Visiting London the last week or so I made some new discoveries of some new places to eat and have a drink.
Last Sunday my husband and I had rare weekend to ourselves, so took the opportunity to explore.
We first of all took the bus from Wimbledon the 156 to Battersea Park and walked through there, was so nice many people cycling, walking and jogging through the park, it is nice to walk through the park along the river at an even pace no rushing just enjoying the nice weather and breeze. We bought a coffee from the Pier Cafe, to then continue on our day and got the 137 from Battersea Park to Marble Arch.
I then had a little shop in Primark and bought a red Cardigan from there and my first stocking filler for Christmas this year.
My husband and I wanted a drink and a bit more to eat and found a pub called The Bonds I had a Classic Burger whilst my husband had a Triple Cheese Burger. They were proper thick burgers and nice chips too. Not overly expensive, plus it wasn't overly busy but many people were eating in there, which was a good sign. They had TV showing football.
We walked from there to South Bank, London, and had a drink in the Underbelly festival, where I had a Pimms and Lemonade. A bit pricey but still was good to pop into as it is a lively place and not overly packed.
Then I met my friend yesterday for lunch and down Regency street, down from Broadcasting house I went and had a Classic Burger in the Burger Bar called Byron in Langham Place, London, near Oxford Street. You can choose any topping for your burger and on your chips too. It was not overly expensive and good proper burgers.
I would love to hear of any other new places there are if you know of some good places to eat and have a drink, be good to hear from you.
Many thanks for reading,
My husband and I this weekend gone (beginning of March 2017) decided to take some quality time together and go up to London, visit the Borough market and go pass Tower Bridge, which have only done once before, and we found a lovely pub called The Vault, which is situated under Tower Bridge itself, on the side of Borough Market, which you will see signs for as you approach London Bridge up to The Tower of London. You'll see the tower the other side of the river.
The above photo is of the inside the bar, and you look out under Tower Bridge itself.
So tranquil and it is going to be a glorious place to sit and have a drink, a pub meal too, whilst looking out to the sunshine.
Totally recommend this place and so glad we found it.
I was actually looking for the toilet sorry if this is TMI, but glad we found this place.
Then not far from there is All Bar One. Expect high prices, and some toilets not that nice, as the men's as reported by my husband, wasn't working, so he had to use disabled toilet which was not hygienic looking at all.
It was so nice to seat there and have a few drinks watching the boats go by, and we were thinking of getting on one of the boats along the River Thames back to Westminster. Perhaps we'll do that next time.
Borough Market has a Cider Stall which I love and you can have Mulled Wine there to among other types of drinks, something to eat, as they have food from all over the world and there are toilets there too. We decided to en route pop in to Nandos. I have only been to one before in Surbiton, some years back, but this one was huge. I did take some photos of our trip, but today going to the Science Museum I dropped my phone and now not working. I hope in some way I can recover them.
We then headed back via Blackfriars and changed at Sutton, to catch the train back to our home.
South West Trains weren't operating as normal, due to engineering works, so do check before you travel, even though when I did look before hand it did all appear to be working as normal. So it was a bit of a slow start to our day, but nevertheless still a great day out.
On Sunday we did what we always love to do and that is, checking out the Charity shops in Wimbledon and I managed to find some Boots I will post a photo, in my next blog but can't believe, they were £8.00.
So more tales to report soon, but until then,
Many thanks for reading,
So this half term coming up if you don't have any holidays planned, then why not hop on the train and see some sites up in London.
There are some real cost effective ways to have a good day out, instead of being indoors, due to bad weather. It should never stop you, just wrap up warm and once inside I can assure you, you will be in the warm.
I haven't checked the forecast for next week, but why not check out the museums too.
The London Transport Museum is brilliant. I paid £16.00 for an Annual Pass.
It can be confusing to find at first, as it says it is on Wellington Street, but there are two entrances.
You actually want to walk up Wellington Street, up to Covent Garden turn left all the way around and you will see the London Transport Museum shop, and that's where it is. Then you have The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and the Victoria Albert Museum. I got to say the Science museum was my favourite, it has plenty to do for young children and adults.
It has a play area for children in the basement, where they can play with water, build with giant LEGO, there is a climbing frame and loads of activities to do.
The picture above is of the inside The Natural History Museum as you come into the museum, from the side entrance on Exhibition Road. It is one of the first museums you come to, on Cromwell Road and then behind that if you continue on down towards Exhibition Road, from Cromwell road is the Science Museum.
Next door over the road is the Victoria and Albert Museum, great if you want to see all the different clothes from the many generations. It is great for those who love fashion.
So if you don't want to splurge too madly but you want to take your children somewhere different, then why not pick one of these museum.
The London Transport Museum costs, Kids go free:
Many thanks for reading,
I have never loved London more than I do now. It has become my sanctuary, I was getting fed up of spending days in doors all the time, and one of my new life changes this year (check out my blog site https://everybodycanbuildacastle.wordpress.com) was to get out of the house and spend days out.
I want to take advantage of the amazing places I have around me.
This is one of the places I love to go to. Battersea Park. A great place to run, workout outdoors, and take your family.
They have a lovely little children's zoo with a playground inside and a Go Ape Adventure park. (Read on for further details below).
Above is an example of the little characters you can see within the zoo.
The Go Ape adventure park is where you can swing and walk from the trees. Great thing to do at half term as a family. They have different ones for different ages. There is no real age restriction, but more a height restriction. Please check out the link below for further details:
Here is an image of the Go Ape Treetop Adventure.
There are many different playgrounds within the park, if you wanted to take the children out for some exercise for free.
See image below of an example.
They have different ones for toddlers to older children. They do have places to have a cup tea and coffee too.
Why not walk on up from there or hop on a bus, I love walking around this park and looking out towards the River Thames. Battersea Park does have it's own station, and you can easily get a train to their too, going towards London Victoria.
Please see National Rail Enquiries for details.
Alternatively there are many buses that go there. Please check out the TFL (The Transport for London) website for further information. If you travel via Wimbledon, there is a bus 156 that goes all the way there and literally drops you outside Battersea Park station.
Other buses to Battersea Park: 137, 44, 452
The one place I always check out events happening and places to go, is the website
I will be posting more places to go in my city of London.
Many thanks for reading,
This year my husband and I took our son to see his grandparents in Southampton, both. He is truly a lucky boy having four sets of grandparents.
We drove up there on Christmas Eve and was there until the Tuesday the 27th December 2016.
Our son got to play in the local park there, which has all different kind of swings and climbing frames, and then we went onto the Wetherspoons pub and had some time in there too, where some lovely people kept giving our son chips. He was very well spoiled.
Check out my video below of our Christmas time in Southampton.
On Thursday 27th October 2016, my son, I, my mum, sister-in-law and nieces took a trip up London, to visit London Zoo.
The last time I did this was over twenty or so years ago. You can probably work out how old I am roughly by this.
I think the last time I went to London Zoo was with my Primary school. I don't ever remember going there when I was in my Secondary school.
I had no idea where it was, and what a trek it would be to get there. A piece of advise don't go via the Circle Line or District Line to Edgware Road. There are no lifts. From getting the train to Edgware road, we then had to get the train to Baker Street, to then catch another train to Regents Park. There was no lifts there too. Not so easy when you have children in pushchairs. It was a bit of a mission.
Good thing we went as a group and thank you to my sister-in-law, my nieces and my mum for their help on the day. As there is no way I would have done that on my own.
I would definitely say go via Waterloo, if you can. You can go via the overground to Waterloo, if travelling from the South West and then the jubilee line to Baker Street. You can catch a bus from there, Baker Street, to Regents Park, and it is just a walk through to the Zoo.
I have put a map below so you can see where it is, with a bit more detail.
Once we got to Regents Park, we then tried to work out where we needed to go next. My mum went to ask someone who was working on the buses, who said to follow some people, however we were not sure if they were actually going near the Zoo.
So my mum sees a cab, a 6 seat cab, and we all jumped in to then go to, London Zoo.
Thank you to the guy who I asked for directions, as he wasn't from London, but he was more helpful than the guy that worked on the buses, whom we had initially asked for directions. So we all jump in a cab who always knows where he is going, especially a London Taxi driver and within say 5 minutes we were there.
It wasn't that far at all. Thank you cab driver.
It didn't take us long to queue. My mum had pre-booked the tickets and was on an e-ticket, for each of us. So it was just the case of scan and then straight in.
The first place we went was the Aquarium, first opened in 1853. London Zoo was the first to have a public Aquarium and there are some enormous fish in there, and some I have never seen before. Here is a link which tells you a bit of the history behind their Aquarium at London Zoo: https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/exhibits/the-history-of-the-aquarium
I did try to take some photos but I forgot to take my camera in the Aquarium and my phone had run out of battery as I was about to take a photo.
However I did manage to take some photos of our day on my camera and film too. I think I did save the best photos for the rest of our visit.
We had a surprising appearance from the Gorillas as we went to the Gorilla Kingdom. At first there was no site of them at all.
However all of a sudden one appeared along with the another, who was holding a baby Gorilla, who you can see in my photo I took above.
You have the Male Silverback Kumbuka. He parented his first offspring in 2014 with Mjukuu. They had a baby girl named Alika, which means "Most Beautiful". In 2015 they had another offspring a male called Gernot. Then they had two more babies called Effie and Zaire, both girls. You can read more about these amazing spectacular animals, in the link below:
They were so impressive and I do find it sad that these animals have had bad press when really, we are visiting them in their home and so we should be respectful of that. We wouldn't like it if someone was taking photos and screaming at us in our homes.
Then you had some other animals which I had never seen before. In the picture below are some animals which looked like MeerKats but I don't think they were. I remember they had a different name, but very similar to the Meerkats.
onWe walked through a place where they had different species of birds, called the Blackburn Pavilion. It had a small type of desert/tropical feel to it. With many different plants and flowers. The birds were flying around, walking through or resting.
There were so many different types of birds.They weren't kept in, but let free to do enjoy their surroundings.
We went to the Tiger Territory but I didn't see any Tigers on that day. I could hear a guy talking about them on a microphone, but there was so many people trying to look, that there was no way unless I was 7ft 10 that I would have been able to see.
However we did see the Lions. They look chilled and happy. They have a massive area to walk around and you are kept clear all the time. It is just amazing to see these animals whom you would usually only see in pictures or on the TV, in front of you.
It was such a nice day. Very lucky with the weather and my nieces did a free pumpkin challenge and bought their pumpkins they crafted home with them. I went into one of the gift shops and found a really good story book, I will do another blog about this soon and it wasn't that overly priced. They were doing 3 for 2 on selected items. I bought some little gifts for my nieces and for my son too.
It was a brilliant day and we did have something to eat there. I hadn't realised there was a big massive restaurant there as you go round nearer to the entrance. We had something to eat in like a little cafe, where I also found the gift shop, and we all had a hotdog and a drink.
It is a truly a great place to go, it costs for a ticket Adults: £20.45 Child: £16.40 Senior: £18.40 Student: £18.40
Under 3's: Free Disabled Adult: £18.40 and Disabled Child: £16.40.
They do also have an Online Gift shop too, if you don't manage to buy anything on site.
So I would go back there, and would definitely do that again, but would love to take my husband and son next time too.
Many thanks for reading,
If you have never been to Chichester then I would totally recommend it, even if you go there just the once. Chichester is the main town for those living in areas like Midhurst, Selsey and Bognor Regis. My husband and I used to go there a lot when we first got together, as you would catch a train and change at Barnham, and then it is just one stop from there.
Or you can catch a train from London Waterloo or from London Victoria to Chichester aswell.
As much as it has changed since even when Elv and I used to go there, when we lived in Bognor Regis, it still got that historic feel to it. With it's fully pedestrian streets, you have the historic building in the middle of the high street, which stands tall, but on this day it did look a bit sorry for itself, full of scaffold.
You also have the Cathedral which does look magnificent, but this was having work done aswell. However I couldn't help but film the proud artefact. This will be in a weekly Vlog coming soon.
We were supposed to go to West Wittering, but due to the heavy down pour, saw that there was nothing there, and so we turned round.
We remembered we had passed a petrol garage en route, so stopped there. Elv and I hadn't eaten so we were starving by then, so we had something to eat and then started to discuss what to do instead. We decided to head towards Chichester.
We managed to find a good place to park, which was a food outlet and we found a Wetherspoons pub and so had a coffee and some breakfast.
By then the rain had stopped and we decided to take a walk into Chichester main shopping area.
As we walked around, I did some shopping and spent some of my birthday money at Cath Kidston store, had a wonder around and I managed to bump into my cousin, his wife and two children, which was so random. We then wanted Henry to have a run around and so walking on, we found a little park just at the back of the high street, which had massive grounds, a little cafe, a bowling green and an adventure park, which my son couldn't wait to try out and shot off until he found his way in.
It was a great day. It was so great to see the old city. It is a good place to shop, have a meet up and have a coffee or two.
So if you have never visited any town in West Sussex I would fully recommend you doing so. It is a beautiful part of the country worth seeing.
Many thanks for reading,
The last time I went to LEGOLAND was when it was known as Windsor Safari Park and it was a school trip in my first year at Secondary School. If you remember when Windsor Safari Park existed then LEGOLAND couldn't be further from what it used to be.
It is catered for small children from very small to 15 years old, even though there were still some rides I wouldn't go on, but then I put my hands up I am a wimp now when it comes to rides, it didn't stop me from enjoying the day and the fact that it cost me nothing as I have a pass that allows me in for free made it even better.
They had a train ride that went around the top of the resort and then they had this little boat ride (see above) and as you went around you will recognise some childhood characters.
They had this pretty garden as you go down to the other parts of the land which were all famous attractions made out of Lego.
There is a mini games land where you can play Xbox games, tea cups for children, a Waterpark and an adventure playground with climbing frames and one that was recommended to me by a huge Star Wars fan, The Mini Star Wars World. Very impressive all made out of Lego.
We were given as we collected our tickets a vouchers which gave £5 off a family bucket at the fried chicken restaurant on site, so even my son whom is 2.9 years old could have some of it aswell which he thoroughly enjoyed. There were just so much.
There was even a puppet show, which was the three little pigs, and had showings on throughout the day.
It is miles from when it was a mixture of a zoo and an adventure park, and yes it can be expensive but my tips would be,
All in all I am so glad I finally went to LEGOLAND and I would definitely go there again, perfect for young children and families.
Many thanks for reading,
It was a brilliant weekend. It was one where we didn't want it to end. Elv and I don't always get to spend time together just the two of us, so when we do we do like to make the most of it.
First stop the V&A Museum in Kensington, London. I had no idea you could get into the Museum from the subway, that leads from South Kensington Underground Station. There are no lifts at South Kensington Station, so if you do have a pushchair it is a bit of a mission. This time I didn't have to worry. It has been over 20 years since I last visited the Victoria and Albert Museum so wasn't sure what to expect.
I remember the subway taking you out by the museums, but had no idea there was an actual entrance from the subway into the V&A museum. I don't think many others knew either as not many had gone into the museum that way. Most had gone through the front entrance, as we saw them in their droves coming into the museum. I did feel a little smug that we found this back way.
I didn't take many photos in there as usually you see you a lot of people with their cameras if you can, but didn't for a while, so I wasn't sure if we could. Then I did see the odd person take a photo so I did aswell.
There used to be a lot of fashion in the V&A and they used to have it separated in different times, before the 1800's, 1900's, going through the decades up until present time, but I couldn't find this there this time. There was a bit, but not as much as I remember from last time. A lot of the setting from when I last visited had changed, and didn't appear to be a lot on the fashion, which I was disappointed with as the V&A is famous for that. Or was.
We then walked up towards Knightsbridge to walk through Hyde Park. We had popped into a few shops on the way there, but these are mainly designer stores or tourist shops, and a few didn't have air conditioning. It was a surprising very warm day, so going into these stores did feel like going into a sauna.
Not complaining though it was a really pleasant day. There were other couples and families out. Saw one family playing football with their son, I assume it was, and the mum shoe fell off as she went to kick the ball almost hitting the dad in the head.
We sat in Hyde Park twice, on the way to Oxford Street and then on the way back, to have a drink and a bite to eat.
This was not the intention at first, we were looking for the wetherspoons pub that used to be on the corner, near Marble Arch, so we walked back from there after popping into Debenhams and found that it was closed.
By this time both my husband and I were pretty hungry, not eaten since we picked up something at Wimbledon Station which had been a while, we got to the museum by half nine in the morning. So we took a walk back through Hyde Park and went to the cafe where we had been before, and had a cold drink and a burger.
Avoid the Burger stall, very pricey. The drinks was reasonable, but the burger was about £9.00 and you just got a burger with a bit of salad. I however did get a free can of drink from the stall, and so my husband just paid for his Pint of Heineken
The shops we went into in Oxford Street, were Primark, Body Shop and as said Debenhams. I did look in the BHS aswell but the sales weren't as good as thought. I did buy some bits in Primark, 2 sleeveless tops, a pair of Jeggins, hair bands and a Owl Candle, total cost £21. I didn't try anything on, as the size of the queue for the changing rooms I wouldn't have had time to look anywhere else.
I bought some White Musk perfume from the Bodyshop. I got 40% off using a voucher code from Vouchercodes.co.uk
So instead of paying the full price of £13 or so, it only cost me £7, so got a real bargain there. I would recommend checking out UK coupon and voucher sites to get some discount codes, as it can save you a lot of money as well as having a splurge on things you love.
We then walked from Hyde Park through to St James Park to the Southbank.
Note: Watch your bags and pockets when going to these busy places especially Oxford Street, as there are those who wish to spoil your day and try and pinch people's belongings. Sad but true, it has happened to me in London, many a time. When you have lived in London, for a long time like I have you learn to be more Streetwise and keep your belongings safe.
Still a nice walk, but walking over the Jubilee Golden Bridge, to cross over to the Southbank, for some unknown reason I freaked out. It was vertigo, and I suddenly became aware that all around me was water and I think it was because I didn't feel so closed in and safe. I had some woman who was selling heather shouting at me, because I ignored her. It was because I just needed to reach the end and then I'll be ok. Never happened before, but it did then and completely took me by surprise. I became aware that I couldn't go anywhere and all there was, was water and I freaked out. No other word to describe it.
Once I reached the end though and took a breather for a bit, I was fine.
We went to our favourite bars along the Southbank the Royal Festival Hall and The Founders Arms. There was a foods festival going on, and so I had a glass of Pimms and Lemonade in there, was very chilled. They had music playing but not too loud so you could still have a conversation, which Elv and I did.
Then went home shortly and had some Fish 'n' Chips.
Sunday we went to see the new Jungle Book film and I thought it was brilliant. Great Adaptation and I will watch this again once it comes out and I can download it from the Sky store. I got discounted tickets to see this, through my work's perks. So didn't spend the earth but had a great time.
There are really good well priced days out, it is all about planning, saving and making the most of the free time.
It was a truly brilliant weekend. Next weekend will be Tears of Fears concert at the Newmarket Racecourse.
Many thanks for reading,
It was a brilliant Bank Holiday and I can't believe it is now Wednesday already. On the Saturday I went into work not knowing that I was supposed to be on holiday. I was originally told I wasn't allowed to have that day off, so after doing an hour or so work, I then clocked out to enjoy the rest of my day.
I met up with my husband and his family who had come down to see us from Lincoln and Southampton, and spent a lovely day down in Putney, London. There are some really nice pubs down in Putney along the river, and found a few more that I didn't know existed yet I spent most of my childhood and teens down there. A lot of Putney has been redeveloped and so there are lots of places to eat and have a drink, and many are child friendly.
The Sunday once my mum had returned Henry our son, from spending the Saturday with Nanny we then took Henry to the park and then went into town where we live, had a coffee and then a bite to eat in our favourite fish and chips shop. My husband and his family went onto the wetherspoons whilst myself and Henry went back home.
It was nice to have the place to ourselves for a bit. It was so nice to hear that Leicester City FC had won the Premiership, as soon as they reached the top of the table I kept saying, I hope they win it. So pleased for them, it's so nice to see another team, instead of the normal top teams, win it. I think this sends a really positive message, which is you don't have to spend a lot of money to win the Premiership, and will open it up to other teams.
Monday we spent a lovely day in Richmond-Upon-Thames. I did a run along the river from Surbiton to Richmond, which was a long way but one of my favourite routes. It started of being a gloomy day but brightened up and was lovely as we went through the day. I met my husband, with our son and my husbands family on the green in Richmond where my son had a good run around. I managed to get a few birthday gifts for my niece who is one years old this month and found a lovely coffee shop, which so far I think does the nicest.
It was a shame that Tuesday had come round so quickly and my Inlaw's had to go home. My husband and I spent the rest of the afternoon though together with our son, which was nice and went for a walk, and then went back home to relax for the rest of the day.
Family to us is so important especially for Henry as he will realise like we all do that some family will still be here in the world and others won't so you have to make the most of the time you have, whilst you can. You never know when it will be the last time, so that is why we make the most of the time we have together and see them. I love sharing these times on my blog page, as family is part of my world and I know that there are those who don't have family and are alone, I would encourage if you do have family to see them, as there are so many who are alone and they just want someone to share some company with and know that someone does love them.
Many thanks for reading,