Saturday, 28 April 2012

Southwark Cathedral - Arches and Angels

Southwark Cathedral

This beautiful Cathedral is worth a visit and is only a few minutes away from Tower Bridge. The nearest tube stop is Tower Bridge Tube Station.
Southwark Cathedral
Montaue Close
020 73 67 6734

Since 1905 The Cathedral has been called Southwark previously it was called St Saviours Church. There have been many extensions since the church was bought from James 1 in 1611.

The beauty of the Cathedral is in the magnificent arches that guide you past pillars where Angels peep, windows that reflect light on your footsteps and candles the shimmer in the corners. A huge organ hugs one wall and the main altar sits under magnificent stained glass.

Tombs of long ago bishops and nobles guard the walkways and demand silent respect as you click your camera. It is staggering to see the stone carved statues and the spires reaching for the sky. I am always mesmerised by the skill involved in making such buildings. You can join a guided tour around the Cathedral and hear its history for £4. You do need to phone first though as there are only seven tours per day.

Southwark Arches and Alleyways

Extensive restoration designed by Richard Griffiths took place from 1905 as Tower Bridge was being built so Southwark was becoming the marvel it is today.
Arches leading Main Altar

After seeing the Cathedral why not join one of the local walks organised by the Cathedral. Hear how this side of the Thames was known as `Thames Side for the Undesirables` as thieves and beggars huddled for shelter in doorways.
Ladies of the Night lay in wait for nobles to collect them in their carriages or sailors spent their wages.
Walk past the ruins of the Bishop of Winchesters Palace and see the reconstruction of the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Hear how the Thames froze and parties where held on the thick ice. This was long before global warming could be blamed for strange weather. Stop and have a pint at one of the many pubs or tea in a tiny cafe.
This walk cost £5 - £4 if you attended the Cathedral Walk.
It is so close to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London that if you are at either of them do go and see Southwark.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

How Far Will £50 Go In London

Shrek the Musical

I have found the above deal and have booked it for 6 pm on Friday 3rd August. It is a Balcony Seat and and a meal in Planet Hollywood. Total cost including posting out of tickets £22.12p per person. This is one of the 2012 deals on this year due to the Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee. There are quite a few good deals about so do check before you travel. 
Check sites like, or the above site.

What is really surprising is this is in August during the school holiday and a Friday evening.  These seats are not going to be wonderful but I have found after years of going to the theatre that the above site never gives really bad seats.  There is a great atmosphere in the balcony with all the people who go to the theatre regularly sitting there. If you want to see the show but don`t want to pay nearly £100 for a seat go the theatre using a deal like the above.

I have been to see shows usually on a Monday or Tuesday evening, paid for balcony tickets and then been placed in the Royal Circle of the stalls as they have closed the balcony seating. This is because the theatre is not full and it happens more than you would think.

That leaves me almost £28 with the evening meal and entertainment sorted out.  I have decided to go for the Thames clipper ticket which allows travel on the river all day.  Map of stops below. The cost is £13.50 and you can hop on and off as much as you like.  If you are travelling with a friend you can get a 241 deal making the overall cost each even cheaper.

With £14.38p still in my budget I would buy a lunch meal deal from one of the supermarkets  for £3.50. These include a sandwich, drink and crisps or other snack.  I would eat this sitting by one of the many sights by the river. Leaving me £10.88p . I like the Tower Bridge and Tower of London so will definetly get of at that stop for a while. My next place for a wander would St Pauls Cathedral but you can just choose what stops you like.
I could afford a nice coffee by the Tower of London looking towards Tower Bridge which costs approx £3 depending where you go. I would go in Cafe Nero because they don`t rush you and there are daily newspapers to read.

Leaving £7.88

I would spent £5 of this with the Meal in Planet Hollywood as drinks aren`t included in the offer.

Then being the frugal tourist that I am I would head to a pound shop and get some sweets and a bottle of water to take into the theatre. You can get 2 two chocolate bars and two cans of soft drinks for one pound. I would still have just under £2 left. Not bad for a day in London.

 building seen from the river

Monday, 23 April 2012

Madame Tussauds and St George`s Day

Always good fun Madame Tussauds is a must on anyones list. See the film stars and William and Kate. Sit next to the US president or kick a ball next to your favourite sports hero.

Play the drums with the Beatles or sing with Freddie Mercury.  Wander through a star studded room to find Ant and Dec smiling and Simon Cowell sitting waiting to judge the X factor.
Freddie Mercury at Madame Tussards

Another corner and Spider Man hangs from the ceiling and Kylie swings from a half moon dressed to dazzle. Use 241 voucher or buy a Merlin card or a London Pass, check out the offers for groups and the railway stations 241 offers if you travel by train. The queues are long unless you have a Merlin Card or go late in the day. Out of season is also a good time to visit as Hotels will be cheaper and offers will be better on other accommodation like renting a holiday apartment.

Once you have seen all the waxworks and there are plenty to see, a fair ground ride with cars based on London taxis take you on a tour of Londons history.  You pass models of the fire of london, Henry VIII and the industrial revolution. It has all been arranged very well and is a great way for Madame Tussards to finish the tours.  When you first arrive you are taken to the top floor of the building by lift and the set arrangement is that you walk down each of the floors. It is very well done and worth a visit. You may want to avoid the shop and do take your own photos. You are allowed to spend as much time as you want taking photos and wandering around. 

Fancy a chat with a famous director?

Its St Georges Day Today St George and the Dragon, Paulo Uccello, 1470

The National Art Gallery London - St. George and the Dragon

Lets not forget Shakespeare the greatest writer of all time. Its his birthday today.
You will also find shakespeare sitting writing at his desk in Madame Tussauds.

SHAKESPEARE birthday today 23 April  400 an odd years young
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