London, Scotland and Some Canals

London to Home

Saturday 15th October, 2022
Sunday 16th October 2022
Monday 17th October 2022
Tuesday 18th October 2022

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Saturday 15th October, 2022

Apsley House

Entrance to Apsley House

Drop Cap e wanted a bit of a rest day today and slept a bit late. After breakfast we went to Holborn to take a Tube to Hyde Park Corner. There we visited Apsley House, the former home of the 1st Duke of Wellington (and the current home of his descendants, who live in the private areas.) The public area is an art gallery of really quite good art, most of which was given to Wellington by grateful European monarchies and some which was looted from French looters, during the Peninsular War. There was a monumental marble statue by Canova of a nude Napoleon as Mars in the foyer as well as several portraits of him and Josephine. There was a Van Dyke of Charles I as well as a couple of Caravaggios and several Dutch interiors.

Apsley House

Inside Apsley House (from English Heritage Guide Book)

Drop Cap s well, they had the huge dining table with an incredible epergne which was used at the Waterloo Banquet and several huge silver settings and dinner services presented to the Iron Duke by foreign dignitaries. Amazing stuff. It was all a bit over the top but not unusual for the time of the Iron Duke.

Gates Hyde park

Queen Mother Memorial Gates to Hyde Park

Drop Cap hen we left we went into Hyde Park and bought a sandwich and coffee at a stall. We had a picnic on a bench with lots of scampering squirrels stocking up for winter. Lots of scampering children too, chasing the squirrels.

Pigeon and Squirrel

Two foragers in Hyde Park

Drop Cap e had a stroll around the park then came home and read in the foyer for a while, waiting for our room to be serviced. Mac scouted through the Internet for restaurants around here without much inspiration. We will see a bit later.


After all the Internet scanning we went to Sophia's Italian Ristorante practically next door. Bruschetta al pomodoro, lasagne al forno (Mac) spaghetti carbonara (me). All delicious and not too filling. We had a glass of pinot grigio blush and finished with coffee and amarettos. Very nice.

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Sunday 16th October, 2022

Crowds at Buckingham palace

The Guard is Changing Somewhere Behind There

Drop Cap fine sunny day which drew us out towards Green Park and Buckingham Palace. We arrived at the Palace just as the Guard was changing and the area was choc a block with tourists. We heard the band and saw the tips of silver helmets, but were not there for that anyway. We walked down into St James Park where we picked up some coffee and cake and eventually found a bench by the pond to eat it. Lots of Sunday morning strollers.

St James Park

By the Lake in St James Park

Drop Cap here were so many squirrels and birds of all kinds from Black swans and white ones too, several varieties of goose, seagulls, coots, pigeons, if it had wings, it was there! The view down the lake towards Horseguards was very picturesque and we decided to walk down in that direction towards Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Day Parade

Hearts of Oak - Trafalgar Day

Drop Cap hen we walked out of the park down the Mall in the direction of Admiralty Arch we encountered a parade of naval personnel plus sea scouts and air cadets with bands playing. After a young tourist asked us what was going on a guy beside us told us it was Trafalgar Day. The young tourist was French and therefore unimpressed. I told him we were all friends now!

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Drop Cap hen we got to Trafalgar Square we realised the parade had started from there, police barricades were just being removed. The square was getting crowded and the fountains and lions were being climbed over and admired.

in Trafalgar Square

Rosemary in Trafalgar Square


Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal

Drop Cap e paid our respects to Lord Nelson and also admired the lions then wandered up to Haymarket. We passed some of the famous big theatres, like the Theatre Royal and the Royal Opera House on the way to Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus

"Eros" in Piccadilly Circus

Drop Cap iccadilly Circus was heaving with people as normal on a fine weekend but we thought we might try to get lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately it was also choc a block with a twenty minute wait for tables, so we didn't. Came back to Russell Square and had lunch in Pret a Manger before heading home. It has been quite an interesting morning.


Drop Cap e whiled away the afternoon reading, then went out to look for dinner somewhere we had not been before. Unfortunately, after quite a long walk around the Holborn area we could not find anything except the KFC and Maccas variety, so went back to Chambeli and had tandoori chicken, vegetable korma and rice. Very good too.

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Monday 17th October, 2022

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House

Drop Cap ur last full day. We decided to try for tickets to "The Upstart Crow", with David Mitchell, an adaptation of his TV show about Shakespeare, written by Ben Elton so it should be funny. We walked our by now well beaten path via the big theatres and the Royal Opera House to Leicester Square TKTS and got stalls seats in Row H, a bit off centre but not quite as dear.

London Chinatown

Chinatown in London

Drop Cap e then walked to Piccadilly Circus via Chinatown to locate the theatre, the Apollo in Shaftesbury Avenue. It seemed quite easy to get to, not far from the Tube. Then we headed home to the Bedford where we had coffee and biscuits in our room to pass for lunch as we need an early meal tonight.

We packed up everything except what we are wearing or want for tomorrow. I am glad we bought the new bag! We seem to have acquired quite a lot more stuff than we brought!

Drop Cap ur last night was very enjoyable. We dined early in the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus, which was uncrowded on a Monday evening at 1800 and was very good and very filling. Mac had a pulled pork bun with chips, beans and coleslaw, I had chicken fajitas, a huge meal which I couldn't finish, but delicious. We had two large glasses of Zinfandel. Very nice. After dinner we went to their merchandising shop with a scratchie card which gave us a buy one get one free T-shirt. So I bought T-shirts for the boys.

Upstart Crow program

Upstart Crow Programme

Drop Cap hen we headed for the Apollo Theatre. The show was amazing. Written by Ben Elton it bore some signs of kinship with Blackadder. It was loud, a bit blue, very satirical about modern theatre (and life in England generally) and was quite hilarious. We had good seats in the eighth row of the stalls. It was a lovely ornate, but not too big, theatre, there were even people sitting in the stage boxes (those that weren't occupied by spotlights, anyway). It was a very full house for a Monday and we really enjoyed it.

It was a great way to finish our holiday.

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Tuesday 18th October, 2022

Drop Cap e checked out of the Bedford at 1030 and asked them to hold the luggage for us, and also booked a taxi to Heathrow for later that afternoon.
We strolled in Russell Square Garden, one of our favourite nearby haunts, for a while, having a cup of coffee and biscuits while we waited.

British Museum

At the British Museum

Drop Cap hen we decided to kill some time at the British Museum, which we hadn't visited this trip. It was not too crowded, except for groups of school children on excursions but that is par for the course there. We enjoyed the Minoan and Assyrian exhibits and had lunch in the pizzeria on site on the ground floor. It was quite good pizza and salad.

Drop Cap hen we made our way back to the Bedford and sat in the foyer until our cab came at 1600. It was a long trip with much congestion, when I feared we were getting lost in the suburbs as the driver followed his GPS directions, but we made it at last. We made it fairly easily through the formalities and relaxed in the Silver Kris lounge until plane time.

Business Class Again

Back in the Pod

Drop Cap his time the plane was a 777, and I felt it was more comfortable, allowing a full lift of the legs so I sat up with my feet up and it was OK until Singapore.

Changi Airport

Changi Airport

Changi Airport

Changi Airport

Drop Cap e had a nine hour layover in Singapore, most of which we spent in the SilverKris lounge having drinks and nibbles, so I did not need supper on the plane and opted to wait for breakfast. However, Changi is a very attractive and sophisticated airport to wait in if you have to.

Drop Cap t was not as comfortable as the first leg but not so long so I listened to two double albums of ABBA and time passed. All in all, Business Class had a lot going for it, the seats (pods) much more roomy and comfortable than Economy, meals were good and nicely served, and the SilverKris lounges were a godsend on the ground. Just not as comfortable lying down as we had expected.

Drop Cap rriving in Sydney we were lucky enough to score our room ready at Rydges. I went to bed and slept for five hours! Then a light meal and another nine hours. Our shuttle came as organised at 1015 next morning and we are home!

During the trip I wrote two "poems" which as promised, I append here.

Scotland Poem



Lock Poem

Lockwheeler's Lament

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