Janiqueel provides a survey of a few of the many, many travel opportunities in London in the hopeful future.
How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the London cloud-bank.Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
For a moment or two, we thought summer 2020 would be cancelled. It has NOT been cancelled in London or anywhere else. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that you should galivant off to see the “red rim of the sun” push itself over London just yet. At least until August, and not even then without checking travel updates from the UK Government first. Visit London the Official Tourist Guide compiles a remarkable list of activities to do, places to visit, and ideas to dream about. Have a look now while you’re sheltered and get ready for the sun to rise over the cloud-bank. That dream trip may not happen in the next month or two, but Janiqueel is not giving up on the thought that it will happen.
A bus tour is a great way to get a first-hand feel for a big, exciting, yet unfamiliar city. “The total London Experience” tour starts as you board an uber-comfortable luxury coach for a visit to the grand ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Climb to the Golden Gallery and see the panorama of the city below. Take a deep breath and realize that you are standing in an architectural marvel in the heart of fabled LONDON. Next stop – BUCKINGHAM PALACE for the Changing of the Guard. You’ve heard about it and now YOU ARE HERE!. An Air-conditioned coach is a good place to reflect on what you’ve seen so far and to get ready for the TOWER OF LONDON.
By the time you arrive and are greeted by your Beefeater Guide, you ill have enjoyed a packed lunch energize you for more touring. Yes, this is being a tourist, but doing it the relaxed, comprehensive way in the good hands of a skilled tour company. Bottom line – this is fun to the max and you are learning al the way.
Learn about the River Thames. You’ll be aboard a riverboat for a ride through the teeming waterfront districts on your way to visit GREENWICH. Have a copy of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent in your bag to glance at or read later. Greenwich and its neighbourhoods are an underrated tourist stop. That means they are quiet and accessible. Enjoy. Your special day is not over yet. It’s back on the riverboat for a trip back to central London and a ride on the LONDON EYE Ferris wheel. You’ll recognize some of the flights below now that you have been introduced to this city. You have become a Londoner!
Now it’s time for some culture at world-renowned venues which, besides housing astounding collections are free entry.
- You cruised past the TATE MODERN art museum on the cruise to Greenwich. Once the home of a huge electrical generating plant – as the vast Turbine Hall will attest, it now displays an unparalleled collection of contemporary art. Many special exhibits and displays are continually happening.
- The VICTORIA and ALBERT MUSEUM represent more than 3000 years of human creativity. Art, design, and history are all awaiting your visit. Take it slow. Don’t try to see everything. Museum fatigue can bring you down. Fortunately, as is true with most areas of London, you are never far from a museum tuck shop or an inviting pub nearby. You’ve earned your pint.
- If you have the energy for one more free-entry, world-class stop, try the NATIONAL GALLERY. “Explore the story of European art at the National Gallery, masterpiece by masterpiece, with its collection belonging to the public..”
After all this museum visiting and sightseeing, and if you have a free day, you might consider packing a repast from a deli or cafe and taking your meal, with some wine or beer, and having A PICNIC. What an idea!
- BROCKWELL LIDO is a 1930’s Olympic-sized outdoor pool surrounded by luscious lawns and greenery. Ornamental ponds and formal flower beds complement a venue that seems far from the bustle and hustle of the big city, even though it is not far away.
- Affording marvellous vies of the city, HAMPSTEAD HEATH is one of the highest parks in London. With pools, sports pitches, a zoo with a butterfly house, the Heath beguiles with activities galore. But take a few moments on your picnic blanket. Lie back and revel in the thought that you are here and happy that you have made the journey.
- Back in central London, you won’t want to miss HYDE PARK. “London’s Hyde Park is one of the greatest city parks in the world. Covering 142 hectares (350 acres) and with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens, there’s a good chance you’ll forget you are right in the centre of London.” Kiosks selling snacks and meals about if you don’t want to pack your own.
For something completely different, you might want to explore the STREET ART scene. London has a plethora of locations where artists have adorned public spaces with heir efforts. You’ll see it all over, but for a special not-so-far-away excursion, take a bus or taxi to SHOREDITCH and look for a guided tour with an expert guide who’ll show you the quirky side of London life and art. Before or after the tour you’ll want to visit one (or two) of the many pubs and restaurants in venerable old shophouses and storefronts.
Then there’s day trips, nightlife, shows, exhibitions, and more. Too much to detail here, but NOT too much to think about for when that glorious covid-free (or -lessened) day dawns and we can once again fulfil our travelling dreams. Until then, roam the pages of VISIT LONDON, Official Tourist Guide and let your imagination run wild.
For more info, head over to Visit London.
Research and writing help from JKJ