A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

Guernsey to Manchester, Manchester to Lockerbie in Scotland

Our Scottish Adventure begins

sunny 23 °C

Our plane wasn't leaving Guernsey till 12.15 pm so had time for breakfast in our hotel. Returning the car just drove straight in. A small airport so we were soon processed and had time for a coffee before boarding. The plane was aurigny. The flight was just over an hour so we were soon in Manchester. We got on the bus to transport us to the car hire place. We walked to where we had collected a car the last time in Manchester. That's strange, things have changed all the firm's were now back in the same building. They had also introduced a ticket system. We watched one man get to the front of the row only to be told he didn't have a ticket. They made him go back and get a ticket he then had to join the queau again. When Geoff got served the lady said our car wasn't ready and we would have to wait, he wasn't allowed to predo the paper work. We waited and waited. Geoff got up to check and found the car keys sitting on the desk, he waited while the lady gossiped on the phone. She did apologize as apparently they had been there for some time. Finally we were on our way in our little blue car. We headed up the motorway towards Scotland. For some reason Geoff wanted to be in Scotland that night. The first two places we had thought of going to proved to be quite small with no accommodation or accommodation we weren't keen on. We finally ended up in Lockerbie. We booked a hotel on line. It was very old in a Tudor style. We walked in to find the room had been let out 1/2 hour before we got there, he hadn't checked his emails. No problem he got on the phone and booked us a room at the second place he rang. We ended up at Somerton House Hotel. This was a very nice place just on the edge of town. It had originally been a private home and the interior was full of New Zealand kauri. The kauri had come from a ship that was demolished in Scotland. We had a lovely large clean room. We had dinner here which we enjoyed and breakfast was included in the price. The staff were friendly and the kauri interior a link to home. I would thoroughly recommend Somerton House Hotel.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 12:35 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

Monday in London

Westminster Abby, Harrods and Billy Elliot

The day was pleasant so we caught the bus to Westminster Abby. We only queaued for 10 minutes so was happy with that, on the Saturday we noticed the queau was 6 times as long. We spent a long time in Westminster, the place where over 3000 people are buried in vaults etc. No longer are bodies buried in here. Many royal weddings have taken place here including William and Katherine. The Abby is very impressive no photography inside allowed. One person tried and a lady in a nice manner threatened to send the culprit to the Tower of London!!!!!! We had visited before but enjoyed our return visit. It was quite late when we finished so caught a bus to Oxford Street. On hopping off the bus we found a French cafe so ordered two bread rolls which were yummy, the bread was nice and crunchy. We wandered along the Street for a bit plenty of stores to shop in but no room in cases at this stage as have to keep our cases under 20 KS for some of the flights. We then decided to go to Harrods so caught a bus there just when we wondered if we were going the correct way we found we were there. There is something special about this store, great that such a beautiful old building is in such good repair. Inside is like a magical journey, we just enjoyed just looking. The best part for me was wandering around the corridors of the top fashion designer stores, the clothes oozed quality I could have stayed there all day just looking. All to soon we had to back track with the buses to find our way back to our hotel. We quickly dressed, had a snack at Victoria Station then headed to see the show Billy Elliot at the Royal Theatre. This was all walking distance. We thoroughly enjoyed the show.

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London on a Sunday

All seasons in one day

all seasons in one day 18 °C

We headed to Trafalgar Square in our rain coats, walking accross the Thames it started pouring with rain, we spied the hop on hop off buses so decided to do a tour while it was raining. We renigged about the price and got it much cheaper. So for 2 1/4 hours sat on the bus with a running commentary it did fine up after awhile. We found a nice pub and had a pie for lunch. We then decided to catch the 24 bus and go out to Hamstead Heath, this brought back a few memories as went past Swiss Cottage where Tim and Janine lived in London. We then caught the bus back and tried to alight at Camden Markets, we managed to get from the top of the bus to the door but the bus carried on. We got off at the next stop. It was a bit of a mystery for awhile just where the markets were, after lots of walking finally managed to figure it out. It was fun to walk around the markets soaking up the atmosphere. A bonus was that one of the canal boats were coming through the lock. We headed back to London and decided to do the river cruise that was part of the hop on hop off buses ticket price. The weather had fined up for the afternoon. We enjoyed being on the river, we were meant to get a return but for some reason they stopped the returns earlier than usual, one man got right annoyed about it and had an argument with the boat crews. I thought the crew handled the whole thing badly. They got into exchanging swear words, not a good look for a tourist organisation I was off to catch a bus Geoff lingered to hear the argument. We were waiting for the hop on hop off bus to get back thinking it would take another hour and a half with it meandering when a bus to trafalga square pulled in behind we lept on that bus much quicker We got back to our hotel quite late in the day then ate locally at one of the local pubs.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 12:47 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

London on a Saturday

Getting our bearings.

sunny

After a tasty breakfast supplied by the Sidney Hotel we caught the 24 bus to Trafalgar Square. This bus went from Pimlico to Hamstead Heath. Our first stop was Trafalgar Square. Our last three visits to London had all been in the winter so not so many crowds. This time the place was teaming with people. It was great to just absorb the atmosphere. We walked up to Regent Street and just enjoyed looking around. We walked up and down Carnaby Street. This street always reminds me of the 60s, Mary Quaint, Twiggy, mini skirts. Just off this street we found a quaint eating place for lunch. We meandered around the central city and eventually made it back to Trafalgar Square where we caught the 24 bus to Pimlico and our Hotel. That evening we wandered around our local area. We found The Royal Theatre where Billy Elliot was on. Also we realised we were close to Victoria Station. We tried one Pub but it was squished room only so soon found another place with lots of character to dine in. One thing we found while staying here was that the sun came up so early, which tended to wake us up early.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 06:43 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Singapore to London

The Long Haul

overcast 20 °C

Our flight was due to take off from Singapore at 12.30 pm. What a huge Airport this is, we were dropped off at the Air New Zealand part. What a surprise to find we were flying with Singapore Airlines. We looked around but didn't shop, have to keep our suitcases under 20 KS for first part of our long trip. Our seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room. We had a choice of lots of movies, so pretty much watched back to back movies all the way to London. I caught up on lots of movies I had wanted to see. Geoff did read a lot of the way. The plane was held up on take off, had to queau up. We were about 40 minutes late leaving. The good thing with Singapore Airlines is that you get a menu. The food was a good standard. The hostesses always look so elegant and we'll turned out. In Singapore the young girls always seem to take a lot of care of their appearance they look smart in their dresses they seem to favour I guess due to the climate. We didn't sleep at all during the whole flight. We ended up circling over the English Chanel and France for quite some time before landing. The flight had also struck a lot of tubulance along the way which caused the flight to detour around it. The flight ended up taking about 14 hours, we felt fine and it didn't seem a big deal. We caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station where we got a taxi, a modern version of the little black taxi. We arrived at our accommodation Sidney Hotel in Belgravia Street, Victoria, London. This was one of those old type hotels where the floor boards creeked when you walked. We were happy with our accommodation it was a good price and there was a bus stop outside the door numerous number 24 buses every 10 minutes, which took us to Trafalgar Square in fact the bus went all the way to Hamstead Heath. It also included breakfast in the price. We finally managed to get to bed at 10.30 after being awake for 30 hours. We soon found out that the sun comes up very early in London at this time of the year.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 09:53 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged recreation Comments (0)

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