Great Britain is a popular destination in the world, and it is easy to understand why. It has a long and dramatic history, while also being ground zero for some of the greatest artists of all time and home to an eccentric and lovable royal family. London-town is the chaotic centre of this British bulldog. The buzzing melting pot of foreigners and locals alike. It is no secret how much I love this place, I lived here nigh on ten years ago....(wow, I’m getting old!)...and with family migrated here, I have additional excuses to visit.
Most people flock to London in the summer months (May to Aug) to attend the many open air festivals. And why wouldn’t you? The city ramps it up during this time. However, winter time can be just as beautiful. One thing everyone complains about with England is the rain! Oh, please! Does it rain? Yes. Do you melt away like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz...No. In fact, London is so well versed with rain that you don’t really notice how much rain you exist in. If you are from a relatively hot and dry country like I am, relish the rain. Buy a rain coat and wellington boots and jump in the puddles. Regress back to your childhood and skip through the puddles on the way to one of the many indoor activities you can enjoy during the rainy days.
You feel you are in need of some cultural education? Then you shouls visit the Tate Modern. This place is jam packed with thought provoking contemporary art challenging the status quo and celebrating the social changers of history. Even the building itself is a work of art. Having been beautifully refurbished from an old power station, and residing on the south bank of the Thames, the upper levels also provides a stunning view of the London skyline and all for the price of a donation. A day can easily be lost in here and a new perspective gained that will open your eyes to the wonderous culture of London.
Believe it or not, London does experience sunshine...even in winter. And it is welcomed by all like a ....well, like a ray of sunshine. The golden glow blankets the city and the best way to see it is by foot. We took in the sites of Southwark and the Camden Canals.
The long stretch of walkway that borders the Thames River showcases some of the most iconic sites of London. Around every corner you will see eye catching views of Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge.
The list goes on. It is also home to some hidden treasures. Tucked away at the south side of London Bridge is Borough Market. It is believed that this market was first established in 1014, which means that Borough Market was around in the time of the Vikings. And boy does it show its years of experience. This foodie haven packs a punch in all the right ways. My family and I inhaled the many delicious scents of the market, utilising all of our willpower to not overindulge. Tempting us were delicious treats from all over the world congregated in one small location. Cheeses, wines, coffees. It didn’t take long for my sister to scope out some of her favourite handmade fudge. You can easily lose and afternoon here and find a few inches on waist.
A long and lazy afternoon wandering the Regents Walk in the Camden Canals is another way I loved to relish the sunshine. This watery network that weaves its way through the backyards of Englands elites and finishing at the hub of Camden Lock is an eye opener. The canals in London are home to just over 10,000 people, choosing water over land and a houseboat over bricks and mortar. These colourful homes dot the waterways and with welcome mats decorating the walkways, you can’t help but feeling like you belong. Like it is just a big family.
So here I am, sitting in a pub, drinking a beer with my family and watching the sun droop in the sky.
My English adventure may have come to a close but I know I will be back.