A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about river thames

Further explorations of London

Ludgate Hill, St Paul's Cathedral, Museum of London, the Bank of England Museum and the South Bank

View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

After Dave departed for Manchester in the morning, I took a train into London. I had arranged to meet up with a friend there for dinner and before that I fancied visiting a couple of museums and having a nice wander round.

I got off the train at City Thameslink and walked up Ludgate Hill, past St Paul's Cathedral and then north to the Museum of London.


What a treasure trove that place is! It tells the story of London, and pre-London, from prehistoric times right up until the 2012 Olympic Games. Special mention to the prehistoric auroch head and mammoth's foot, the Bronze Age and Medieval weapons, the Bronze Age Sunbury Hoard, the Romano-British artifacts, the copy of Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia, the view out of the window of a section of the Roman London City Wall, the displays on the Great Plague & the Great Fire of London, the display of items found in the Thames over the last 1100 years, the Pearly King suit from the late 19th century, and the testimonies of ordinary people from WWII.


It was short walk to my next destination, the Bank of England Museum. Even for someone like me, who has never been interested in economics and finance, this was definitely worth a visit. I got to hold a 13 kg gold bar, watch a video tour of a bank vault full of gold bars, read about the lives of employees here since 1694, and look at such interesting things as the charter of the Bank of England from 1694,14th-century Chinese mulberry paper money, the earliest known Bank of England running cash note (the most direct forerunner of modern bank notes, this one dates from 1697) and a handwritten cheque from 1660.


My friend R and I had decided to meet at a pizza restaurant on the South Bank. I walked there via The Gherkin (aka 30 St Mary Axe), the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, a little out of my way but of course well worth it!


It was great to catch up with R over some pizza, panna cotta and a drink or two.


Posted by 3Traveller 06:58 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged trains london united_kingdom museum cathedral river_thames st_paul's_cathedral Comments (0)

London explorations

Dr Johnson's House, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Hunterian Museum, Turkish meze in Bethnal Green

View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

Day trip to London :-)

Dr Johnson's House was my first destination. This 300-year-old Georgian townhouse is where the famous lexicographer Samuel Johnson lived and worked for a while in the 18th century. In contrast to other parts of London, there are not many other examples of houses of this era within the Square Mile of the City of London.


It was lovely looking round and seeing all the period furniture and appreciating the wooden panelling and so on, but especially interesting for me were the famous stained glass portrait of Dr Johnson that hangs in front of one of the windows, his framed last will & testament and most of all, the loft room where he compiled his famous Dictionary.


I flicked through a huge original copy which lay on a table, making sure to stop at his famous entry about Oats; 'A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people' (unlike modern impersonal dictionaries, Dr Johnson didn't hold back from including one or two of his own opinions).


From Dr Johnson's House I walked on to the Hunterian Museum, a medical museum within the Royal College of Surgeons. It's not far. On the way there I admired a famous Fleet Street institution; the historic Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub. I've eaten here before (it does some really good food as well as drinks) and it's incredibly atmospheric both inside and out. A lot of famous literary characters have drunk here over the years; Charles Dickens, P. G. Wodehouse, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many others. Although there's no written evidence that Dr Johnson ever visited, the fact that his house is only about 100m away and that he was a famously sociable literary figure makes it highly likely that he did.


The Hunterian Museum was fascinating, just like I guessed it would be. It's filled with anatomical, osteopathic and natural history specimens, mostly from the 18th century but some from since then as well. A lot of them were interesting to me, but the stand-out was the skeleton of Charles Byrne, 'The Irish Giant'. I also loved the 18th and 19th century pictures of exotic animals such as a hippo and one of a yak.


After leaving the museum I headed eastwards to Matthew & Andrea's new flat, where I met up with them, Mum and uncle Justin for a delicious dinner of Turkish meze. I've read that Bulgarian food has a Turkish influence gained from the Ottoman period; I think I will like it! Soon I will find out...

Posted by 3Traveller 05:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london united_kingdom museum river_thames house_museum ye_olde_cheshire_cheese_pub turkish_cuisine historic_pub Comments (0)

Borough Market and Bethnal Green, London


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

I went into London today to do several things.

The first thing I did, after arriving at London Bridge and taking one or two pictures of the Thames, was go to Borough Market for the first time.


Since it was a Tuesday, the full market wasn't on, but I did buy some late lunch at a pie-and-mash stall and have a nice wander round what other stalls were open. I winced at some of the prices (they contrast quite a lot to those in Ecuador) but I still definitely want to come back here in the summer when I am back from Ecuador!


After Borough Market I went for a walk round the area. I popped into Southwark Cathedral next door first;


Then I passed by the Clink Prison Museum and a bit later the Old Operating Theatre Museum... both are places I've wanted to go to for a long time now because they sound really interesting, but today I was put off by the price. I will definitely go to them both when I'm back in the summer, but not both on the same day.

Three more missions were in order after this; the first was a stopoff in Bethnal Green to buy some jalebi. These are some of my favourite sweets in the world and I have not seen any in Ecuador so far so I thought I'd make the most of my opportunities in London while I'm here! I walked down Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane in the dusk and promised myself that I'd come back to Brick Lane in the summer and on a Sunday, when the market's on.

After leaving Brick Lane I turned left and carried on along Whitechapel Road to the Royal London Hospital, where my uncle is currently recovering from a heart operation. He had to have a valve replaced. It was a major operation but when I saw him he seemed to be recovering pretty well, thank goodness. I was really glad I'd come.

I went straight to Waterloo Station after leaving the hospital. The reason was to meet up with Roz, an old friend who I really wanted to see before I leave the UK tomorrow. We had dinner at a restaurant & bar at Waterloo before we both had to catch different trains. It was really lovely to see her.

Posted by 3Traveller 11:30 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london united_kingdom market museum cathedral river_thames explorations british_cuisine Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]