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Royal Kensington and Chelsea

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Royal Kensington and Chelsea

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  • Day192

    Day in London and an Oyster malfunction

    January 9 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    Had a breakfast cuppa with Lou and Nat before they headed off to work and we headed off into London for a day of sightseeing and last minute shopping. Our flight was at 9pm from Heathrow so we had all day and we weren’t due to pick up our big bags until 4pm-5pm.
    Got the bus and then the train to Victoria Station with plans to head to the V and A museum. The Mary Quant exhibition is on but is sadly ticketed and quite pricey so we planned to do free viewing only.
    At Victoria we topped up Kate’s Oyster card, went across to the tube... and it immediately stopped working! Luckily she had the receipt to prove she had just topped up not a minute before. What ensued next was a totally British farce. After trying several times the tube staff member told us we had to go back into the main train stations were to sort it out. I had to be let back through the tube barrier as I had tapped on.
    Up to the station and explained the scenario to another staff member who insisted it just needed topping up until he also unsuccessfully tried the card reader despite us telling him repeatedly. Next we got sent to the Visitors Centre where our only options were to buy another oyster card for £5 and then call to transfer the balance over - he could not do this for us! However it would take at least 30 mins to do this so we could buy another ticket to where we wanted to go. However we were working on a capped day rate (£13.20) for multiple journeys having taken the bus and train already.
    No other option we purchased another oyster and then went to Wetherspoons ( yes I hate Wetherspoons!) as it was nearby and had free coffee refills whilst we sorted this all out.
    40 mins later with our breakfast being given to the next table, the oyster transfer was complete except the £5.10 we had already spent this am that could not be put towards the daily capped rate as planned nor could they/ would they compensate us for the inconvenience of the total hour taken out of our day.
    Off we went on our way ( I was later overcharged £7.50 for tapping on and not tapping off within the hour whilst sorting this which meant another 25 mins on the phone at the airport trying to reclaim this!!)
    Anyway we finally got to the V and A, did a bit of last minute shopping, tried unsuccessfully to sort out my travel bag with its non functioning handle ( it needs to be sent away to be assessed- not helpful when it’s full of 23 kgs of gear and can only be posted back to UK and can’t get an immediate replacement etc etc), had a coffee and then got soaking wet at the last hour before heading to the airport!
    China eastern check in was smooth and all in time and we must admit that both of us were more than ready to take off and head home for the summer sun.
    Goodbye UK
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  • Day12

    Arrived in London

    September 10, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Well here we are in London, and it’s Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday was a travel day, but we started out with a slightly more substantial breakfast as we knew we wouldn’t be fed on the plane till late in the afternoon. We had seen a place in the market each day which always had a long queue which we didn’t want to wait in, but they obviously did something good. So on Monday morning it was much quieter so we indulged - it’s called the eggslut!! And they do scrambled eggs, and other eggs and put them in a brioche roll....yum! Will show in photo. Then once we had to check out from the hotel, we hung round a bit in the lobby, but made our way leisurely to the airport as no time to do anything else.

    And it is nice to be early at LAX as the international terminal is always rather chaotic, especially yesterday with flights to Japan cancelled because of typhoons, British airways striking....anyway, we made it through with the very efficient Air New Zealand people and had an excellent flight, even nice food! AND such an easy entry into the UK - just put your passport in a machine and through you go - no forms, no people to question you! That is only for the good countries - people from EU countries, USA, Canada, Oz, NZ etc....but so good for us.

    So we went to the underground station, topped up our Oyster cards and made our way to our hotel near Earls Court station. This time it is an Ibis, but in an old Victorian building and again charming, not the typical rather soulless Ibis!

    We have had a walk, quite a long one, to Knightsbridge as far as Harrods, and then back via the Royal Albert Hall to pick up tickets for tomorrow’s concert. A short relax now and then a fairly early Indian meal, and off to bed, and hope we will slide easily into this time zone, because we remain at this time for the rest of our holiday - or an hour ahead in Norway, but an hour doesn’t count. All good.
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  • Day8

    Last Day, Market Day

    December 21, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Portobello Road Markets, Notting Hill… what a crazy place! Hustling and bustling with so many people, store holders yelling out there best selection of produce or latest styled hats. We wandered through, bumping shoulders left and right, soon discovering that we needed cash at most vendors. So we found an ATM, which ended up being out of order. All good, we’ll just go inside and get money out. Oh wait, it’s a 10.5% extra bank fee to withdraw cash… No worries we’ll go to that supermarket… oh they don’t do cash out? That’s all good, we’ll try another supermarket… whats that? They don’t do cash out either? ok….oh look, there’s another atm, lets try that… oh that’s out of order as well? Never mind that security guy said that that other supermarket will do cash out… Ok let’s try that. We can get cash out, yes! Oh… it won’t let us use our Australian cards?!! Ok this is getting a bit annoying, let’s keep walking. Oh let me pop my head into this supermarket and check… don’t even bother, it’s tiny! Wait what’s that in the distance?! It’s glowing light on a wall that reads ‘CASH’. Will it work? Will it not? There’s only one way to find out… Yass! It does, finally we have some pounds to purchase our big delicious market pastries with! Woooo!

    Soon the rain set in and we had to bail. We set off for Harrod’s, the super department store of London. Harrod’s was all a it much, packed tot eh rafters with hectic Christmas shoppers. Jo managed to by a few books and we got out of there. We set off on a bus aiming to do a bit of shopping before we left London for the country side tomorrow. We got a few stops away and just weren’t feeling it. Our feet were killing and we were so exhausted. So we hopped right off and got right on the Underground train heading back home. We arrived home to J,J, & H where we all just chilled out for bit before Jo & I headed to grab a drink with the local Carroll. We met Ben and his girlfriend Kate at an amazing underground wine bar for a drink and serious catch-up.We hadn’t seen Ben for several years and had never met Kate so it was so great to catch them. We chatted for a couple of hours and down a delicious bottle of red before we said our goodbyes and headed back to the apartment. It was pack up time and off to bed for an early night before we hit the road tomorrow.

    Asher ☺️
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  • Day6

    Museums & Castles

    December 19, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    Today was wet! Very wet. The perfect day for some inside exploring. We were off to the British Museum and Tower of London.

    British Museum was up first. This huge museum was a wonder. We could have spent he whole day there and still not seen everything. We only had a few hours though so we prioritised Ancient Egypt, Assyria and Greece. These were all things both of us had learnt about during our year 12 schooling so it was pretty amazing to see things in the flesh. The colossal statues of this powerful Pharaohs and lavish palaces of the Assyrian Kings. It was just so amazing to actual visualise these actual things that existed so many years ago. Even stories from the bible we learn’t as kids, seeing the actual palaces from those times really brings what it would have been like to life. I never really pictured much of the city of Nineveh but seeing the actual palace walls in real life depicting carvings of what life was like there really brought it to life.
    We dove into history for a few hours before time got away from us and we had to get across to the grand Tower of London. Not before a quick pit stop at the local bookshop though.

    We made it to the Tower of London, grabbed our audio guides and set off in the rain to explore this incredible castle and fortress. This was a real step back in time. All the way back to William the Conquerer. Originally it started out as a prison, then part of it became a royal palace, a store house for military weapons and now it’s a museum of war weapons and of course the home of The Crown Jewels.

    After exploring the history for a while we wandered in to see the Crown Jewels. Jo was very excited! We took the constantly moving travellator past quite a few times before we could move on. These jewels were very bedazzling, under all the lights they sparkled like crazy. Some of the jewels were incredible! We found out that this was home to the largest cut diamond in the world, the Cullinan diamond. Originally 3,106 carats and the size of a baseball it was cut down and forms different parts of the crown jewels. Unfortunately Queen Lizzy’s crown was in use so we couldn’t see the state crown. With the latest British election Boris Johnson had stolen it for the day.
    Must admit though, this huge display of wealth was all a bit much I think. Traditions or not you could see why the poorer class would have despised the royal family sometimes.
    We hung around the castle until sunset which was such stunning lighting with the tower bridge in the background.

    From there we were heading home. We were on babysitting duty tonight so James and Jess could enjoy dinner and a show. It was nice to have a night relaxing at home actually. We waved them off, got Hudsy to bed and put ourselves to bed not long after.

    A very historically informative day!

    Asher ☺️
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  • Day8

    St Andrew's

    March 9, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Heute war ein anstrengender Tag und das schreib ich geduscht im Bett mit laufendem Fernseher bevor es neun Uhr ist! Das heißt es war echt anstrengend!
    Angefangen hat der Tag in Fulham bei St Andrew‘s da haben wir einen Abendmahlsgottesdienst gefeiert. Da hab ich leider feststellen müssen, dass ich auch mit geschlossenen Augen weinen kann. Ich war sehr gerührt und hab mich aber auch sehr hilflos gefühlt, weil ich nichts tun kann. Alle waren sehr nett und ich hab mich sehr gut aufgehoben gefühlt.
    Wir sind dann noch durch das Dörflein gelaufen bevor wir etwas zu essen gefunden haben. Das war lecker und ich hatte mich dann auch so weit eigentlich wieder beruhigt.
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  • Day6

    St Mellitus College

    March 7, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 9 °C

    Mein Körper macht gerne mal spannende Sachen, so wie früh aufwachen, auch wenn man mal einmal ausschlafen könnte... Heute hieß früh 7 Uhr, aber wenn man bedenkt, dass es erst um 10:30 Uhr los ging, ist das schon ganz schön beachtlich! Die Zeit vor und nach dem Frühstück hab ich dann für Vokabeln genutzt.
    Als es dann losging, sind wir mit der Gruppe durch de Hyde Park gelaufen nach Kensington zu dem St Mellitus‘ College. Das ist eine Schule für anglikanische Priester. Durch Google hab ich inzwischen auch rausgefunden, dass der St Mellitus nach seinem Tod heiliggesprochen wurde, weil er vorgeblich eine Kathedrale und Menschen vor dem Feuer bewahrt hat.
    In der Kirche befindet sich jetzt also unter der Woche eine Schule/‚Uni‘ und unten im Keller sind sogar Hörsäle. Ein netter Mensch hat sich Zeit für uns genommen und uns viel erklärt und Fragen beantwortet.
    Ein netter Start in den Tag.
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  • Day2

    Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

    April 19, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    What a glorious day! I started out in my nice hotel that boasts a kitchenette and free phone! No, I mean an honest to God Smartphone that I can take with me for navigation, web searches, and to make international calls all gratis! I’ve never heard of that! After my not too bad overnight flight, I took the non-express train (UnderGround) in from the airport. The subway cars are so tiny. I couldn’t really stand in the middle with my bag without bumping into someone’s knees. The system works really well, but I have to say, the schematic transit map they have is less than useless. It doesn’t have any sense of geography and scale. It was like that when I lived in New York - I knew which stops came next but not where they actually were located in relation to one another. Anyhow, I digress.

    My hotel sits a couple of convenient blocks north of Hyde Park, so I walked to visit Kensington Palace. The gardens were exquisite. They have 50 gardeners to keep the place magnificent. I took a tour that was entertaining and quite informative on the history of the Stuart and Hanover families who have lived there since the late 1700s. William and Kate and their three children live there now as had Harry and Meghan until just recently. Princess Diana’s hand and fashion were highlighted. While it is a “palace” with all the pomp and tradition that comes with that word, I was not overwhelmed by the public rooms. The oak staircase leading to the Queen’s quarters were beautiful but spoke more of showing off (look how much expensive oak we can waste on a staircase) instead of fine art. Ceilings were painted to look like they were elaborately carved domes but in reality are an optical illusion. Interesting. Few of the furniture or decorative pieces used (or even substituted) were displayed.

    But oh, the tiaras. Brazil nut-sized emeralds adorned earrings, necklace and tiara. A spectacular show of wealth and jewelry making. Three displayed in a large glass case jiggled every time someone walked about the room. It is an old house.

    Hyde Park feels like New York’s Central Park with strolling locals, their families, joggers, tourists, lovers holding hands, and young people gathering in clumps on the grass. Song birds sang strong and clear doing their best to entertain. I don’t have a bird book (or app) that covers London so I’ve been taking pictures for later identification. The Robin doesn’t much look like an American Robin. I loved the unmanicured look of the fields and trees knowing that it was a deliberate and exacting plan to get it to look this way.

    I went in search of the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. What a joyful thing it is! People are encouraged to wade and splash and have fun in the water. It was such a contrast to the formal Kensington Gardens. I loved them both.

    Two small spaces, theSpencer Gallery and the Spencer Sackler Gallery, host installations and modern art. Like much of modern art, I can’t say why it moves me when it does or doesn’t. I just know that when I come away feeling that the artist captured a spirit and transmitted that to me - that is the essence of art.

    I capped off the day with a delicious Indian restaurant called Dishoom. It is wildly popular and for good reason. I had one lamb chop that was deeply spiced and cooked just right, chicken tikka - no sauce to hide the tandoori flavors, a bowl of green veggies in chili and lime, and their signature black daal dish. I couldn’t finish so I have some for another day, if I don’t continue to eat my way through London.

    I made it to nearly 10pm London time. Trying to beat jet lag.
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  • Day17

    Day 16. London

    July 10, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Relaxing morning.
    Train & bus to Kensington palace. Nice residence (lots of princess Diana focus) & gardens.
    Lunch & walk around in Hyde park inc pic with English premier league cup & footage inside main arena - check out squirrel man.
    Quick pic of Albert hall (no time to go inside).
    Afternoon tea at harrods - great experience.
    Back on train
    Home for dinner
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  • Day2

    Our Luggage is MIA!

    June 13, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Our luggage is still in Atlanta, and we're told it "might" be here by tomorrow evening. There were six of us whose luggage was misplaced, which is some sort of a record for a Voyageurs trip. Thanks to time spent filing a report with Delta (the London people were horrified), we only got 2 hours at Windsor, so Ellie didn't get to do the castle tour. We're hoping to see it on Saturday between concert performances. Honestly, this day has sucked in every possible way so far, but we're hoping things will improve tomorrow.Read more

  • Day3

    London Day 2

    June 14, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌫 14 °C

    After a visit to a local pharmacy and a Marks & Spencer's, we slept well last night. Fortunately, the clothes we bought fit well enough that we feel good about this morning's city tour and this afternoon's trip to the Tower. We see Wicked tonight, too. I hope our luggage is at the hotel when we return!

    UPDATE! Jodie says our luggage will be delivered tonight between 7PM-2AM! YAY!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Royal Kensington and Chelsea, Royal London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, KEC, KEN

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