Friday, 17 March 2017

London - A few sights

Managed to get down to London early ahead of the Loreena Mckennitt concert  on what was a beautiful early Spring day. Perfect weather for having a wander and a few pints while the skies were blue and the sun was shining. Always like to visit Covent Garden to get my bearings and visit the Moomin store. As mentioned it was nice and warm so a thirst had been worked up so a perfect time to call into The Lamb and Flag on Rose street for a pint of London Pride.A  pub has been on the site since 1772and was a favourite watering hole of Charles Dickens amongst other literary greats.

Decided to catch the Tube down to Westminster and have a slightly closer look at the Houses of Parliament that we see so much of on the news just lately. The Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords of the United Kingdom. They stand right on the North bank of the River Thames. Across the other side of the bridge are views of the London Eye. Couldn't resist taking a quick selfy in front of The Elizabeth Tower, often better known by the name of its main bell, Big Ben. Seemed to be a lot going on and as I approached its near neighbour Westminster Abbey I soon understood why. There was a big celebration being held there to mark Commonwealth Day. Her Majesty The Queen, the Head of the Commonwealth was joined by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex. The Abbey bells were in full cry , you could hardly hear yourself think.It was at that point all the traffic was suddenly stopped and a Royal car went right past my nose. I took a picture and you can just about make out Camilla in the back if you expand it a bit. All the crowds were getting a bit much by now so I made my way off towards Trafalgar Square passing the famous bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square. The statue was installed on the north-east corner of the Square in 1973. Commissioned in 1971, it was sculpted by Ivor Roberts-Jones (1913-96). As you walk through Whitehall you can't fail to spot the entrance to one of the most famous streets in the world 'Downing Street'. All very heavily policed of course so no chance of a stroll up to the PM's place. Continuing the journey past Horseguards Parade where 'The Queen's Life Guards', mounted on immaculately groomed horses with breastplates shinning in the sun, present a stirring sight as they prevent unlawful entry of all carriages and cars through the Arch of Horse Guards.

Time for another pint just before Trafalgar Square in the Lord Moon of the Mall, and very well it went down too. Being a Wetherspoons it was much cheaper than the £4.50 paid previously (£3.40). By now it was nearly 4pm so after a quick walkr around Lord Nelson I made my way up to Oxford Circus in tome to meet Mrs A. Being a bit early I had to wait in the Argyll Arms which meant another London Pride. Upon her arrival we move on to The Cock in Gt Portland St a Samuel Smiths pub. Easily the best pint of the day in the shape of Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter. A cracking london pub with grand Victorian interior and a large bar upstairs and a full range of bottled beers.

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