Posts tagged ‘England’

August 29, 2014

A Journey to 1066

Today I had a cream tea at Mrs Burton’s Restaurant and Tea Room which had all of these little square tables with blue tablecloths with lace coverings and real flowers in the centre. There were cakes in a stand too. I ate my giant scone and drank my tea from a dainty teacup and saucer whilst gazing out the window at Battle. Then I entered Battle Abbey and began my tour to the year 1066 and the Battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror of the Normans. Entry for an adult cost about £8 and came with a complimentary audio guide and map. It started with a timeline leading down through the centuries until the year 1066. Then there was an exhibition room filled with one side information, armour and weapons of the Normans, and on the other of the English. There was a film playing too showing a re-enactment of the battle. We could touch real swords, shields and armour which was fantastic. I held the handles of Norman and English swords in my hands! They were bolted to the wall though. Then I did the Battlefield Walk with my audio guide where you walk through what appears to be green, idyllic English countryside but was actually once a bloody battlefield where at least 7000 lost their lives. The walk is on a path which winds around the Battlefield perimeter with lots of information signs and posts for you to key in numbers on the audio guide to hear more information. I tried to picture the English on the hill and the Normans below on their horses fighting to the death! It felt really wild on that open field with the wind blowing fiercely across the grass and through the trees. Then after exiting the Battlefield I found what reminded me of Mary’s “Secret Garden”: a walled orchard garden! I also found hedges forming a sort of maze, an old ice dairy and a high wall to walk on back to the entrance! As I exited the abbey, musicians had begun to perform outside Mrs Burton’s Restaurant and Tea Room: magic. IMG_7851.JPGIMG_7855.JPG

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May 30, 2014

Exploring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Today I had a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre! I’d only taken photos from the outside before so it was great to go inside 🙂 Our Tour Guide told us many interesting facts about Shakespeare and the theatre. I loved being beside the stage and seeing the design of it all. There was a trapdoor for demons and monsters to come from hell to the stage and a trapdoor on the roof of the stage with a wire for angels and other heavenly creatures to come down onto the stage. Apparently the middle is Earth. We walked where the “great unwashed” peasants would go to stand and watch shows under the open roof. Then we sat where the upper classes would sit in seats looking down on the stage. Apparently the peasants interacted more with the actors by yelling at them, trying to go on stage and chucking stuff at them lol; whereas the upper classes would just sit there without interaction and look down on what was unfolding beneath them. The cool thing is the theatre still has performances in the Shakespeare style so if you get the cheapest ticket you stand under the open roof, or the most expensive, sit and watch the play. The Tour Guide recommended standing for the interaction. However the plays can go for three hours but they do have intermission. Sounds exciting though. Then I went to platform 9 and 3 quarters at King’s Cross station from Harry Potter 🙂 I saw the platform number on the wall and the luggage trolley with Hedwig and a suitcase going into the wall. Then I walked through Regent’s Park and Queen Mary’s Gardens. Lots of beautiful flowers and a squirrel eating a nut with its paws, standing on its hind legs: cute. Then I wandered into Camden Town and found the Camden Canal with boats and a floating Asian restaurant. After that, off I went to Primrose Hill to get a panoramic view of the whole of London. I walked the tree lined path, past grassy fields to the top of a hill and looked down at London. I could see Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and many more attractions. The primrose trees were flowering with pink blossoms as I ran down the hill 🙂Friday London 010 Friday London 015 Friday London 020 Friday London 027 Friday London 029 Friday London 032 Friday London 035 Friday London 048 Friday London 054 Friday London 057 Friday London 062 Friday London 065 Friday London 072 Friday London 086 Friday London 088 Friday London 091 Friday London 097 Friday London 101 Friday London 105 Friday London 106 Friday London 119 Friday London 126 Friday London 128 Friday London 137 Friday London 139 Friday London 140 Friday London 145 Friday London 148 Friday London 150

May 28, 2014

A Night at the Theatre

I had the most amazing day! I went to Tower Bridge Tube station where I saw the terrifying fortress that is the Tower of London. I saw Tower Bridge and walked across it to the South Bank. Then it was quirky, unique and much abstract art including works by Pablo Picasso at the Tate Modern. So many levels and so much to see 🙂 Went to Starbucks for the first time ever and had a hot chocolate and ham and cheese crossiant. It was raining with a cold wind outside so it was nice to be inside looking out with a hot drink and something to nibble on. I walked more along the River Thames and saw the famous navy ship museum HMS Belfast. A tube ride later I was at Leicester Square where I bought discount theatre tickets to Billy Elliot West End Musical tonight! More tube rides later and I was at Picadilly Circus with its big electronic screens and Covent Garden. Then I just had enough time to eat something before the show! The theatre production was the best I have ever seen: absolutely phenomenal. I was in the top box but with an excellent view of the stage. The actors were amazing. I laughed cried and cheered as the musical ensued. Then a black taxi later I was back at my accommodation 🙂

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May 26, 2014

Luxury Shopping

I caught the tube to Oxford Circus and walked along Oxford Street. I went inside Topshop and took the escalators to both upper and lower floors. For women there was Topshop with levels of shoes, accessories, makeup and clothes. For men there was Topshop Topman which had various levels of shoes, accessories and clothes too. I read that Topshop has a cafe’ inside it where you can bring items you have not yet bought, grab a coffee and mull over if you still want to buy them. I think this is fantastic! I smiled when I found the cafe’  I meandered on down the road to high street fashion now. I mean luxury, designer- every fashion item you’ve ever heard or dreamt about stores. I walked inside Selfridges and was amazed! It was so elegant and I felt like I was inside a designer’s wardrobe or on the set of a catwalk. Various areas were assigned to various designers so say you walked into Chanel, there would only be clothes from Chanel on racks around a square area. In the middle there would be a sofa and there would be an assistant, smiling and ready to help you.  So many beautiful clothes! I took escalators and lifts to various levels: there was just so much to see! Shoes were laid out on tables or on stands beside curtains. Then I caught the tube to Knightsbridge where I’ve heard the Queen goes shopping! It did look fit for a queen with its decorative ceilings, grand doors and so much more! Again every designer was here and there were multiple floors and escalators. Harrods had Egyptian Escalators that took you to every floor (there were a lot of floors.) Downstairs there was food which looked absolutely delicious. Every kind of chocolate, sweet, confectionery item and even meat and seafood was there! Then I caught the tube to Paddington Station and after some searching and asking, found Paddington Bear with his suitcase!London Monday 025 London Monday 038 London Monday 035 London Monday 033 London Monday 032
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May 25, 2014

I love London!

Today I walked down Buckingham Palace Road to Buckingham Palace. I saw the royal guards and saw the flag was up at the palace, meaning the Queen was home! I walked through Green Park and St James’s Park in all their green glory. I found a lake with a bridge across it and a white swan gliding beneath it. Little fluffy goslings were sitting in the grass with their parents before going for a waddle as a family. I ventured to Trafalgar Square and beheld the gigantic, stern stone lions staring down at me. I admired the enormous golden water fountains and blue pools of water beneath them. It reminds me of a swimming pool because of the colour, but it isn’t one! London 266 London 278 London 289 London 293 London 296 London 304 London 312 London 317 London 320 London 331 London 338 London 340 London 343 London 355 London 375 London 376 London 382 London 385 London 396 London 400 London 409 London 431 London 450 London 489 London 523 London 533The National Gallery is right near Trafalgar Square and I couldn’t resist looking at some paintings. I beheld many beautiful pictures but the landscapes were my favourite. Big Ben was calling my name next and I saw it in the distance. The golden tower with the white clock face is instantly recognisable wherever you are in London. At last I came across Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. The bell in the clock tower chimed as Big Ben told everyone in London the time. I thought if I lived in London maybe Big Ben could tell me the time every day, I’d just have to be able to see it from somewhere-very handy and beautiful. Westminster Abbey was next where Kate Middleton and Prince William were married. It is a grand building and has amazing stained glass windows. Then I caught the tube back to my accommodation. I love London! 🙂 ❤

May 24, 2014

Royal Chelsea Flower Show!

Today I went to the Royal Chelsea
Flower Show! I had my ticket at the ready and walked in through the great iron gates which were flanked with security. There were lots of mini gardens or perhaps they were the size of city people’s front and back gardens. These gardens had water features like fountains or a glass room with water cascading down overhead.
One building had two storeys so you could climb some stairs and be on an open roof. Flowers of every imaginable colour and variety dominated the area. There were flowers I had heard of read and dreamt of, all real! There were indoor floral displays also including sunny daffodils, blankets of sunflowers, orchids, narcissus, Australian flowers and Australian green tree ferns, cacti and, my favourite: the roses! We all drank in their sweet scents and admired how well their names matched them. They were of every colour and included climbing roses. Floral displays also included Thailand and an Alice in Wonderland one: a gardener’s
paradise 🙂

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May 5, 2014

Jack in the Green Festival, Hastings

I went to the “Jack in the Green” Festival today. People had wreaths of green leaves or colourful flowers in their hair to celebrate spring and some had their faces painted too.Jack in the Green Festival 094

Also at the festival were a lot of motorbikes of varying makes, each belonging to a proud rider clad in leather trousers and jackets. Motorbikes of varying colours and designs lined the promenade into the distance.Motorbikes

There were motorbike-themed markets selling clothing, jewellery and books too. There were also other market stalls.Market Stalls

I walked past the stores and peered at what was for sale: very fascinating array of wares, especially the jewellery which glinted silver. I made my way back to the promenade and ate a delicious and huge Cornish pasty.Jack in the Green Festival 080 Jack in the Green Festival 081

I walked back along the promenade in the opposite direction, past the outdoor jazz venue on the seafront which had many people out on its deck and found a red and inviting Mr Whippy van.Mr Whippy Van

I bought a vanilla ice cream with a crunchy chocolate flake. Wandering along the beach, I found an English seashell in amongst the pebbles as the seagulls swam in the sea.

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April 26, 2014

Wandering around Hastings: St Leonards and Ore

Today I began with a full English Breakfast at the B&B I’m staying at: absolutely delicious. Later I had a slice of Victoria Sponge cake and a cup of tea at a local bakery down the road: also delicious. Victoria Sponge Cake and Tea

I walked down to the Promenade with my lunch and the Daily Mail weekend newspaper. I walked to Ore Town Centre and back. I passed seagulls either sitting on the pebbly beach or bathing in the sea.Seagulls Expenses Saturday 037 Expenses Saturday 044

They did this in certain ways including sitting on varying levels of a structure which was in the water. This meant the seagulls on the lower levels got wetter than those on the upper ones and I thought the seagulls were very clever to have worked this out for themselves. I passed a theatre, Expenses Saturday 047

a Queen Victoria statue in front of Warrior SquareExpenses Saturday 065 Expenses Saturday 068 Expenses Saturday 070

and saw the castle ruins on the hill in Ore. Expenses Saturday 061I walked back past a jazz performance venueExpenses Saturday 080
Expenses Saturday 085 Expenses Saturday 091 Expenses Saturday 092and found St Leonards Gardens. Through a towering archway and open black giant spiky gates and onto the winding hilly paths past flower beds and trees.Expenses Saturday 098 Expenses Saturday 099 Expenses Saturday 101 Expenses Saturday 105

There were bluebells, daffodils and many other flowers.Expenses Saturday 094 Expenses Saturday 114 Expenses Saturday 115

Birds chirped from the branches of the trees. I found an excellent vantage point almost at the top of the gardens where I could see across the entire area and look out to the sea beyond it: fantastic place to read my paper. Expenses Saturday 106

April 25, 2014

Squirrel in a Tree

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I had my breakfast on a bench under a tall, leafy tree this morning when I looked behind me and saw a grey squirrel on the tree, nut in mouth. In the time it took me to take out my camera it had scurried to a very high branch, nut still firmly in mouth.

April 20, 2014

In St Leonards-on-sea

Today I caught two trains and a bus from Brighton to St Leonards-on-sea. It was a beautiful train journey in the rain through lush green moors with cows and sheep, past houses and even the sea! When I arrived at St Leonards Warrior Square Station, I caught a taxi to the Bed & Breakfast. What a wonderful place! I had a belated breakfast at a nice cafe’ down the road with the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted! Then I went back to the B&B to relax and enjoy gazing out the windows at the rainy landscape outside. St Leonards Sunday 010 St Leonards Sunday 011 St Leonards Sunday 012 St Leonards Sunday 013 St Leonards Sunday 015 St Leonards Sunday 025 St Leonards Sunday 026 St Leonards Sunday 027