Travels: London: Saturday 9th September 2000

About these pages : Links


This was rather different from the other trips this year: I took two friends on a tour of some of my favourite London sights.

I arrived at Cambridge station around 09:00 to find a large crowd of what looked like trainspotters but as they were queueing for the free bus to Duxford (Imperial War Museum), they must have been planespotters. This weekend was the event of the year - the 60th anniversary bash for the Battle of Britain. [Biggin Hill had a bash the following week.] I had considered going but it was now clear there would be huge crowds.

Anyway we caught the 09:15 (once again few others in the front carriage) to Kings Cross. Walking eastwards along Pentonville Road to the Thameslink station, we passed an example of Britart, in this case a sign on a railing saying:

As much of this trip is a recap, I'll just summarise most of our route.

A longer wait than previously at KX Thameslink for a train to London Bridge - left 10:39; London Bridge station; Borough Market; Park Street; Tate Modern floor 3; tried to go along the river walk downstream but closed for rebuilding; Clink Street; the lute busker in medieval garb, chatting to tourists; Golden Hinde.

We stopped to eat at the Fish!Diner - another excellent meal, though unfortunately they weren't using the outside area, even though it was hot and sunny. The diner filled up rapidly.

Market Porter; at last I spotted the Old London Bridge Brewery - across the road from the Market Porter; Wheatsheaf (the place was packed out by a Morris dance troupe, whose next stop was The George); Tube to Bank; Monument; Lloyds of London; Gracechurch Street.

There we found the Crosse Keys (JD Wetherspoon) though decided not to go in [I went in the next time]. It's notable as JDW have been plugging it as an experiment: instead of bland, widely-available beers from the big brewers, they're ordering interesting ones from smaller brewers. If people like this, it'll be rolled out nationally. It therefore needs encouraging, for the sake of all!

Tube to Temple (my first time there); along the Embankment, stopping briefly in the entrance lobby of part of Somerset House - clearly there's plenty to see there; onwards and up Savoy Lane to the Strand; across the road, past the Strand Palace Hotel, up Southampton Street to Covent Garden market.

We were minded to look for interesting book shops, such as the specialist Crime In Store in Bedford Street, round the corner from the Marquis of Granby (Chandos Place), and wandered along Charing Cross Road looking at more bookshops. We stopped for a long while in an excellent SF & Fantasy bookshop New Worlds in the basement of Murder One. We also ventured into Leicester Square and into Lisle Street ("Chinatown").

We had been thinking of seeing Art but decided to wind down.

Taking the Tube to Russell Square, we stopped at the Lamb for a couple of refreshing drinks and walked to Kings Cross, catching the non-stop 18:45 back.

Home page : Travels : London : Next