Earlier this year, we realised that we wouldn’t be able to have a family holiday this year as I can’t go away during Easter and Summer holidays and my husband’s rotations mean he is away for the half term holidays. Our compromise? Going away for the 3 teacher training days between the end of my holiday scheme and my son going back to school. We decided to go to London so that we could go to London Zoo, again, and visit the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. As we got the train at 11 am and arrived in London at 1 pm, we also made the most of the afternoon and went to the London Transport Museum too.
We left home on Sunday morning just before 10 am to walk down to the bus stop to get the bus to the station. We only had a small case between the 3 of us and backpacks/bum bags for the train and the price of 2 single tickets plus a concessionary bus pass = less than a taxi. Also, being a Sunday the bus was fairly empty. We made it to the station in plenty of time and found the platform to wait for the train. I’ve decided I love Grand Central trains, they offer free wi-fi to all of their passengers 🙂 Their cups of tea are cheaper than East Coast Mainline too (I discovered this when we came home as my son’s tea cost £1.50 on our trip to London and a coffee and tea for my husband and son on the way back cost nearly £4!)
We arrived in London just after 1 pm and walked down to the hotel. We fully expected to have to just leave our bags and check in to the room later so we were pleasantly surprised when the lady on the reception said that the room was ready so we could go straight in. We stayed at the same hotel as we stayed in last year as although it can get a bit noisy, it is within spitting distance of Kings Cross and St Pancras stations after all, it is clean and reasonably priced with a full English breakfast included. This trip, we were in a room on the ground floor and, whilst it was nice not to have to carry the suitcase up the narrow, winding staircases, I don’t want to be on the ground floor again. Anyway, I digress, we took our bags into the room and then left for our first walk across London.
We walk a lot when we are in London. I even know how much because I wear a pedometer and for the 3 days we walked in London it didn’t register less than 21,500 steps! That’s got to help my virtual walk doesn’t it? I like walking in London. What I particularly like now is that every 300m they have the Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations with information maps on the sides (if my son could ride a bike I’d hire them). They have 2 maps, one showing a 15 minute walk radius and the other showing a 5 minute walk radius so it’s easy to find out where you are and whether or not you are going in the right direction – love it! It’s so much easier than trying to read one of the large fold out maps although I used one of those too.
First on the agenda for this trip? The London Transport Museum. My husband and son have been there before but I hadn’t so this was new for me.
Another thing which was new for me on this trip was actually asking if organisations offered a concession price for disabilities. London Transport Museum surpassed my expectations, not only did my son get in for the concession price I also got in free as his carer. Nice one LTM. Also, another bonus is that the ticket is valid for a year so if my husband wants to take my son back
within the next year, say while I’m working over Easter or Summer holidays next year, they don’t have to pay as my son’s ticket will allow my husband in as the carer. If we all
want to go again, my husband has his ticket and I’ll go in as the carer. I’m not a great lover of vehicles but I did enjoy the LTM
especially the Routemaster and LM buses which I remember from when I was at school. My husband had to sit in the cab of a bus, for old times sake 😉
After the LTM, we walked for what seemed like miles, just wandering and looking around until eventually we decided that we should look for somewhere to eat. When we couldn’t find the restaurant we wanted we decided to go to the kebab shop near Kings Cross which my husband had tried last year. My son and I had burger and chips which was OK but nothing to write home about.
After a lot of walking and knowing we were going to be doing a lot more on Monday thanks to London Zoo, we just relaxed for the evening in the hotel.