I can’t believe I’m only 1hour out of London. We took the dogs for a walk in the forest today, it is so nice to get amongst real nature! I am really appreciating the break from the city, must do weekend getaways more often
I’m in a little cafe in a little town called Oxted. It’s 1hr from London by train. I’m here to meet my brother & his fiancé who are doing wedding planning. The sun is shining (it’s spring) and while the coffee is rubbish, the tea is good. I’m looking forward to having a break from London.
Hackney City Farm is a 30min walk from my place and a great place to take my niece and nephew. We went this weekend, checked out the farm animals and then had some food at the cafe. The kids got to do some Easter activities too. It’s nothing like the farms you can visit in Wellington (Staglands was a favourite when I was a kid), but better than nothing. I understand they rotate the animals, bringing them into the city from a real farm.
On Friday it was a stunning spring day, I took the bus & DLR to meet my friend at Royal Victoria DLR station. From there we walked to the Emrites cable car, crossed the river and ended up in North Greenwich. From there we got a bus to Greenwich town centre. The town centre is lovely, almost felt like a beach town, but that might have just been because of all the tourists. We checked out a little market and had a picnic lunch in the park. After that headed to the Royal Observatory & Planetarium. There were too many people to make a wander around the museum enjoyable, but I loved the show at the Planetarium.
There is quite a lot to do in the area and we didn’t have time for it all, definitely worth a trip back there. In particular I’m keen to visit Cutty Sark, the last clipper ship to sail between China and England. I’m also keen to visit the Maritime Museum.
One of the things I love about London is how multicultural it is. You name an ethnic minority (or majority) and there is bound to be a group of people living somewhere in a cluster in London. The consequence is that there are shops and restaurants tailored for ethnic groups that in New Zealand there really isn’t enough people.
Yesterday I was in Walthamstow with friends and we went into a wig shop. It was a whole shop dedicated to wigs & hair products. It was pretty impressive and not something I’d seen before. I admit I was a little overwhelmed so didn’t try on any wigs. Next time!
I’ve been living in London for almost a year and have a love-hate relationship with this city. I can see that I need to make an effort to step out of the rat race and tip the scales in the direction of ‘love my city’. So for 2016 I’ve promised myself 2 touristy things a month, thats 24 touristy things a year. I’m already behind as January was a crazy months for me. I’ll be flexible about when I do things, but the goal is 24 touristy outings in London during 2016.
My wish list contains things like:
- Tower of London
- Buckingham Palace when the state rooms are open (Aug/Sept)
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Greenwich and the Royal Observatory
- See a West End show (a famous one)
- Tate Modern
- National Gallery
- Museums (incl, British & Natural History)
- Yoga class at the top of The Shard
There is plenty more and I’m hoping to do some random things too. You know, go to a new part of town and do what the locals are doing. A few weeks ago my brother and I ended up in Ilford and went to an Turkish restaurant, it was very traditional and the food was so good that it took me back to Istanbul. London is a really good place to travel the world via visiting restaurants!
I’ve not been blogging much due to a lack of time and the feeling of needing to backdate some posts to share some amazing travel experiences I’ve had since leaving New Zealand in October 2014. But so much is happening as I’ve been settling into life in London and it seems like a miss opportunity not to be writing it down. So I’m just going to start writing & will back fill some posts as time permits. I hope this is OK with you!