The forecast is for rain - but it looks okay outside. Today was all about going to Buckingham Palace - its high on Mary's must do list. Seemed easy, take the train to Regent Park and wander over to the Palace. Mary saw a toilet on the way, but I said, come on, we don't want to be late and there'll be plenty of toilets there ....
We had booked through the Royal Collection Trust for the £20 audio guided tour for people over 60 to visit the 19 State Rooms. They let you in at your allotted time - we had booked for 9:30 before the big rush and high demand for tickets. You can book guided tour, but it is more expensive and you need to book well in advance. Having secured our tickets I asked about toilets. Well, there were none at the start of the 2 1/2 hour tour - but some at the end. We were directed to public toilets down the road and of course got lost. Found them in the end - Mary had to pay for the privilege but we made it back in time for the tour start.
Buckingham Palace is great. The rooms have the standard you expect from any palace in Europe, but they are more interesting because they include rooms we have seen on the telly for royal occasions. I would highly recommend a visit. We didn't see Price Phillip on his final day of work - but he was there somewhere - in the parade grounds I think.
After the tour of the State Rooms you leave via the gardens, a fairly long walk out the back. Of course it started to rain, then got heavier and heavier. We found a pub, I tried my first Ale for this trip London Pride - Yuk, and Mary did more of her diary as we dried off.
Took the train back to our hotel and had a relaxing afternoon resting on the hotel bed [no room for chairs in our king sized room] and planning more of our holiday - you do need a break when travelling.
Dinner was at Jamie Oliver's Italian at Shepherds Bush. We have been to his Convent Garden restaurant before and again the service was super friendly and happy. Nice meal too.
Home for a glass of red and some chocolate - life is good.
Tomorrow we pick up the hire car and head out of London to the north of England around Durham way - Mary navigating.