Sunday, February 25, 2007

Borough Market

Borough Market is the most wonderful place!

From the outside it just looks like some other run down place in London. When you venture inside you are met with the most wonderful atmosphere and on market day the most wonderful smells and sights.

This market was probably the first food market in London. First used as a market as far back as the Roman occupation. The market still trades as a wholesale market every night (except Saturday) from 2am - 8am. Shoppers such as you and I are able to buy the most wonderful things there on Thursdays 11am - 5pm, Fridays 12pm - 6pm and Saturdays 9am - 4pm.

This is the inside of the market after everyone has shut up and gone home. It is full of little open shops all displaying boards offering for sale their wonderful, mostly organic and home grown goods.

Does that sound good or what?!! Cumberland bacon and hams....I really must try those.

As you can see it is a pretty eerie place at night and you can just imagine how it must have been 200 years ago. By day it takes on a competely different feel and is now very trendy and busy. There are now more markets that have sprung up in the streets joining the market and these too are very much worth a visit.

While visiting the market you can of course visit the river Thames as the market is on the rivers bank right at London bridge. Southwark cathedral is also within 5 minutes walk. This cathedral is the oldest Gothic building in London. Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde is also within 5 minutes walk along with the Tate Modern and Shakespheares Globe too! The Clink prison is also nearby (more of that later!) and again within walking distance.

A great place to visit for the day...there is so much you can do without travelling too far!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Not London I know but I just have to share this with you!

Lake Windermere at Ambleside!

We have been for a half term break up to the Lake District. For anyone who has never been let me tell you this is the most beautiful place. It has contrasts of complete beauty and then of nature at it's maddest. The actual Lakes are so calming and restful that I think I could sit by the side of one of them all day every day. The mountains on the other hand are something else. Awesome and dead frightening at the same time.

This was taken while sitting on the side of the Lake at Ambleside. I thought it was a complete picture postcard moment so took the photo and was delighted with the outcome. My new camera has been all I wanted and more.

Now this next photo can only tell you of the fear I was about to be met with. You can see in the far background the mountain that we were about to drive up. At the top are the very famous Wrynose and Hardknott passes. To say they are steep is a complete understatement and if I told you I screamed all the way up and then all they way down would you believe me? Trust me, you need to as I did! At some points the car was on three wheels as we weaved our way up the steep and twisty track.

This photo was taken nearly at the top of Wrynose Pass and it seems quite flat don't you think? Trust me, that was just a rare bit of on the level road. Those sheep must be tough and very fit to get up there too!

This photo was taken at the top of Wrynose Pass. That had to be the most beautiful place ever. It was so quiet you could hear the silence. The stream was fast flowing and the water made that wonderful babbling sound. I could have stayed up there for hours but the thought of having to drive back down again filled me with terror! I honestly felt as if I was on top of the world. From the top of the next pass you can see the Irish sea!

At last....the descent! Why is it that the passenger side breaks never seem to work?!

A beautiful place to visit and we will certainly be going back but I think the Passes will get missed out.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

London maps circa 1890's

I have been discovering London back in the late 1890's. Some of the areas we now consider affluent were infact very poor places to live back then. I was born and bred right in the centre of London and in an area that is now considered to be very trendy indeed. Back at the turn of the century not only was it a different place it was also very poor. I was fascinated to find this web site that showed maps I had previously seen at the Museum of London but didn't get the time to look at properly.

If you are a Londoner or know different areas why not check and see what it was like back then.

Let me know what you find!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Real deep snow in London!

It's been a while since London has had "proper" snow I can tell you but today it arrived. I didn't sleep too well last night and was sort of on snow watch. No snow at 4.17am but when the dog decided he wanted to go on his morning constitutional at 5.27am there was a white blanket everywhere! It must have really fell down in such a short time.

Here is a snowman built by some children happily playing. Their school was shut due to the snow. Isn't he lovely!

London sort of grinds to a halt when it snows. The tube gets all silly and won't go due to the wrong kind of snow on the tracks. The buses can't get up the hills and motorists will insist on trying to drive their cars up and down very slippery roads! I suppose even here in the green belt of north London we must have had about 5 or 6 inches of snow. Don't know what that is in cm's or even mm's as I have not converted over....I'm still a pounds, shillings and ounces girl!

All this and we have only just (within the last 2 weeks) had the hose pipe ban lifted in this part of London!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The London Eye

Valentines day fast approaches and I noticed this weekend that the London Eye had gone red! I have to say I was really pleased I had my trusty camera in my handbad so made a slight detour round to the river bank and snapped a few photos for you. The traffic was a nightmare as Stamford street was shut due to a burst watermain...such a joy on any London street but at rush hour on a Friday it was just awful. I don't know if someone has forgotten to take the blue Christmas type lights down from the trees near to the Eye but there they are, all twinkling and bright still and perhaps clashing a little with the red lights of the Eye?

If you have not been on a "flight" on the London Eye then you really should try to go. I wonder why the rides are called "flights"? Probably due to the fact that British Airways are something to do with it all eh! My first "flight" was when the Eye opened and it was such an unseasonally hot day. As the pods are like mini greenhouses we were met with the fact the airconditioning had failed and were told that we could use our tickets and go back another time. The children were so excited that we decided to go on. It was a worthwhile, if not hot, 30 mintues and we all enjoyed the views. We were blessed with the fact it was a very clear day and we could see for miles while we melted. We have since been back several times and have even taken a night "flight" and I have to say that is really, really lovely.