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Southbank and Westminster

London

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Our goal for the day was exploring London’s Southbank and Westminster. We walked via Millennium bridge not far from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Southbank area passing the buildings of the National theatre and film, lots of little cafes, a cool skate park and an area filled with trestles of second hand books. This passed into a fair type area with kids rides and food like fairy floss, candy and fast food near the Jubilee Gardens.

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The Jubilee Garden is right near the London Eye and was where we had a picnic lunch from our favourite Marks and Spencer, while a young lady busked. We thought about going on the London Eye however, there were a lot of people from different nationalities in each pod and in light of the current times we chose to enjoy the view from the ground level.

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We passed lots of other attractions near the Eye including the London Dungeon, Shrek’s Adventure and Sealife before making our way across Westminster Bridge. On the bridge there were various artists busking and many people undertaking the usual three cup scam. The bridge also gave us a vantage of Westminster Parliament and Big Ben. Big Ben unfortunately is under scaffolding until 2021, with only the clock face presenting, so wasn’t very exciting. We walked along the road, lots of police around on duty and into the park to get a better view of the imposing Westminster Parliament building.

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From the park we took a detour through some quaint streets and ended up in the Dean’s yard on our way to Westminster Abbey. In the Dean’s yard, a square formation that borders Westminster Abbey, there are schools, a central green and offices of the Church of England.

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From the Dean’s yard you head a short walk to Westminster Abbey. The abbey is well worth the visit, even there are no photos allowed inside. This is the royal church that has a history spanning royal coronations (the chair used on display), weddings and celebrations of life. The church has over 3000 funerary tombs and memorials within the abbey and its cloister with people from the areas of national service, science (Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton), poetry and writing (CS Lewis, Bronte sisters, Lewis Carroll, Livingstone) dignatories and of course royal kings, queens and family members interned. The abbey was originally a monastery in the 10th century and subsequently enlarged by successive kings. The shrine of St Edward the Confessor is the oldest tomb in the abbey. The Lady’s Chapel was an addition to the Abbey by King Henry VII and has a main chapel with naves. The main chapel is the resting place of King Henry III and his wife, Elizabeth, a choir area, beautiful stain glass windows, and some smaller chapels, it is also linked to the Order of the Bath. The left nave is the resting place of Elizabeth I buried with her sister, Mary and at the end of this nave tombs of The Innocents, young children including the bones allegedly of the young Tudor Princes who disappeared from the White Tower. The right nave is the resting place of Mary Queen of Scots, her mother-in-law, Margaret, Countess of Lennox and Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Outside the cloister is a lovely quiet place of reflection with a nice water feature in the middle of the lawn and offers a different view of the top of Westminster Parliament.

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On leaving the abbey we walked past the Parliament Square that has monuments to British, Commonwealth and foreign political figures and has seen its fair share of demonstrations and protests. At the end of the day we retraced our steps and noticed that there was considerably less people out than the previous day. We put this down to Friyay, drinks in the pub or the message starting to filter through about working from home.

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Posted by bonne vie 15:27 Archived in United Kingdom

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