Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 3, 2010

Walking around London

London Eye and Westminster

So last weekend was an ‘Autumn Ambles’ weekend sponsored by Transport for London, which mean that Boris Johnson was paying for me to go on walking tours. And many people know how much I enjoy walking tours.

Ironically, many of the tube lines were down, which mean that while Transport for London was encouraging walking on the weekend, you were almost forced to do additional walking if you wanted to do the walking tours. All the tours I did met at a tube station, but the second one, there were no trains running at that station so you had to walk or get a bus there. I walked – and just made it in time!

All the walks I did were from London Walks and they were all excellent with informative and enthusiastic guides.
I started with a walk around Westminster, with an insight into some of the gory executions that have been part of England’s history, a bit more history and some information on architechtural styles.

Then it was on to Kensington. Because of the tube lines which were down I could only get close to the station – and then managed to walk the wrong way. Oops. I eventually realised which was I was supposed to be going, cut through Kensington Gardens and made it just on time. Phew!

It was really interesting walking around Kensington, seeing all the plaques on houses where famous people had lived, the old coal cellar lids and some of the small shops.

Then it was off to Embankment, but someone had decided to get onto the tracks (I don’t think they were squished luckily), so the central line was down and I had to walk. I think I ended up getting onto the first train running as I reached another station just as they were opening. I probably should have walked because it ended up completely packed and then I was walking at continental drift speeds along the platform because of all the people! Eventually made it to the third tour meeting point, a little early so I could grab some food, and then got accosted by someone handing me dried sprigs of something wanting money for charity. Strangely they weren’t specific about what charity it was (I’ve heard there are more than one), so I hung onto my money. I also had a bit of a walk along the Golden Jubilee Bridge, which gave me fantastic views to Westminster and the London Eye, precisely the kind of shots of Westminster which had been eluding me earlier in the day.

The final tour was all about murders in London. Some of them were pretty gory, and during the tour the guide demonstrated a hanging – on me, aren’t I lucky?

The train journey home was hilarious though. There was this family with a small boy with them (maybe 7ish) and when I got on the train I think one of his aunts had put some eyeshadow on him, so this was kind of the conversation:
‘What do I look like? Does anyone have a mirror? Coool!’
‘You’ve got a big booger’

After that a group of guys got on the other end of the carriage and I think they were having what’s referred to as a ‘lad’s night’ over here. Anyway, with the help of the alcohol they had with them, they started singing, and then the little kid started singing as well, so it was a bit of a singing match. Anyway, the small child (who was referred to by the guys as ‘Blondie’) ran out of ideas of what to sing after a couple of songs and then the guys offered him £20 to sing again. Eventually he sang the ABC and they did pay up. As I left the train they were offering him £100 if he could get one of his aunts or cousins or whoever was with him to sing as well.



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