Episode 321 – Beginning Our London Adventure

We fell in love with Greenwich during a two day visit back in 2017, so it was an easy decision to choose it as our final month on this side of the Atlantic once we’d resigned ourselves to having to leave the Schengen Zone. It has lots of green parks, historic buildings, great pubs, and lovely walkable neighbourhoods.

The bonus was supposed to be London’s excellent transit system, but we’ve arrived in the midst of ongoing rotating rail strikes impacting trains, the underground, and sometimes buses and trams too. Nonetheless, we’re determined to work around the service interruptions and do our best to venture into London proper – and a few other places – from our home base here.

I’ve found a HUGE list (99!) of possibilities for things to do just by Googling “Greenwich” – before even including a show in the West End and a visit to my best friend’s daughter in Portishead. The things we did on our last visit I’ve crossed off in red (that’s not to say we won’t revisit any of them), those that I’m not interested in are crossed off in black, and the rest remain options. Happy to have suggestions from previous visitors on what to prioritize. We have 30 days. Let’s see what we can do!!

Poor Ted. This post is the first he’s seen of what our “quiet” month in England might look like.

I don’t expect that I’ll be posting daily, since I made a commitment to spend time just enjoying walks in the welcome cooler temperatures. At the end of our stay, though, I’ll try to remember to repost the pictures above with the additional things we did crossed off.

ASIDE: While we’ve only been here for a little over a day, we’ve been feeling the love from everyone from the helpful woman behind us in line at the Stratford tube station, to the elegant Kenyan lady who chatted with me at the bus station, to the young Arabic woman riding behind us on the bus to Blackheath with her 2 young sons, to our gracious host who waited for us to arrive after dark and got us settled in, to the empathetic young man working in Sainsbury’s and the patient young woman helping newbies like me install their “shop and go” app in Aldi, to the many people walking in Greenwich Park who shared a cheery “good morning”. We’ve encountered nought but smiles so far (notice how properly English that sounded?) Greenwich is also noticeably clearer of garbage and cigarette butts than our other summer stays. I’m curious as to how London centre compares, but so far I’m hopeful.

18 comments

  1. Lot of options…looks like a continuing excellent adventure! We’ll definitely be tuning in to hear about some of your London area favorites. We’re spending a week there next spring before a Viking British Isles cruise, and I’m trying to make a list of all the best things to see. The British Museum seems like a top choice for me (I LOVE museums), and there are so many other opportunities that I’m having a hard time narrowing it down! Have fun, relax and enjoy! Diane and Ray

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  2. Last paragraph – 😊😊😊😊😊 So happy for you! I may go into withdrawal if/when? A blog doesn’t come. Have fun Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  3. You will love all the museums and art galleries Rose. I mentioned Hampton Court before and definitely worth getting there if you can. The science museum has lots of interactive stuff so lots of fun there. The parks are great and I loved Borough Market (don’t eat before you go – lots of stuff to try) and MOLA is my favourite museum. Also another great experience in London is a proper afternoon tea – maybe at The Ritz if the budget stretches that far or one we had was at the top of the OXO Tower, just fabulous, and the views! Have a great time.

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  4. Don’t miss the Cutty Sark (go early to avoid crowds), Sir John Soame’s  Museum (some amazing “stuff”), and the view from the top of the London Eye. Plus, for something unique, peek inside the Doubletree Hotel (charming furnishings and a good restaurant….nice people, too). 

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  5. We really enjoyed touring the Cutty Sark before our “Into the Midnight Sun” Viking cruise in 2018. Very interesting. I am keeping my fingers crossed that London is still clean. The litter along our roads in the US absolutely infuriates me, and I was heartbroken to hear that even Vienna had trash issues. Grrr! Love your posts!

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  6. It’s a little hard to read all of the things to do, but we enjoyed taking the Thames tour boat from Victoria Embankment to Greenwich when we were in London so I would think going the opposite way would be just as enjoyable.

    When we had to leave Schengen, we spent a month or so in Sofia Bulgaria and really loved it-especially the prices. We had a 2br/2bath for $28 a day (this was in May 2018) that was a little out of the city center. We wish we had of been in the center but had friends coming to visit so needed the 2nd bedroom. Anyway, food was similarly budget friendly which we needed after spending big bucks for my 60th birthday stay in Santorini! 😂

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  7. I have been following your many travels and thoroughly enjoy your pictures, your thoughts and your history lessons! Thank you for sharing. We are going to London in 2024. Curious where you decided to stay or have stayed in the past.

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    • On our one past visit, we were on a guided tour so stayed in a hotel right behind Waterloo Station, but had 2 day trips to Greenwich, which is when we decided we liked the “feel”. We’ve rented a one bedroom flat just 15 minutes outside the tourist centre (the Greenwich Observatory) for this stay. Our priority was easy transit into London city centre without paying city centre prices.

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