London Drizzle

Kings Cross Paltform 9 3/4 Harry Potter
Kings Cross Paltform 9 3/4 Harry Potter

My brother and family were down for the weekend, being northerners they don’t get to London often so a trip was the plan for Saturday. The weather was not good, cold and drizzle. We tried to figure out the best way to buy tickets and figured if we were two familys with one child each we could save £2.80, but at the ticket office we were advised that three adults I a group and an adult with two £1 kids was better and we saved £20!

The 10:15 from Berkhamsted was running 3 minutes late. We walked to Kings Cross to get pictures on platform 9 and 3/4’s. We passed the new Francis Crick institute which will be a research institute for Cancer Research UK. It is a very impressive and imposing building which will be worth a visit when completed. The queues to take photos with the half a luggage trolley were massive, so after queuing for 5 minutes we decided we might come back later. I took a photo for Photoshop purposes just in case. We did the tour of the Harry Potter shop when you could buy all sorts of Harry Potter stuff at inflated prices.

London Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern
London Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern

We had a planned destination of London bridge and Borough Market, so we found the appropriate bus stop and waited. The bus did not take long to arrive. It was on a diverted route but the 30 minute journey time was not affected. At borough market everyone was hungry but it was too cold to grab a take out. We wandered around and looked for somewhere to eat but the cafes were busy. Google maps came to the rescue and we found a Pizza express.

After a welcome pizza we had a look around Tate modern. There was an installation in the machine room, which was raised beds of earth from different places which had been left under artificial light to see what weeds would grow. It was obvious early days as there were not many weeds.

Chinese new year lanterns
Chinese new year lanterns

At Festival hall there was a Roald Dahl event on. We had missed both of it but we stayed to let the kid draw on the big blackboard floor, and watch some of the hand made instruments being used. Next stop was Big Ben where we arrive just a few minutes before 16:00 to hear it chime. We walked up Whitehall and past 10 Downing Street. The guards were marching about at Horse Guards.

In Trafalgar square they were getting ready for the Chinese new year. We popped in to the National Gallery for coffee and a look at some of the more famous paintings. We got the bus to Foyles where I bough ta book about Hacking and Penetration Testing. Then we got back on the bus to Euston, picked up some curries at Waitrose in Berkhamsted then went to bed early after a long day!

Thames Path – Teddington Lock to Mortlake

RNLI Boat on the Thames near Kew
RNLI Boat on the Thames near Kew

At loose end I couldn’t figure out what to do this Saturday the weather was absolutely lousy in Aylesbury. When I look at the BBC website I noticed that the middle of the day so I have to plan to walk some of the Thames Path.

The plan was to drive into London and park at ham House the National Trust property then walk down to Teddington by the Lough get the train to Mortlake and then walk back along the Thames Path. By the time I got to ham House the rain stopped, at 11 degrees it wasn’t exactly exactly warm. It took 40 minutes to walk to the station at Teddington, the ticket to Mortlake was £4.20.

Twickenham Bridge with Richmond Railway bridge in the back ground
Twickenham Bridge with Richmond Railway bridge in the back ground

I got a FitBit for Christmas and it has encouraged me to walk more, so much so that I like to do a 10 Mike walk every weekend. So far I have been pretty successful 4 out of 5 weekends I have done more than 10. Last weekend we were away but I still managed an 8, and one of the weekends I did a 15 miler, which was probably a bit too far, but something to work up to.

On the way to the station I passed the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, I wonder what goes on there? A train came within 10 minutes which was handy, the journey would be a smidge over 20 minutes. The first stop was strawberry hill somewhere I gave never been. Next stop Twickenham, there was no match today, even though the Six Nations starts today, I checked before I set out as I did nothing t want to get stuck in traffic for a match. I could see lots of terraced houses from the train nearly all of them had skylights so as to maximise the expensive properties in this part of London.

The river with easy to find from Mortlake station just follow the streets to go downhill. Passed a brewery on the way now owned by Budweiser I did and acute bridge and then joined the Thames Path for some time it’s a very hard surface with no mud. I had chosen the right side of the river on the other side side properties with Gardens extending right down to the riverbank full stop that meant that the footpath went in land.

Richmond Bridge over the Thames
Richmond Bridge over the Thames

Illegal to eat keyboard I heard and saw a lot more ringneck parakeets than I had thus far on the walk. At the bend in the River Thames became rather choppy and I could see white horses on the River. From the Kew side of the river you get a great view of Syon House and the remains of an abbey. There was a handy bench so I rated for five. Tween the thames path and Q Gardens there is a waterfield haha a 1.0 possible to beat like a portcullis didn’t like it had been put down for some time. Just passed Kew Gardens is the Surrey golf club, then on the right an island called Isleworth Alt. At Richmond lock I crossed the very ornate footbridge, then headed into Richmond in search of coffee.

I settled on a place called Topshop Cafe on the high Street, a strange place. It appeared to be a long established place run by middle Eastern people, judging by the food on the menu. There were hanging plants all around, with that succulent green grass like plant in. In a corner three menu had a large Gaggia coffeeake in pieces and seemed to be discuss how to fix it. My American was strong and bitter typical of middle Eastern preference for the beverage.

I was 7 miles in to the walk but less than three remained, but I had a plan. I would continue on the path, and all pas the ferry to Ham House to take a look a bit further on where I could see a museum marked close to Eel Pie island, which I might also take a look at. I was tired by the time I got to the ferry, but alas it did not seen to be running despite what Wikipedia said as well as the signs on the jetty. There was a light on but no one seemed to be there. I waited five minutes and there was still no sign of life so I decided that i the best bet would be to double back to the bridge at Richmond where I found a cafe under the bridge in an archway. The coffee was better than the last place and the apple cake divine. Whilst day in cafe I took a closer look at a dog tag I had found on the path,it had a mobile number on it so I texted the the number to tell them and offer to post back. I got this polite reply; “Thank you so much. Yes, that’s our Sam. He was out for a run there this morning. Don’t worry about returning, I can easily get a new one – it will probably cost more for the postage! Many thanks anyway.”

I had sore feet for the final mile back to the car and the seats were a welcome relief. I had walked at least12 miles, a good walk. I missed the M4/M25 turn off and had to double back, a theme is emerging! I stopped off a Tesco for dinner and picked Helen up. We were home for the rugby England v Scotland in Murrayfield.