Tuesday, May 23, 2017

UK TRIP 2017: London and Environs

Things have been quiet for some time, as I have become involved in a local historic preservation project as well as ongoing work at my own house. But over the coming weeks I’ll try to fill you in on the highlights of my recent trip to the UK, where I was able to take in a number of memorable sights and enjoy a fair amount of good pub ale.

A grand staircase at Hampton Court Palace
To simplify things, we based our stay in London; I had initially planned to book accommodations in three different cities, but there was simply so much to see—and with a pre-booked single day-trip via Eurostar train to Paris—we figured it would just be simpler to stay in one place, which in this case was a wonderful small hotel in Belgravia.

Liberty of London. This department store is just as amazing on the interior.
We took in all the obligatory London sites—Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, St. Paul’s, Tower Bridge, etc. as well as personal favorites like Shakespeare’s Globe and Liberty of London. Half-day jaunts to Windsor Castle and Hampton Courts were also on the list—as was a visit to Highclere, which my daughter requested, being a fan of Downton Abbey. Not my first choice for a country house tour; I would have preferred something more in the vein of Wightwick Manor or Cragside…but that must wait for a future visit.

The Thames at Windsor. Had a lovely lunch at the restaurant across the way.
I will get into more detail in follow-up posts. Suffice it to say that the trip was all that I had expected; the London Underground was superb and so easy-to-use, the pubs were picturesque and delightful, the people were friendly and the architecture was sublime. Everything you could hope for.

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