In early March, I went to London with my mother.
She needed to go for an appointment so I thought as it was her birthday, we could go a day before and show her the sites as she has never been there before.
So, we took the train into London via Waterloo Station – this is probably the easiest route to the main attractions as it is so close to Westminster and South Bank attractions like the London Eye.
The day that we went just happened to co-incide with a Tube strike. For those not in the know, the Tube = the Underground, so that meant we had to walk. This was fine for both of us as my mother doesn’t do to well in confined spaces.
Obviously, there are several things into account when travelling with someone in their mid-70s – one of the most important was the proximity and availability of bathroom facilities, so we did a slow walk around and took photos of her in front of all the key monuments.
Here is what we did:
Breakfast on the South Bank – our train arrived at around 09:30 so we walked from the station, turning right at the London Eye and then along the Thames for a bit and found a place for a sit-down breakfast.
Bathroom facilities check.
After breakfast, we walked back towards the London Eye – key photo opportunity area.
Then passed the London Aquarium, London Dungeons and if you are that way inclined – the Shrek experience.
Across Westminster Bridge towards the Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) and Big Ben, passing the statue to Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni who led a revolt against the Roman Empire in AD 60.
Have a look at the statues of notable world leaders in Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. These include Winston Churchill, Jan Smuts and Nelson Mandela.
Follow Great George Road to Horse Guards Road. Just before crossing the road, on the right is the Churchill War Rooms – we didn’t go in this time but I have been before. Well worth a visit to the bunker and tunnels used by Churchill during WW2. Allow a good few hours for this.
Across the road to St James’s Park for ducks, daffodils and The Princess Dianna memorial walk. We cut across the park to get to Buckingham Palace.
Several photos here before heading back down The Mall towards Trafalgar Square, passing the statues to the Queens parents – Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and King George VI.
Continuing along The Mall, you’ll come to Trafalgar Square, consisting of Nelson’s Column, majestic lions and fountains.
The National Gallery which is open daily (except Christmas and New Year) overlooks Trafalgar Square. Admission is free.
With that, we checked into our hotel on The Strand and rested a bit before heading to a matinee performance of Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre.
A long day. Ironically ending in a similar way that it started.
Only this time it was Waterloo… ABBA style.
Plan your trip to London here with the handy tool from Transport for London. It lists trains, buses and also gives you an indication of how long it takes to walk a route.
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