Monday, 7 May 2012

Street Art and Music

Floor Painter
Dedicated Busker near London Eye

Pianist Busker on South Bank London


On a day when the weather is being nice to us all what could be better than walking along the South Bank and watching the buskers.
The variety of music and the skill of the players is enchanting. The Pianist above played music from the old dance halls and feet tapped to the beat. She looked like she had walked straight out of a different era to remind us of a time when front rooms contained pianos not play stations.

The skill of the floor painter and the patience she needed to complete her complex picture in chalk was humbling. She had no control over the amount, if any, of coins people would pay her for her work. The rain could come and steal her hours of love and wash it into the Thames.

While you are on the South Bank try the Skylon Restaurant it has set menus or you can choose a carvery and the upstairs seating looks out over the Thames. It is particularly lovely in the evening when the riverside buildings are lit and boats twinkle up the Thames.




Friday, 4 May 2012

HMS Ocean Arrives at Greenwich

Captain Morgans Rum

HMS Ocean arrived in the Thames today and there won`t be a problem finding her.  She is docked at Greenwich and is huge. It is all part of the Olympic Military show to ensure that the Olympics are not disrupted by any threat. 

Although it is understandable that the government want everyone to feel safe I personally think its all a bit much. This weekend is a Bank Holiday so it is an ideal time for practicing Olympic security which is why HMS Ocean is here. Such a shame any country has to worry about such things.  I am not sure such shows of strength won`t put people off actually coming to London. We will have so much security lets hope it doesn`t feel oppressive.
Olympic Park Photo on Google
 




You can now walk around the outside of the Olympic Park. It looks quite amazing and is huge. It costs £9 for an adult  to go into the Olympic Park but it is worth it to get a close look and a guided tour. The London Tubes are going to be very busy which is a complete understatement. Anyone who travels on them  during rush hour will wonder how they are going to cope.  I am sure they will though and everyone will have a wonderful time.



London Tube station Sign














Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Anyone for Tennis? - Wimbledon Starts In June


How To Go To Wimbledon and Get In

Go on the last Saturday
Women's Finals  Day 




If you have never been to Wimbledon go even if you only have a ticket to get into the grounds.

My friend and I went on the final Saturday for women's finals day we only had tickets for court number one not Centre Court where the match would be played. We paid £32 each for the tickets and got them by joining The All Tennis Club online. You can also simply go to the ticket office and get a grounds only ticket. They had plenty for sale at 11 am last year. You are not going to get the same tennis as in the first week as the finalist are now known but its still great to go there and be part of a finals day.



Centre Court Wimbledon
The grounds are smaller than you expect after only seeing the place on TV but it is amazing. The atmosphere is fantastic on Henmans Hill (or Murray's Mount) depending on your preference, it is crowded and fun. We wandered around all the courts before play and you are allowed to go to Centre Court and take photos before the match starts. Gaze approvingly at the new roof that seems bigger than the court itself  and see how close you are to the players. We were lucky and had fabulous weather, we didn`t leave untill 7.30pm saw some great tennis and had a lovely time. Do take your own strawberries you need a bank loan to buy them there.


The doubles matches being played on number one court were exciting as was the junior matches. We watched  Radel practising for his final the next day and seen him encouraging the younger players before their match.  If you find yourself not too engrossed watching the women's final on the large screen on Henmans Hill wander to the practise courts at the back of Centre Court. This is were the crafty men's finalist practise for their own match the following day. Hoping to go unnoticed as everyone roars for their favourite female  player.


Radel on Practise Court





After the Woman's Finals we stood near the players bridge which leads from the Centre Court to the VIP reception area  We saw Martina  who waved cheerfully to us, Pat Cash and many other tennis greats.
The grounds themselves are impressive and it does feel an honour to wander about.


Wimbeldon is a magnet for tennis lovers so go and have fun take a straw hat or a brolly. There are buses waiting at the nearest tube stations so for a few pounds you can be at the entrance. The walk from the tube station is not far but we got the bus going and walked when we were returning to the tube.



Radel Practising at Wimbledon
 








Centre Court





Take a picnic food is expensive and don`t forget your camera.

 


Get into wimbledon The Easy Way and Go into the Grounds on the Final Saturday .

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Fireworks, Soldiers and Palaces

Gates near Buckingham Palace

Link to Pinterest

bit.ly http://pinterest.com/alondontourist/harrods-street-party-window/


Its all about parties in London this June. There are parties in the parks over the 2nd 3rd and 4th June. 100 boats on the Thames on Sunday 3rd June including a specially commissioned one for the Royal Family. A free concert (tickets where allocated by ballot)  in St James Park next to the Palace with Queens Victoria`s Monument will be used as the setting for the stage. 
Queen Victoria's Monument

This all sounds like a weekend of fun and a long bank holiday for everyone we just need the British weather to be kind which it hasn`t been in April.

Harrods in Kensington are running a competition to win an overnight stay in London during this weekend and in order to enter you need to create a Pinterest board.  Mine is the link above so fingers and toes crossed they like my take on what could be a Diamond Jubilee Window display, that is the theme of the competition. I like entering competitions that need you to be creative. There are plenty of Hotels near Kensington and the Palace and its sure to be a wonderful atmosphere in London that weekend. Be sure to bring your flags and an umberella.

Party time - Photo from google




Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace
Changing of the Guards
May - daily
June - daily, EXCEPT 5 June. Please note that there is no Music or Ceremony on 2 June, 3 June and 4 June. Changing the Guard will take place at 1400hrs on 2 June and at 0800hrs on 3 June and 4 June.
July - daily


This is something not to be missed. Check times before you go but the changing of the guards usually takes place at 11.30 and lasts about 30 mins. Get there at least 15 minutes before and earlier if you want to get near to the main gates. Picture's below are taken from google.