove from the airport to the city center, and now you have to go further. It's best to buy a paper Travelcard. You have to calculate what is the cheapest for you. Is it better to buy a daily Travelcard or, for example, a 7-day Travelcard? For weekend,  it is better to buy an Off-peak Travelcard for the day, which means that you go sightseeing after 9:30, which is after London's morning rush hours. Transport for London has a very useful website. You will plan a trip around London here, and above all check, whether there are delays and problems on the metro and bus routes.

Depending on whether you land by noon or in the afternoon, it is worth considering whether to buy a Travelcard right away or pay a single ticket and buy a Travelcard the next day.

I was wondering whether to prepare a map with the route, but I always said that London has a center everywhere. There are so many places to visit there that you can find something from stories, blogs or postcards at every turn. It's up to you how much time you spend on a given attraction. I will mention here the most important in my opinion. In other posts, you will find places that are not obvious. Something worth seeing, but one weekend is definitely not enough. Fortunately, in times of cheap flights, it is possible to see a lot. London is a fascinating city and it's worth coming back to. I believe that travelling by subway is the most effective. Although more expensive than the bus, I always choose the metro. Besides, I walk a lot, because there is always something interesting just around the corner.

Big Ben which is next to the Eiffel Tower is perhaps the most recognisable structure in the world. The name Big Ben originally referred to one of the bells, but quickly became the common name for the clock tower. Its construction lasted several years until 1859. At that time, the clock was the largest and most accurate four-sided chiming clock. Each side has a symbol of one British nation: English Rose, Welsh Leek, Scottish Thistle and Northern Irish Clover. The clock tower is 96.3 meters and each of the four dials is 7 meters in diameter. As of 2017, Big Ben has been undergoing a renovation which has cost less than £ 80 million. It should end in 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renewal is still ongoing.

Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) is part of the Palace of Westminster. On the opposite side of the palace is the Victoria Tower, which is the tallest in this complex. It is 98.5 meters.
The building consists of three wings, but the most important rooms are in the central part. It is here that meetings of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the British Parliament, are held. On days when the Chamber is not sitting, tourists can visit the palace. Entry tickets cost few pounds. At the moment, this is of course not possible due to the pandemic. But you can visit it online. Tickets are free and you can book your seat here
Interesting facts: the sculptures of the four prime ministers stand in the room called Members Lobby. They are Winston Churchill (two-time Prime Minister in 1940-1945 and 1951-1955), David Lloyd George (Prime Minister during World War I), Clement Atlee (Prime Minister between 1945-1951) and Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister 1979-1990 ), which is the only one to be honoured this way in her lifetime. When she saw her statuette she said: 'I thought it would be iron, but the bronze will do'.
Buckingham Palace has been the seat of the British Monarchy since 1837. The English monarch lives and works here, and also receives foreign guests.
Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 as the seat of the Duke of Buckingham. In 1761, George III became the owner of the palace and significantly expanded it. The palace has over seven hundred rooms and bedrooms, and over 70 bathrooms. There is a statue of Queen Victoria (she reigned in the years 1837 - 1901)) in front of it. It is worth going there around 11:30 because there is a ceremonial changing of the guard (daily from April to July, and every other day in other months). However, in August and September, the palace is open to visitors.
The representative road leading to Buckingham Palace is called The Mall (here the view towards the Admiralty Arch)
Near Buckingham Palace, there is one of the entrances to St James' Park. It is the oldest royal park in London. Originally it was the hospital of St. James for lepers, hence the name of the park. Later, King Henry VIII took over this area. A very nice park that has many species of birds including the black swan. It is also a place to rest for a while before further exploring. I would like to say it's peaceful and quiet, but unfortunately not :)
By the way. Peace and quiet in London can be found in small parks. There are plenty of them. It's always worth having a sandwich there. If you don't find the bench, sit on the grass. In London, no one is chasing anyone for 'destroying greenery' in this way.
As you stroll around St James' Park, you will surely come across Duck Island Cottage, a birdcatcher from 1837, and see London's largest parade square: Horse Guards Parade. This is where the Queen's official birthday in June takes place, the so-called Trooping the Color. Elizabeth II was born on April 21. And then he celebrates with his family. The monarch's birthday has been celebrated in June around the 17th century when George II stated that his birthday month, October, was too cold for such a joyful celebration. Trooping the Color itself is a ceremonial inspection of the army that will be performed by the Queen.
Trafalgar Square is a square commemorating the Battle of the English at Trafalgar. In its central part, there is a column of Nelson (the general who won the above-mentioned battle but died himself), as well as stone lions. There is also a large fountain here, and on the north side - the National Gallery building. It is worth going there for at least a dozen or so minutes. We can find there, among others, Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers, Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna in the Grotto, Caravaggio's Supper in Emmaus, a rich collection of Impressionist paintings and many more. Admission is free.
Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church of English kings since 1066, the coronation of William the Conqueror. All English and British kings were crowned here, except for Edward V and Edward VIII, who were de facto never crowned. Since 1100, 16 royal weddings have been held here, including Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. Over 3,300 people are buried here, including 17 monarchs, 8 prime ministers, as well as poets, scientists and actors. Many also have memorial plaques. If you have time (at the next weekend in London), it is worth visiting, if only because of the Polish accent. There is a Chapel of the Royal Air Force with stained glass windows dedicated to, among others, Squadrons 303 and 302 (we will see the Polish eagle and the flag).
You can't avoid a stroll to the South Bank. In short, walking from Big Ben towards Tower Bridge you wander the South Bank. Full of restaurants and pubs, as well as all sorts of shows and markets, part of London. Here is also the London Aquarium and another icon of the city: The London Eye.
Moving on, you will come across Shakespeare's theatre The Globe
and before the Tate Modern stands.
On the opposite side of the Thames, you can see St Paul's Cathedral,
We pass Millenium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, London Bridge and The Shard.
On the opposite side there are architecturally beautiful office buildings (the whole complex is called London Bridge City). 
We come to More London Riverside, City Hall and Tower Bridge
The Tower of London is located on its other side.
The Tower Bridge is perhaps the most famous London bridge. There are always crowds watching bridge lifting for passing ships. Bridge opening times can be found here
The Natural History Museum is located in South Kensington. Until 2017, the showpiece of the museum was the Dippy dinosaur. Dippy is a replica of the Diplodocus, the remains of which were discovered by Wyoming railroad workers in 1898. The skeleton replica arrived at the museum in 1905 and has enjoyed millions of visitors since then. After 112 years, Dippie was replaced by the skeleton of a blue whale named Hope. The museum is a great attraction for children and adults. It has over 80 million exhibits in the fields of botany, zoology and geology. The most famous attractions are a slice of cut redwood with a diameter of 6 meters, a roaring Tyrannosaurus rex or the possibility of 'surviving' an earthquake.
I recommend the British Museum especially to those who like history. It has over 8 million exhibits, including the Rosetta Stone. Its discovery in 1799 became a breakthrough for the reading of ancient Egyptian writing. In 2007, an exhibition of the Terracotta Army was held here. I also visited it (we had to book tickets a month in advance), and the exhibition was seen by 850 thousand. people. It was an amazing experience, but unfortunately, I don't have any photos. There was a total ban on making them.
Hyde Park is another royal park worth a short walk in. Well, it could be a while, because it has an area of ​​159 hectares. The Serpentine Lake divides it into two parts. It is one of the favourite places of rest for Londoners. It is worth remembering that in the northeastern part of the park there is an important Speaker's Corner, where Marx, Lenin and Orwell performed. *** Speaker's Corner is an open-air location where everyone can speak (as long as they do not offend the Queen). And if you visit London in winter, you must definitely check it out, because Winter Wonderland takes place here every year. One of the largest Christmas markets in Europe.
Greenwich. Who hasn't heard about the zero meridian at school? Time begins here ...; 0) not only can you stand on two Earth's hemispheres at the same time, but also look at the London panorama. The Meridian Zero is marked as a strip of stainless steel running in the courtyard of the Royal Observatory. Everyone is happy to take pictures of themselves there.
Camden Town is an unusual place. For me, it's like an alternate reality. You get in your jacket on the subway in the centre, and you get off in Camden Town in your boots and corset. You will get everything there, you just have to find the time. If you are looking for unconventional clothes, jewellery or interior design elements, this is the right place. Of course, Camden will also satisfy all musical tastes. After shopping, you definitely feel hungry. The choice of food here is very large and comes from all over the world. After eating well, I like to sit down and watch the barges while sipping Guinness. Camden Town is home to many artists. It was also the home of Amy Winehouse. There is a bronze sculpture standing at the Stables Market.
Remember that London is one of the greatest cities in the world. When buying cheap tickets, we usually do it much earlier. Check if there is anything interesting going on in London on a particular weekend (e.g. a performance, exhibition or NBA show match, not to mention concerts). It's worth taking a look at website: visitlondon.com. Yes, a few months earlier is usually a good time to order tickets for major cultural or sports events.
I am convinced that you will love London, although one lifetime is just not enough to experience it.


























Location: London, United Kingdom