Hey folks, join me today for a London bus tour around all the main sites of the capital city of the UK! Lady Lynne and I were there last weekend on a quick getaway for a change of scenery, some great food and to see a show too.
Can you believe that 400 miles south of our home town Glasgow, it was actually colder? It’s supposed to get warmer as you go south! Indeed I’d planned for that and spent much of this London bus tour shivering, even with several layers of warm clothing on.
Still, I suppose that’s what you get for sitting in the top of an open top bus eh?
If you want to follow along our actual London bus tour route you can get that from the day tour London tourist map. And I’ll give you the official / best links I found for attractions I mention, below.
Right, here we go.
So we started at number 47 on the green route. That’s St Pancras Station above. Stunning isn’t it? You’d be shocked to know that it was once proposed for demolition. Fortunately now though its been completely restored.
Not only is it an extremely prestigious 5 star hotel now, but it’s also where the Eurostar trains arrive, right into the centre of London from Paris. It’s used by 45 million passengers annually.
Right next door to St Pancras Station is number 46 on our route, Kings Cross Railway Station. This is the main station for all routes North up the East coast of the UK to Edinburgh.
Again, like St Pancras Station, this too was up for demolition once. Fortunately that never happened either and this station too has been completely restored to handle it’s annual 30 million passengers.
Ok, so we’ve changed bus now at number 15.
And we’re on the blue route at number 17. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese which has been a pub since before the great fire of London in 1666 when it had to be rebuilt and has been a popular drinking establishment for many literary figures including Charles Dickens, seen above.
Just after the pub we catch a glimpse of St Paul’s Cathedral in all it’s magnificence. You can get off the London bus tour at any of the stops I’m mentioning, but as this was a quick tour around the city on the Saturday, before our theatre trip, we just sat
shivering enjoying the scenery and the commentary.
Blue skies above St Paul’s Cathedral as our bus makes it’s way past. Is it a sign? Is the sun going to come out for the day?
Not a chance! 😆
As we cross London Bridge, The Shard can be seen at number 18. At one time The Shard was the tallest building in the European Union. It’s a mixture of shops, offices and a luxury hotel. And, of course it provides stunning views over London.
See what I mean about the blue skies disappearing? Ha ha!
Anyway as well as The Shard, on crossing London Bridge looking West down The Thames River you also get this stunning view of Tower Bridge, which we’ll travel under soon.
On the right is HMS Belfast. She took part in the Second World War and is one of only three remaining vessels from the bombardment fleet which supported the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944. Again, it’s possible to get on board her if you have the time.
Crossing Tower Bridge, just before number 19 on your day tour map you get this view of The Tower of London, along with all the cranes, because there just seems to be a whole lot of building work going on in London at the moment!
The Tower of London is of course where you can see The Crown Jewels which are still worn by The Queen on many official state occasions.
To the left of The Tower of London we also get a view of “The Gherkin”.
Did you know it’s official name is actually 30 St Mary Axe? It houses a number of offices, retailers and restaurants and was built on the site, where a huge IRA explosion caused extensive damage to the historic chamber of shipping. The damage of which proved so severe that unfortunately it was deemed impossible to restore.
Passing under one of the arches of Tower Bridge (built 1886 – 1894) you can see the Gothic Revival architecture close up that it was based upon. The bridge was built to it’s current design to allow sailing ships carrying cargoes up the river, with tall masts to pass through, when the roadway is raised on each side.
Over 50 designs for the bridge were submitted when the bridge was first decided upon in 1877. Although the bridge was designed with its two high-level open air walkways, these were actually closed in 1910. The walkways were only accessible by stairs and those stairs gained a reputation as an area where pickpockets wold hang about, and thus were avoided by the public!
When you look closely at The Tower of London at number 19, you’ll see it’s actually built in several stages and features “layers” that have been added on throughout the ages.
It was originally built during the reign of Richard the Lionheart (1189 – 1199) with extensions by William the Conqueror, Edward I, Henry III and then finally expanded to it’s current size under Richard II (1377 – 1399).
London Blackfriars Railway Station is halfway between numbers 19 and 20. The station spans the width of the Thames and has recently been fitted with thousands of solar panels, making it the largest of only two solar bridges in the world.
Any finally, the view from number 21. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what iconic structure this is!
So that was your quick London bus tour. Thanks for reading. I thought it would be something different. If you’re anything like me, you just love looking at people’s pictures of their holiday’s and breaks away. I only wish I could have been there longer and perhaps shown you a bit more
blue sky of the city.
Still, at least it didn’t rain for our weekend, and the show that we saw, The Railway Children was absolutely excellent!
Have a fabulous Easter weekend if you’re celebrating it folks, we’ll be enjoying it with a slice of the latest white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake!
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And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity! 🙂