Eltham Palace

April 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Posted in London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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Want gardens, medieval history and art deco glamour? Then Eltham Palace is the place for you.
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It’s not exactly a palace though. It used to be but much of it was destroyed though there is still the impressive medieval hall with its high ceiling to look at.
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The more interesting element is the 1930s mansion that was built next to the medieval hall with its art deco opulence. Seeing these two sit side by side and imagining the lifestyle (assuming you don’t currently live in gold plated luxury) is the main reason to visit Eltham Palace.
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Although the rooms showcasing the army dorms, which the building was used for after the family left are a touch less stylish.

Do remember to pick up the audio guide!

Surrounding the mansion and hall are some extensive gardens. Having a wander through them is quite relaxing.
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If you can make it to Eltham in south east London then I would recommend going to the palace.
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Photos at Flickr! (Note: no photos can be taken inside)

Google maps.

Thames Barrier

April 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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With their distinctive outline the Thames Barrier is one of the most iconic buildings on the river (or in it).
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So if you’re out that way (south east London, with an emphasis on the east) you should consider visiting the information centre (£3.50).
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It’s a small venue so if there are a lot of people then the conflicting audio from the different videos can be a little off putting.
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That aside, it’s not bad, you learn about the river and the flood defences for London.
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If the centre is shut walk on a little to a cafe in the learning centre where you can get admission.
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So do you make the trip out for the centre? No, but if you’re wandering along the river on a nice day then stop by and check it out.

Photos on Flickr!

Google maps.

Royal Artillery Museum

April 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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Boom! Pow! Kablam! That’s what you’d expect from Firepower! the Royal Artillery Museum in London.
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You may not hear a lot in the way of explosions but you will see an array of guns and things that would cause some destruction if they were working. For obvious reasons they’re inactive. Shucks.
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As you walk through the museum you’ll get an overview of how these firearms developed from guns and canons to tanks and missiles.

Included in the price is a large introduction to the themes. with projected videos on screens around the seating area. Downside to this is that the chairs face one direction which only gives a good view of one or two (of four screens). I’m assuming this is to try and immerse you.
Thames Path Woolwich to Greenwich (3)

Overall it was pretty interesting and I think if you have a passion for the topic you’d love it. Even I felt testerone-y with all those weapons!

Entry is £5.30 and the museum is located out at Woolwich. It’s a little far from central London which can be a bit of a hassle to get to but there are some transport options, which might make it a little more bearable.

Photos at Flickr!

Google maps.

Royal Wedding

April 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, UK | 1 Comment
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So apparently a year ago there was this teeny tiny royal wedding. Not sure if any of you heard about it. Probably not, which is good because it means this only slightly late post will be all kinds of fresh.

While most of my peers chose to either ignore the wedding or watch it at home, myself and @markb0ss decided to head into central London to see what we could see.

By the time I got to Trafalgar Square they’d stopped letting people in and the area around St Martin in the Field was also getting quite full. Off towards the Mall and meeting Mark it was then. En route the lack of people was eery. Zombie apocalypse eery.

After a slight diversion down Haymarket where we watched a crowd watching a bar’s TVs (showing the wedding) from the street we found ourselves along Pall Mall and ultimately on the (very) far side of the gates looking down on the eventual parade route back to Buckingham Palace.
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During the wait I thought despite being back in the crowd I’d be ok when the procession went past as I could see over their heads. Sadly when it did go by everyone got on their toes putting up their cameras/phones blocking out any viable view.
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And of course I did the same. Sheep that I am. I took pictures on the vague hope that I’d see something after the fact. I did not. Maybe a gleam of a helmet.

Although there were even more people behind us!
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After even more of a wait the gates opened and we proceeded onto the Mall and got all the way to Buckingham Palace.
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Unfortunately we were behind the fountain and a broadcasting tower so couldn’t see the balcony.
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Instead relying on the wave of cheers from either side to let us know.
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So, hours of waiting and not seeing anything, was it worth it? Yes.
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It was a great atmosphere (and excellent weather), while there were a few idiots the majority of people were friendly and it was a pleasant time. Even after the wedding the streets of London were quiet and later while resting everyone was chatting about the day. It was almost as though London’s usual gruff attitude had gone into the mirror universe.

Having said that, now that I’ve done one I wouldn’t necessarily rush to another. Not to mention, having good mates to watch it with helps as well!

Photos (camera phone) on Flickr!

Kew Gardens

April 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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In the long, long ago (last year) I went for an outing to the lovely Kew Gardens in London and spent an enjoyable afternoon walking the paths and fields.
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On arrival to the gardens (which have an entry fee – £13.90 adult) the main gate had quite a line of families so I took a 5 minute detour to the side entrance and almost immediate entry. Top tip!
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There’s plenty of nature to immerse yourself in, with turf lawns, flower beds, woodlands, water features and different climate zones to see flora from other environments.
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Kew also features a pagoda, tree top walk and several historic buildings and museums. The first two may be closed on your visit as they were for me.
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If you like nature (or even if it’s only of passable interest) a trip to Kew is well worth it. Lastly if you time it right try and get a boat there and/or back. Again another thing I missed out on.
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Flickr photos!

Google map.

(Another) mean culpa

April 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Posted in General, Random | Leave a comment
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Sorry.

Not much I can say to all of you other than that.

Total lull in updates for you. Been up to some things which will get progressively updated over the next few weeks.

Some of this is getting close to a year old now so you’ll have to bear with me as I get through the backlog. They won’t exactly be long posts, which you’ll probably be happy to hear!

Thanks for reading.

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