United Kingdom
King's Cross

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Travelers at this place
    • Day 3

      Out and about on a sunny London day

      April 29, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Who said London has poor weather?
      Today was glorious blue skies and pleasantly warm as we tackled a few significant points of interest.
      We left the apartment just after 8am to walk to St. Paul’s Cathedral for our first tour of the day. The architecture of the building is amazing and the audio tour was very informative. A real highlight (especially for Loss) was to hear the pipe organ being played while we were there.
      After seeing all the main features of the building, we then climbed right to the top of the dome for some great views across London. The narrow, winding staircase is definitively not for the claustrophobics!
      After this, we caught the tube to Queensway station then walked down through Kensington gardens to Kensington Palace. In the grounds is a memorial tribute to Princess Diana who lived there from the time of her wedding until her death 16 years later.
      As it happens to be a holiday weekend (and the weather was so nice - testified by the number of English out sunning themselves) we were only able to secure tickets for a tour of the palace itself at 4.30pm. This gave us a few hours to see some other things in the interim, so we walked /tubed back to Whitehall, and then toured the Churchill war rooms - the bunkers underneath Whitehall where Churchill and his war cabinet planned and executed WW2. The whole place is preserved exactly as it was in 1945 and gives a sense of the fortitude and conviction of Churchill and his nation of the time.
      As we were leaving Whitehall (hoping to go to number 10 Downing Street), we happened upon a changing of the guard.
      Alas, Downing Street is no longer accessible to the public - totally protected by police and steel fences - quite different to my last visit in 1974 when you could stand right by the door.
      We spent a little time down on the banks of the Thames (amid throngs of people, a large protest outside Whitehall and many shirtless British men who were finding the 19 degree temperatures way too warm to stay fully clothed), with some photo ops of the London Eye and Big Ben while we were there.
      It was then time to return to Kensington Palace for our 4.30pm tour. We walked then tubed to Paddington station first (mainly for the benefit of the grandchildren who love Paddington bear) - then another 20 minute walk saw us back at Kensington where we enjoyed a tour of the palace - not the section where Diana lived - but rather where Queen Victoria was born, lived and worked.
      After another walk / tube and walk, then a shopping diversion for some groceries - we returned ‘home’ at 7pm after clocking up 23,000 steps today.
      A great day all round, rounded off with Loss preparing another amazing meal in the kitchenette.
      Read more

    • Day 2

      It’s London, baby!

      September 7, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F

      We had a fantastic (yet exhausting) first day! We flew red eye and both didn’t get much, if any, sleep on the flight. We Landed at 7:00am, and the hotel wouldn’t allow us to check in until 5:00, so we had no choice but to power through!!! So we operated on pure adrenaline

      Stopped into St Pauls Cathedral, walked across the Millennium Bridge, and then got some yummy food at the Burroughs Market. After resting a bit, we powered through and toured the Tower Bridge and then finished the day on the London Eye.

      Fantastic day, as I said before. I honestly never thought I’d see London once, let alone twice! And even tho I have “seen most of it already”, it’s really fun seeing it all through Adams eyes this time.

      9.5 miles
      Read more

    • Day 5

      Up and Down the Thames

      May 1, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      We were planning a lazy start today for a departure at around 8.15am - which we did.

      However, the day started at 4.30am with Loss’ phone ringing right beside me on the bedside table. It was a call from an Australia Post driver who was trying to deliver a parcel for a Mrs. Dennes……….

      After an unsuccessful attempt to get back to sleep, I eventually rose at 7. In a ‘belts and braces’ approach I immediately (a) activated the Do Not Disturb feature on her phone (b) removed the Australian SIM card and (c) have determined that said phone will be banished to the bathroom for overnight recharging.

      We left the unit at the forecast time and walked to another ‘Monopoly’ destination - this time Euston Station (London’s oldest) to tube down to Embankment where we had a look at Cleopatra’s needle. Apart from its fascinating ancient Egyptian origins, it suffers shrapnel damage - still evident - of the very first aerial bombing of London in WW 1.

      We then walked over the Golden Jubilee Bridge to a very deserted London Eye precinct. To our surprise we’ve found that London has been very quiet in the early mornings and only starts to really come alive after about 10am when most of the tourist destinations open. Today was no exception despite being a public holiday.

      We had a coffee (our best so far - but that is a fairly low bar) at the Marriott perched on the southern end of Westminster Bridge and then proceeded back to the London Eye to enjoy a wonderful view of London from one of its pods as it gently makes its rotation in the sky. Overpriced? Sure. Worth doing? - Definitely.
      We then walked back across the Thames via the Golden Jubilee bridge (could some one please explain to me why there is a skateboard graveyard on one of the pylons here??) to catch the Uber ferry to Greenwich.

      First point of interest at Greenwich was the Old Naval Royal College with two particularly impressive buildings - the ‘Painted Hall’ which is touted as Britain’s Sistine Chapel; and the Christopher Wren designed Chapel.
      Although very interesting, these buildings were secondary to our (well, my) main interest in this area - the Greenwich Observatory and the Greenwich Prime Meridian.

      During the era when British influence and maritime strength was at its greatest, the world agreed on this Greenwich Prime Meridian and hence solved a major navigation problem for mariners (and subsequently pilots). Having used ‘Greenwich Mean Time’ (now called UTC) in aviation for many years, I enjoyed standing / straddling this meridian and thinking about its impact on my life.

      Back down on the Thames was the Clipper ‘Cutty Sark’ which was once the fastest sailing ship in the world. Our tour of this historic vessel was brief but sufficient to appreciate its main features. It was also interesting to note that it spent some of its working life transporting coal and wool from Australia.

      It was now about 2.30pm and London crowds were out in full force. We had to wait for 2 Uber ferries to come and go before we could return to central London but just managed to get back to Bankside Pier and run up the ramp to catch the last tour or the day at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
      This working theatre is an exact recreation of the Theatre as it existed in Elizabethan times (late 1500’s) when Shakespeare was actively involved in its operation. As part of the tour we watched a rehearsal for a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream which was to be performed tonight.

      We then caught the Uber ferry back to Embankment and then ‘tubed’ it home - arriving at the very early hour of 5.30pm. We both realised this was way too early - are there any options?
      I stupidly mentioned that Harrods would still be open. A few minutes of website searching later, Loss has said she’s found a pair of shoes at Harrods she likes the look of . . and they’re only 2,250 GBP.

      At this point I backpedal and say that I might not have read the Opening Hours correctly - and that even if it was open that - due to the Public Holiday - the crowds would be too large for her liking. I promise we will pay a visit to Harrods before we leave London on Thursday. She accepts this compromise - but I fear I have only kicked the problem down the road a little……..
      I also fear my sleep might be interrupted tonight - not by the sound of a phone ringing, but rather by the sound of the Harrods rapid-delivery service knocking on our door.
      Read more

    • Day 4

      Off to visit the Queen (King, actually)

      April 30, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      After our solid day yesterday I assured Loss we would take it a little easier today, so I let her sleep in until 6am, followed by a memorial meeting (Riverwood YouTube stream from a few hours before) at 6.30 - then out the door just before 8am.
      A brisk walk then tube to Leicester Square heading for Trafalgar Square. On the way Loss spotted St. Martin-in-the Fields Church which was a source of some excitement because she has enjoyed some fabulous music from there over the years.
      After checking out Trafalgar Square, we walked down the Mall to Buckingham Palace where much preparation was taking place for the Coronation in 6 days time.
      After a short stroll / detour (and coffee) in St. James’ park the plan was to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
      Loss was VERY pleased to see it had been cancelled today (Coronation preps) - she hates large crowds with a passion - so we altered plans slightly and headed around the corner to ‘The Queen’s Gallery’ which is part of Buckingham palace, and enjoyed (with the help of an audio tour) an excellent gallery of Georgian artwork and artefacts. It was surprisingly engaging.
      Following this we walked a few hundred metres further down the periphery of Buckingham Palace grounds to tour through “The Royal Mews” where the horses, carriages and cars that transport the Royals are kept and maintained.
      Of particular interest was that the carriages to be used next Saturday were on display, including the Australian Bicentennial gift carriage constructed by the Australian carriage maker W.J. Frecklington.
      According to the staff, it is expected that this carriage will transport Charles and Camilla from Buckingham Place to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation - but carriage selection is very much weather dependent.
      Next stop was Wellington Arch (and the Australian War Memorial which is adjacent to it) where our legs had the luxury of a lift to the top of the arch for an impressive view over this area of London.
      The next stop was planned to be ‘The Jewel Tower’ at Westminster, however I made a major error at this point.🙁
      On leaving Wellington arch, I sought directions from a security guard involved in setting up barricades for the Coronation.
      Me: “I’m wondering if you could tell me please, is this road down here Piccadilly?”
      I was about to tell him that we were looking for Leicester Square Station but before I had a chance to say this, the guard (looking directly at Loss and not at me, says) “Yes sir, and is it the Ritz you’re looking for? Or perhaps Fortnum and Mason’s? - they’re both down there just on the right”
      I was looking for neither, but with a gleam in her eye and a new spring in her step, I trailed behind ‘she-who-must-be-obeyed’ as these became our new ‘interim’ destinations.
      After dragging her away from the front steps of the Ritz and then parting with unseemly amounts of cash for minuscule amounts of produce at Fortnum and Masons, we eventually made it to the Jewel Tower and toured it.
      The Westminster area was absolutely teeming with people as we fought our way around to get a look at Westminster Abbey. The Abbey has already been closed for a week to prepare it for next Saturday, so we quickly made our way down to the riverfront with the intention of catching the Uber ferry to Greenwich.
      This was not to be as the large crowds meant that availability was non existent, so we took a 10 minute break to work out a new plan for the next few hours until our 6pm ‘View From the Shard’ booking.
      We settled on paying a visit to The British Museum - which we duly did (after a 10 minute lunch break at a nearby cafe) - and although the crowds were large, we were able to move through the exhibits quickly and efficiently with the use of the book ‘Through the British Museum with the Bible’ which Bro. Stephen Whitehouse had recommended.
      This was absolutely invaluable as it gave step-by-step detailed instructions on where to find the Biblically relevant exhibits and the Bible passages and background information about them.
      2 hours (and being kicked out at closing time at 5pm) saw us covering 46 pages of its content - but it runs to 140 pages - so another visit is planned within the next few days.
      We then tubed it back to ‘The Shard’ for our 6pm trip up to the viewing platform (72 stories) of London’s tallest building.
      It was great to be able to identify some of the places we had visited over the last couple of days from this vantage point.
      So a final tube ride back ‘home’ with another grocery stop (I did offer to eat out but she said she was happy to cook) saw us through the door at 7.45pm with the same amount of walking as yesterday.
      I’ve promised Loss another easy day tomorrow.
      Read more

    • Day 22

      Gottesdienst in London-Ost

      September 25, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Mit der Tube bin ich dann eine knappe halbe Stunde in einen anderen Teil Londons gefahren, wo ich an dem Gottesdienst teilgenommen habe, wo Verena eine neue Kollegin eingeführt hat. ☺️
      Die Kirche liegt unterhalb der Straße und ganz nah an King‘s Cross, was ziemlich cool ist und auch schön aussieht. ☀️

      Nach dem Gottesdienst haben wir uns mit ein paar Menschen unterhalten, die wir vorher nur auf Zoom gesehen hatten und dann mussten wir auch schon wieder los, unseren Zug nach Hause kriegen. 🚝♥️
      Read more

    • Day 7

      Paddington at Portobello Road

      May 3, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      This is especially for the Grandchildren who are Paddington fans - but on the other hand, who doesn’t love Paddington?

      We were able to identify a few of Paddington’s favourite places on Portobello road. I hope you enjoy them.Read more

    • Day 6

      Towers and Bridges

      May 2, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Today started with phone calls - again - but this time they were welcome :)
      We had a lovely FaceTime with Laura in Perth, then Beebs and all the kids on their way home from swimming lessons, then finally Darcy (once he had woken up from his nap). And this was all following a call late(ish) last night from Beth (which I promptly fell asleep in the midst thereof).

      We had a relatively leisurely start, as our first destination was Tower Bridge which doesn’t open until 9.30am. The walk and tube saw us arriving right at opening time and we entered with no delay. There are many similarities between Tower Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Bridge (all steel construction, rivets, stonework on towers / pylons only for decoration). It only takes 60 seconds to fully open the Bridge which still happens quite regularly to allow for the passing of ships. The engineering is phenomenal.

      Next was our first tower for the day - the Tower of London which is very close by. This was a mixed experience. The most popular of the experiences here is to get up close and personal with the Crown Jewels. Although the place was very busy by now, the queue into the Crown Jewels building was very short. On entering we quickly realised why - most of the ‘good’ stuff has been removed to prepare it for use on Saturday at the Coronation. However, there were still two particularly beautiful and famous items on display - the crown that the Queen mother wore; and the small diamond crown that Queen Victoria wore and is most often depicted as wearing in statues, paintings and films and which she wore most often during her long widowhood.
      On the bright side of this experience, Loss didn’t have to suffer large, close-packed crowds (see previous entries).

      In spite of this, the rest of London Tower was extremely interesting. The details of the imprisonments, tortures and executions that took place here is astonishing.
      Also, to be walking around inside a building that William The Conquerer built shortly after invading England in 1066 is mind blowing for someone coming from Oz.

      Our next tower was the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666. The monument closes for an hour between 1 and 2pm each day and our timing saw us arriving right in this period so we allowed ourselves the luxury of a half hour lunch break before experiencing the Monument - a good thing too - as an energy boost was definitely helpful as we climbed the seemingly-never-ending spiral staircase to the top. (Just checking now, my watch (and legs) registered we climbed 53 flights in total today).
      However it was worth the effort as the views were excellent from the viewing platform at the top.

      Next (at Loriene’s insistence) was a short visit to the nearby ‘tailor’s district’, specifically to the Charles Tyrwhitt shop. We’ve been ordering online custom business shirts from them for many years but weren’t brave enough to order pants without trying them on.
      This I duly did, worked out exact size and fit and will order online ‘when the price is right’ as they often have special discount deals for their overseas customers throughout the year.

      It was now mid afternoon so we tubed it back to the British Museum for a second crack at getting through the Biblically relevant displays. By the time we were kicked out again at 5pm we had made significant further progress - but it will need a third visit tomorrow to finish it. We have been photographing every single exhibit (in order) that is described in the guide book we have been using. I expect it will be a valuable resource to use in the future.

      A 15 minute walk back to our ‘home’, with yet another grocery stop on the way saw us through the door at a very respectable 6pm. I did offer to head out to Harrods but it seems it is preferred to visit there tomorrow ‘when we will have more time’. Gulp.

      Tomorrow is our last day in London. Apart from finishing the British museum, we have covered all our ‘must do’ items (except Harrods 😳). There are a couple of other things we have in mind to do in addition if time permits.
      Read more

    • Day 8

      Apprehension to anticipation

      July 2, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

      As I prepared for this walking holiday in Scotland I had in mind that day 5 was going to be a long, desolate trek in the highlands. The weather conditions added a another layer to the challenge of walking 19 miles. My mind’s eye has never been so wrong. The day began as usual with a wonderful breakfast served by Andrew and Ellen our hosts at the Glengarry House in Tyndrum (tine-drum). Similar to yesterday’s walk much of the tread will be on a military road constructed in the middle of the 18th century (more than 350 years ago) and has not been upgraded since. Picture if you can cobblestones firmly embedded, but not flush in the ground they were laid upon. No scrambling over tree roots or boulders today…just an uneven surface. I exaggerated a bit, actually the first 6 miles was easy walk on a crushed granite type tread which made for quick walking with our battle tested legs. The weather was our friend for this two hours as well. As we walked into the small outpost Bridge of Orchy the weather changed. The next seven hours with be mixtures of driving rainfall, a brief respite at the secluded Inveroran Hotel. And a 7 mile hike across the Rannoch Moor. As we left the uncultivated land of the moor for the next outpost of Kinghouse we had a “drenching to the bone” rain and wind storm. The only thing I could think about was the hot coffee I was going to drink in the hotel at this one building remote station.
      At the time of my planning this walk the hotel was fully booked, requiring us to make alternate plans...

      A taxi ride 12 miles to Ballachulish for our accommodations at the Dalcraig B&B. Thankfully with a drying room and a hostess able to launder our wet clothes.
      Even after walking 19 miles we were able to walk the mile or so to a well earned dinner. Soup, fish and chips were the fare (and a pint or two) at the Isle of Glencoe restaurant.

      Note: Yesterday we first met Simon running on at the trail from north to south. Unbeknownst to us was that he had dropped his wife off at Inversnaid Hotel trailhead and driven to Inveranen/Beinglas Farm and was running back to meet her and their dog Billie. Shortly after, they passed us, in the difficult stretch of trail. We met again at Beinglas Farm Pub and had a pint together as we dried out. Today we met again on the military road about two hours north of Tyndrum. My Altra trail shoes got his attention initially...he is a fan...so much so that he used a pair to run the Boston Marathon in April. He and his wife live north of London and she is doing section hiking on the Way.
      Read more

    • Day 15

      Un tour de Londres

      August 19, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Pour notre journée à Londres, nous commençons par le quartier de Camden Town, trés animé, coloré, et son marché couvert. Lucile trouve ses nouvelles chaussures Doc Martins dans une ambiance joyeuse.
      Puis nous rejoignons le centre-ville au 2ieme étage des fameux bus rouges, arrêt Westminster Abbey. La foule dense de touristes nous pousse rapidement vers le pont sur la Tamise, surplombé par Big Ben. Nous continuons à pied le long du fleuve vers les buildings de la City et le Tower Bridge. Sur le chemin, nous visitons le Tate Modern (gratuit) et ses immenses collections d'œuvres modernes et contemporaines ! Le tout sous un beau soleil.
      Rentrés dans notre chambte, il ne nous reste plus qu'à préparer nos affaires pour la journée du voyage retour du lendemain.
      Read more

    • Day 2

      Brunch du dimanche

      September 24, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Ce matin petit brunch chez Caravan, au menu oeufs brouillés, champignons, lard, saumon, english breakfast, granola ... dans un quartier super canon et un restaurant à la déco industrielle très réussie ! Gros coup de cœur pour ce quartier à deux pas de la gare qui mélange avec brio bâtiments anciens et modernité.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    King's Cross

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android