We had not been to London for quite some time, so we had fixed this weekend to be one a day free for us to do a trip to the wildlife photographer of the Year exhibition, landscape photographer of the Year exhibition and a walk showing film locations in London from Russell Square which is free.
We got the train from Berkhamsted then got on a but to Waterloo Station. The bus dumped us at the lower level entrance of Waterloo Helen had a fag then we walked into the station taking as it was clear that there was not any room for a photography exhibition, so we got the escalators up and arrived in the area that I recognises been Waterloo station then up one to the mezzanine where I could see photos. The photo exhibition was excellent quite a mixture of photos some using wide angle lens, as you would expect, and others using telephoto lenses less usual. Interestingly there was quite a lot of processing going on, as well as stitched panoramas and HDR photos which surprised me. It was clear that you don’t need lots of expensive kit however, from reading the captions, I believe every single one of them was taken with a DSLR.
The plan was to walk from Waterloo via the parks and Buckingham Palace to the Natural History Museum, but after we had walked across Westminster Bridge and dodged The Tourists taking selfies I suggested that rather waste time walking we grab a cab to the Natural History Museum because we were running a little short of time and it was close to lunch time.
Taxi journey cost us 11 quid, life’s too short to be taking the underground. There was a queue to get into the museum and I was a bit worried that we may not be able to get tickets will the wildlife photographer of the Year exhibition. Then I remembered you could book online so we tried for 1 o’clock tickets but there were none free, so I tried again for 1:15 tickets and was able to get them by the time we got the front of the queue.
Once we have had a bag check and got into the main lobby of the museum I found a museum helper who was able to direct us to where the cafe was however she was unable to offer advice on which one was less busy. We opted for the restaurant where they have a slightly unusual process where you order your food at the till, pay for it and then get taken to a table to wait for your food. When we were taken to a table I requested a table over in the quiet areas to avoid all the screaming kids in the main area.
Lunch was OK I had Falafel Mezze and Helen Pizza. Our timing was perfect the WPOTY exhibition time we had was only a couple of minutes away and just down the corridor. We had pre-booked tickets and were ushered to the front of the queue and straight into the exhibition. The great thing about seeing the exhibition in London is that all the photos are in darkened rooms and are back light, the disadvantage is that it is very popular, so being tall is an advantage. Usually we go view the exhibition in the Tring branch of the Natural History Museum but this year, much the the annoyance of many, they are only showing a sample of the pictures. Once again the quality of the pictures was excellent and some of the lengths people go to to get them, for example camping out in Arctic conditions for days waiting for the right moment.
By the time we had finished viewing the exhibit it was clear that that we would not make the walk rendezvous at 14:00, so we wandered around the side streets of Kensington. We walked down a lot of mews interestingly some of them very high end renovations and some which had not been touched since the 60/70’s. We walked around the edge of The Serpentine in Hyde Park, where the birds and water fowl are very trusting, and I got a few pictures.
Next we decided that we would hop on the bus of tube and head back to Euston but I had lost my travel card so bus was out of the question, and we would have to use the tube. Helen hates the tube, and whilst we were waiting a woman was being hysterical up the far end of the platform, then when the train arrived it was packed, so we gave it a miss. Helen suggested getting the tube in the other direction then changing at another station. We got on the tube but at the first stop Helen decided she had had enough, and we got off and and grabbed a cab to Euston where I bought a one-way ticket to Berkhamsted and we got the next train back.
All in all a very enjoyable day if a bit expensive. For me 1.5 train tickets, a tube ticket and two taxis.