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  1. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Here's a taster until I can get these photos sorted out... (thanks for the tip, Bonecollector...)

    Attachment 91079
    Awesome Mendy, I am so glad you guys went and I hope your daughter really enjoyed the atmosphere and food. I was actually just in there on Monday for a bacon/ black pudding butty and a builders!

  2. #877
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  3. #878
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    ^ I wish you'd posted that earlier PAG. I love a bit of beach rugby but no way we'll get tickets at such short notice!

  4. #879
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    You'd not be admitted with out your budgie smugglers

  5. #880
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    ^ I wish you'd posted that earlier PAG. I love a bit of beach rugby but no way we'll get tickets at such short notice!
    Only just came up on my FB feed, probably because this year's chosen charity recipient is 'The Royal Marines Charity'. Try here for tickets:

    Buy tickets – Weston Beach Rugby Fest 2022 – Weston-s-Mare Beach, Fri 5 Aug 2022 12:00 PM - Sun 7 Aug 2022 6:00 PM

  6. #881
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    ^ Thanks PAG, much appreciated.

    It's a real shame I've got a bad leg at the moment.

  7. #882
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    I see a lot of 'discussion' that I missed while being so busy pilgrimaging across London the last few days. Three days in London was great but also more than enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    whetting mini's appetite to see the other 99.96547864% when she's older
    Exactly that Mike. We had two whole days which was enough to see a lot of stuff but not really visit many places. I wanted to give the littl'un a taste of London and some memories, but all said and done we were both all done in by day 3 and glad to get back to some normality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    Mendys a country gent as opposed to a City rat.
    Why, thank you Joe.


    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    How did your daughter take to the morning fry-ups?
    We only had two fry-ups in all the time we spent in London, what with me watching my diet and all that. The daughter is well used to fry-ups and took it all in her stride.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bogon View Post
    You should have known it was bad when they said your room was on Platform 3.
    Platform 10 actually, but point taken.


    The day before we left for London we had another of these best ice creams in the world from Cheddar and I'm starting to think that my mum's friend may be correct. I had a scoop of 'funky banana' underneath 'rhubarb and custard' and the daughter took a wiser a choice of 'cookies and cream' underlying a scoop of 'caramel fudge in clotted cream'. The rhubarb and custard was a bit of a let down, tbh.




    Our London trip started with a bit of a disaster. We arrived at Yatton train station at 10:15am for our 11am train to Bristol Temple Meads. This was a bit early but as my mum was driving us over I allowed a lot of contingency time for accidents and unexplained stops at random shops. As we stood on the platform we watched the 10:23 to Severn Beach stop, passengers alight, and leave again and continued to wait. There it is, off on it's way.



    I decided to check how long a connection we had at Temple Meads for our Paddington train and discovered to my horror that the train we had watched come and go was ours. I went into the ticket office and the lady told me that the '11am' was for our Temple Meads train to Paddington... and also told me that people are always making this mistake.



    FFS... so I had to fork out 63.20 for two replacement tickets to Paddington... after all my careful pre-booking as well. And we hadn't even left the station.

    Anyway, the rest of the train journey went without incident.



    That was our train from Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington.



    I was just mentioning to the daughter that no-one had even checked our new train tickets and I wished that I hadn't bothered when we discovered that you need the tickets to leave the station. With hindsight I reckon I could have used our first tickets and just said we'd hung about on the platform for an our after arriving before going through the barrier.



    And straight to the taxi rank for the daughter's first time in a famous London black cab and besides, I'd had enough of trains for the day and no way were we heading to the tube station.



    This cost (I think) just under 12 quid for a trip to Vauxhall, and worth every penny. Two Travelcards for a day on the tubes and buses cost around 14 quid so a taxi is OK if you're only doing one trip, and if you hate public transport and don't know what you're doing.

    Luvly jubbly.



    And there's our hotel. Not the most salubrious of exteriors... and the interior was no different if truth be told.



    When we entered our room the curtains were closed and it didn't look to bad. Very small but OK. I discovered why the curtains were closed... to give guests at least 20 seconds or so of a reasonable first impression, cos when you open the curtains...



    And that was a very rare photo with no trains. Vauxhall Station must be one of the busiest train stations in the western hemisphere.

    This was the usual view...



    Until a train stopped at Platform 10 when all the other platforms were blocked out.



    The room noticeably darkened when trains stopped at Platform 10 and they didn't so much make a noise as made vibrations. The whole room vibrated when a train rumbled through and I could see why the windows didn't open (which is usually a red line for me when booking hotels... I get a bit claustrophobic and need opening windows).

    But despite some faults, the hotel was a great location! And it was cheap.



    After walking out of the hotel that first afternoon we walked along The Embankment (which was maybe 5 minutes away) and immediately saw this view. Fantastic!

    That's The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben past Lambeth Bridge. You can see Westminster Bridge beneath one of Lambeth Bridge's arches.



    We walked along The Embankment past this memorial wall for Covid victims. It's supposed to be one heart per fatality but it seemed that someone had vastly overestimated the mortality rate and painted way too many hearts.





    And Westminster Bridge with Big Ben on the north bank of The Thames, only a 30 minute walk from the hotel! In fact only the clock is called Big Ben, the tower in which the clock sits is called Queen Elizabeth Tower (I later learnt).



    That's The Marriott Hotel on the far side of Westminster Bridge, by the London Eye... and a 'Toots' Bus, would ya believe!

    And a brace of b@stard cyclists. There are cycle lanes everywhere in London and these wankers zip about at break neck speed ringing their stupid bells and shouting at anyone with the audacity to attempt to cross over a road or cycle lane. I don't see why we can't stay with the traditional roads for cars and pavements for pedestrians. These cyclists go on the pavements or roads when it suits them, don't abide by red lights and just seem to do whatever they want. We even had one shout at us by Buckingham Palace for crossing the road outside of the 'designated place', the tosser. I hate them.



    Despite the b@stard cyclists we decided to cross the road and walk across Westminster Bridge, just for the fun. We both looked up enviously at The Marriott's opening windows and absence of train traffic, but one night in The Marriott would have set me back 600 quid and we had three nights in the Travelodge for 343, plus 9 quid for internet. You can't argue with that.

    And no we didn't... the daughter flat out refused to go on the London Eye... and anyway, been there done that on Weston-Super-Mare sea front last week.



    Would have been nice though.



    From the apex of Westminster Bridge.



    Big Ben.



    And on the north bank... Boudicea I'm guessing.



    Westminster Bridge is pretty much ruined by cyclists and these guys who constantly set up, blocking the pavement and hide a ball under three cups. I think it was a Wedgie Benn to guess which cup the ball was under... you lose the stake for an incorrect choice and a Bobby Moore if you win, I guess.

    The daughter wanted a go and I said no problem if you use your own money. She soon changed her mind.



    And if you think I'm exaggerating about the nuisance these b@stard cyclists make of themselves, you have to queue up for an ice cream the other side of the cycle lane or else risk getting run down by the fukkers. The bloody tourist kept on pushing in through the gap made by the cycle lane, making a mockery of queuing, and when you eventually made it to the ice cream van counter, one accidental step back would be answered by a volley of silly bicycle bell ringing and some twat shouting in indignation. You can see this guy trying to hold hback is kids so they don't step into the cycle lane, while attempting to buy something. If ever I go back to Westminster Bridge I'm taking a pocketful of 2 inch nails which I'll liberally scatter around the place.



    But we English are made of stern stuff and I won through in the end... but 9 quid for two whippy ice creams, one with a flake... ker ching, thank you very much. Ootai can probably write an equation to show us that without a flake cost 4 and a 99 with a flake cost 5 (a Skindiver). Sorry ootai

    These were the most expensive ice creams of the holiday to date (and therefore of my entire life). And two small bottles of cold water cost 6, the robbing bandits.



    And that was pretty much it for our first day. We walked back along the road parallel to The Embankment until I spotted this boozer, cor blimey gov, just the job. Before this we'd discovered a small Tesco where I bought some normal priced water and quite a lot of cider, hence the daughter was struggling with the weight of the bag!



    And after a long day, a well deserved pint of Aspell cider, very nice. I spent a lot of time over this pic as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament were visible over the top of my pint glass, but sadly they don't show in the photo.



    And dinner... luvly jubbly!



    I wasn't really looking forward to an evening in the hotel room but it was around 9pm by the time we decanted the Tesco haul onto the window sill and at least the aircon was pretty good.

    This may seem excessive to some northerners or midlanders, but 6 inches is pretty modest from my part of the world!



    The entire room in all it's glory.



    And after a couple of ciders I had soon shrunk to 4 inches!



    Once it was dark and you couldn't see the coating of grime on the window we really felt the closeness of the trains to our room. In fact they were so close I had to wait for an empty carriage to stop outside our window until I took a picture because with people sat so close looking in at us, it just felt a bit weird to look back at them and take photos.

    I would definitely not choose a hotel room like this on a passport renewal trip, if you know what I mean.

    Last edited by Mendip; 05-08-2022 at 11:20 PM.

  8. #883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    but all said and done we were both all done by day 3 and glad to get back to some normality.
    i grew up there loved it, but that was over 40 years ago. i go back now and barley recognise parts i knew, i'm glad to leave after a day or two. Its been "gentrified" or turned into some third world slum, no manor atmosphere like there used to be. that cafe you went to was common across London, and boozers - mostly gone.

  9. #884
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    That was our train from Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington.
    you forgot to mention its all electric now, no intercity 125 any more.

  10. #885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    In fact only the clock is called Big Ben, the tower in which the clock sits is called Queen Elizabeth Tower (I later learnt).
    erm actually it the bell not the clock or tower mate

  11. #886
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    Many a year ago, if you had time post lunch you could pop to the Crown & Sceptre in Portland Place and its just around the corner from BBC Broadcasting House, pop in sit there and spot the celebs, more on Fri and Sat late PM.

  12. #887
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    And dinner... luvly jubbly!
    I'll chuck me last in, next time you go get yourself to Borough Market, its got a great range of world food stalls and failing that its home to one of the best Fish and Chippies in Laaandaan.

  13. #888
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    erm actually it the bell not the clock or tower mate
    Would you Adam and Eve it!

  14. #889
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    ^ I would. Next time you need a guide. Don't take your car, you have to be a Laaandaaan driver there


  15. #890
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    We both looked up enviously at The Marriott's opening windows and absence of train traffic, but one night in The Marriott would have set me back 600 quid and we had three nights in the Travelodge for 343, plus 9 quid for internet. You can't argue with that.


    suppose you cannot…

  16. #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    suppose you cannot…
    In a few years, his daughter will take one look at the room and say, "I'm not staying here".

  17. #892
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    In fact only the clock is called Big Ben, the tower in which the clock sits is called Queen Elizabeth Tower (I later learnt).
    Enjoying your travels. Just so you don't mislead your daughter, it is only the bell inside the tower that should be called Big Ben. However, the clock is so commonly called Big Ben that it has become commonly accepted.

    The statue is Boudica and her daughters. Or Boudicca. Or, if memory serves me correctly, the spelling on the statue was Boadicea, which was still the popular spelling when I was growing up because of some old poem I'd need to look up. Other spellings are available.

    I knew this part of London quite well in my younger years.

    Pedants corner is now closed.

    Did you not stop at the London Aquarium in the old City Hall? Worth a visit next time you are there.

    Have you found any rhubarb cider yet?

  18. #893
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    I completely agree about cyclists, especially in London. Not only do they ignore the legal tradition of 'man before horse' they compound it by riding carelessly wherever they wish and then having the rudeness to shout abuse at people who are simply walking along. I don't believe that people are born to hate cyclists, I think they bring it upon themselves.

    When I got my first 'big' bicycle I was told that above a certain wheel size it couldn't be ridden legally on a pavement. Does that law still exist?

  19. #894
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    ^ I don't know about that law but I saw on the news today that Grant Schapps (otherwise a complete twat) is pushing for a new law to prosecute cyclists who cause death by dangerous riding. Currently the maximum sentence is 2 years. Personally I think they should throw away the key.

  20. #895
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    ^ they should get the same as car drivers. Once i retire i'm getting a ratty run around, moody plates and i'm going to have run in the lanes

  21. #896
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    We had the first morning in London to ourselves and hen were meeting up with friends in the afternoon. Due to being in such a marvelous location I decided to walk to Buckingham Palace.

    But first a couple of 'two train' pictures to start the day.





    At the Travelodge, 9.95 gets you an unlimited fry-up and children eat for free. I guess if I was Chinese at an unlimited buffet I'd still be there eating but I was quite constrained.



    Across the road from our hotel, on the south side of Vauxhall Bridge is 'Vauxhall Cross', the home of MI6 and SIS.



    I've read a lot of Gerald Seymour novels and the stories often start with a couple of old spies having a chat while walking along the Embankment. It was nice to see where he'd been writing about. There was pretty tight security.





    I've long been interested in cofferdams and looking back at Vauxhall Cross from the bridge it looked as though the building was being extended into The Thames. Or maybe it was just a jetty being built for the spies?



    On the north bank of The Thames by the bridge there were a couple of mudlarkers. I'd love to have a go down there with my metal detector but am not sure if it's allowed to anyone or if you need a license of some sort. Maybe next time...

    That wood could be the hundreds of years old footings for jetties.



    Millbank along the north side of The Thames. The home of MI5 is somewhere along here. The entire road was lined by horse chestnut trees and we got a couple of conkers to try and grow in Korat.



    Parliament Square... looking a bit parched.



    This is Snubby's favourite part of London...

    Because there are six burgers!





    Houses of Parliament...



    ... and Big Ben, although of course we couldn't see the bell which is in fact the 'Big Ben' part.

    Thinking about it, in all the time we were in London I didn't hear Big Ben chime once.



    I think this was Westminster Palace or Cathedral along here... either way there was a big queue so we didn't go in. If I do have a criticism of London it's that none of the buildings were very well labelled, and to be honest, by this point I was pretty much saturated with all the history and historical buildings. There is just too much of it in London.



    An interesting clock.



    And a couple more pics of these 'Westminster' buildings.





    And onward towards Buckingham Palace. The pelicans on the Serpentine in St Jame's Park.





    Whitehall. Early on in the trip to try and keep the daughter interested I promised her 1 for every place name she could find that is on the Monopoly board, and I've just realised she claimed a pound for Whitehall when it should be Whitechapel Road, of course. The bugger.





    And a war memorial at the entrance to Whitehall. A the time I thought his was The Cenotaph but later saw that elsewhere.



    And The Mall... not the one in Korat but the long road to Buckingham Palace. This is where the funeral and wedding processions all take place and you can see the palace at the end.



    There was no changing of the guard ceremony that day but this troop of horses passed us by on their way to Buckingham Palace, with a load of taxis and delivery vehicles stuck behind. These weren't the same cavalry that were outside Whitehall as every one of these troopers were women. Maybe it was some kind of female regiment?





    And Buckingham Palace. A cyclist shouted at us around here because we had the audacity to cross the road away from a 'designated crossing point', the wanker. What was it to do with him?



    And a nice shot of the palace behind that fine pair of legs. The Union Jack was flying which meant that the Queen was not at home. They fly the Royal Standard when she's back.



    The famous balcony that knobby Prince Harry and his awful wife will probably never again stand on.



    Back up The Mall and Prince Charles and Camilla's gaff... is it Clarence House?



    The Queen Elizabeth (1900 - 2002) was in fact the Queen Mother. I never realised she was another Elizabeth.



    Poor old King George VI could do with a head wash!



    And then the main event for me...



    I have a real thing about Nelson and this was the best part of London for me. The daughter enjoyed it as well... another quid, ker ching! She'd taken me for 19 by the end of the trip.



    Last year en-route to the Black Sea I took a selfie in front of the site of The Battle of Trafalgar, and now this. Next week we're off to Portsmouth to see the HMS Victory where more pics will be taken and I plan to arrange a montage of photos on the wall back home behind my 1.2 metre long model of the HMS Victory. Happy days.



    Sadly Trafalgar Square was still fenced off following the previous day's victory celebrations for the women's footballers. A small price to pay I guess for bringing it home but it still bugged me a bit!



    And that was our walk over... we then took another black cab back to the 'hotel'. Later that afternoon we met up with a couple of my work mates from the boats with one wife, and we decided to get one of those open topped double decker tourist buses around town.

    It wasn't a 'Toot' Bus! Is Malmo Mike keeping a secret?



    While we waited for our bus the daughter braved the cyclists and bought an ice cream on her own...



    ... and we walked under The Eye. I felt a couple of drops of liquid under The Eye and at first thought it was probably bird shite as we had a cloudless day and there was no rain, but I think it may have been from the aircon in the gondolas.



    We had a Big Bus tour, not a Toot Bus tour.



    Much of the bus tour was the same as we'd seen during our walkabout in the morning but from higher up, with a few extra highlights...

    All aboard! The daughter and I were sat on the back seat.



    Marble Arch.



    I think this was Oxford Street or Regent Street. Either way the daughter got another quid out of me.



    The Cenotaph!



    The Waldorf Hotel... birth place of the Waldorf Salad.





    St Pauls.



    And my personal favourite of the bus tour... Tower Bridge, or is it London Bridge? This bridge opens to let larger ships through, upstream.





    And finally... The Tower of London. This is definitely one pace I want to go back and visit. We just didn't have time this trip.



    And we finished up back at Westminster Bridge. I think the bus tour cost 30 quid for an adult and 20 quid for a child. Well worth it.

    Last edited by Mendip; 06-08-2022 at 11:07 PM.

  22. #897
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    We both looked up enviously at The Marriott's opening windows and absence of train traffic, but one night in The Marriott would have set me back 600 quid and we had three nights in the Travelodge for 343, plus 9 quid for internet. You can't argue with that.


    suppose you cannot…
    could you possibly try to learn how to quote old chap.

  23. #898
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    Tower of London is well expensive. We just took pics outside...

  24. #899
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    And we finished up back at Westminster Bridge. I think the bus tour cost 30 quid for an adult and 20 quid for a child. Well worth it.
    you need to

  25. #900
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    There was pretty tight security.
    It is invite only, no non internal ID works no matter what you think you have. Its not very exciting inside mate so don't die wondering.

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