A Winter Break in London

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We’re just back from a short break in London. We took the train down on Thursday morning arriving midday and headed back home Friday evening to be greeted with hail stones and snow. Luckily the weather was quite good while we down in the Smoke. Cold, but only a little rain and a brief slurry of snow on the Saturday.

It was our third January break in London and, as previously, we stayed in the Premier Inn at Belsize Park, Hampstead. Cheaper than hotels in the centre of London but only 3 stops up the Northern Line and 15 or so minutes into the tourist hotspots.

After checking into our hotel just after midday we took the tube to Charring Cross and then walked over to the Courtauld Gallery. We wanted to see the Schiele  exhibition that was coming to the end of its run but we also enjoyed looking at the paintings, drawings and sculpture from their permanent collection.

Egon Schiele 23 October 2014 - 18 January 2015

After that we headed over to the Whitechapel Gallery where it was late night opening and a new exhibition of abstract art – Adventures of the Black Square Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015 – had just opened. there were some free exhibitions on too which were also very interesting.

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After a long afternoon of looking at art it was time to head back to the hotel.

The next day, after breakfast we took the tube to Euston and had a pleasant walk through Bloomsbury to the British Museum. Taking time to look around some of the Georgian streets and squares.

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There’s so much to see in the British Museum it can be overwhelming, so we concentrated on the Anglo Saxon, Viking and Celtic rooms upstairs

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and the Babylonian reliefs on the ground floor

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After that we went for a walk along the South Bank, stopping off for a very delicious meal in the cafe at Tate Modern.

We managed to get a table by the window with an excellent view

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We didn’t stop in the Tate but walked over the Millennium Bridge towards St pauls, taking in the views along the river and towards the Shard

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Not far from St Pauls, tucked away in a small square linked by narrow alleys to Fleet Street is the house where Dr Johnson lived while he compiled his Dictionary.

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It was a long day as we had tickets to see the play at the Hampstead Theatre

Saturday morning a return trip to Kenwood House which we visited last year.

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And after dinner we decided to brave the queues and take a trip on the London Eye which had just reopened following it’s winter shutdown. We’d only been on it once before, back in 2000, when it rained and we could hardly see anything. This time we were luckier as it was a reasonably fine late afternoon

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So we got some good views over London

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It was almost 5 o’clock and time to head back to Euston. We were shattered when we got home!

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2 thoughts on “A Winter Break in London

  1. Hi Mike

    Been following your blog for over a year now and still enjoying it but I missed your annual New Year trip to The Hepworth this year.

    However I’m beginning to think we are treading parallel paths as I find that we’ve almost bumped into each other on three occasions so far in 2015.

    The other week you visited Manchester Art Gallery to see the exhibition “A Sensory War” on the same day that I was just up the road in The Portico Library – by the way, when I saw A Sensory War before Christmas I thought it was one of the most moving (powerful?) exhibitions they have show there for some time.

    Then you went for a trip round Haigh Hall and the Plantations on the same day that I was in Aspull clearing out the house of a deceased relative and I could see over the plantations from the upstairs bedroom. I realise now that I’ve not been to Haigh Hall for quite a while and your post has made me put it on my local dog walking map, particularly now I know that they have a cafe.

    And now I find that you went to London by train last Thursday; the same day that I travelled down to collect some of my paintings from The Mall Gallery. We were probably on the same train. Unfortunately I came back the same day and didn’t have time to visit any other galleries but if I had done it was the Egon Shiel exhibition that would have been at the top of my list. But I beat you on the walk across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral as I did this walk in the pouring rain one evening in December on my way back to Southwark Premier Inn after attending the children’s carol service in the cathedral – my granddaughter and grandson were singing as members of their school choir.

    My next trip will be to The Atkinson in Southport to see the Lowry / Theodore Major exhibition and I won’t be surprised if you blog about it the day after I’ve been!

    Best regards

    Malcolm

    • Hi Malcolm

      It really is a small world isn’t it! We all float along in our individual little bubbles but it’s surprising how we can interact. Once, a couple of years ago, myself and a fellow blogger – we “follow” each other – was at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the same day and may even have been within a few yards of ach other but only found out afterwards when we both wrote about it !

      Thanks for your kind words about my ramblings. The way things have been going perhaps we’ll bump into each other one of these days!

      best wishes

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