Rather than give you a complete account of the following three days in London I’ll just highlight a few things so I can get caught up faster.
So the day I escaped to the suburbs in Surrey offered some quiet time and a major history lesson when we made a special visit to Hampton Court Palace. A nice walk up the river and then we spent around five hours exploring. If you haven’t heard of this place before, don’t be surprised. It usually doesn’t make it to the front of the tourist pamphlets like Westminster or Kensington or Buckingham. However, it’s well worth the venture out of the city a bit.
This enormous site is sectioned into time periods and focuses on the monarch in power during those times. Most of the rooms, courtyards and furniture are original with appropriate refurbishment. One room is set with everything in it from the 1500s (no alterations). There is a free audio guide included with your admission, but if you prefer to walk about and read signs, there are plenty to inform you.
I was completely fascinated by everything but was especially captivated by the ceiling design in King Henry VIII’s dining hall, waiting room and the Chapel Royal. The Georgian period part of the palace is elaborate in other ways, with paintings and mantle carvings. In King William III’s apartments you can see more intimate rooms and studies designed during the baroque time period. So whatever it is you fancy, you’re sure to find something there that interests you. The gardens and courtyards outside are brilliant as well and they would really be a sight on a sunny day. I won’t be uploading many photos of this on the blog so check this site out for a good idea. : )
Days 4, 5, & 6 around London…
I wanted to make an effort to see some other sights, if only for a glance. Although I didn’t cross everything off the list I was able to see the Greenwich area park and markets, London Bridge, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. I heard another American girl looking at the magnificent Tower of London and her one comment was “That’s it?? I thought it was going to be a real castle.” My head shook a bit and all I could think was… This isn’t Disney sweetheart. This was a real castle. And it was spectacularly haunting under the light of the moon. Amazing.
So I left London ready for a change of pace. Packing my stuff around in the crowded city had been exhausting. I caught a coach from Victoria Station and sat for six hours admiring the countryside. : ) I arrived in York with a smile on my face. The sun was shining, people were happy and the whole place looked incredibly inviting…