I have many memories of London, but it all began when I arrived here age 18 (many years ago now) not knowing where I would stay. I actually arrived at Victoria Station, with one big suitcase, and asked the taxi driver to take me somewhere that is affordable, and he drove me to a bed and breakfast on Fitzroy Street.
On my recent trip last July, I had to go seek it out. When I first arrived here at age 18, all alone – I was somehow mesmerized by this area.
On first glance when you look at the picture above, you may think this is not a really spectacular street, but look what is around the corner! Such beauty, such historical elegance and exquisite architecture! Such a magnificent sight of the most wonderful homes – oh, how I wish I could live in one of them right there
Do you see how many famous people have lived here in these homes (look at some of my pictures below and you will see that Prime Ministers have lived here, so have writers, artists and architects.
I’m certainly not famous, but I can say I lived in one of the homes – well, it’s actually a bed and breakfast – for about 3 weeks! This place gave me such fond memories of London, that a few years later, I stayed here again, but this time sadly, I remember it for other reasons. I was staying on the very top floor, about two or three flights of stairs up. I opened the window, and unfortunately, it dropped down onto my finger that had a ring on it, and squashed my finger somewhat – the window also squashed my ring! I had to scream until some passers by heard my screams and alerted the hotel staff who finally came to my rescue, as I could not get the window back up or off my finger. I was in such pain, and had to then go to the hospital, where they cut my ring off in order to save my finger. What a horror story! But, true! You have to be really careful of windows I’ve learnt – please take note of this also, as some of London’s hotels are quite old, and you don’t want the same thing happening to you.
Still, I have good memories of my first visit there at 41 Fitzroy St Hotel, and nothing can take that away. That is when I first fell in love with London. I was a stranger to this place and showed up without knowing where I would stay or what I would do. I remember thinking this area in particular reminded me of the Oliver Twist movie in the good part of the movie, (I say the good part of the movie, as I categorize it into two parts – the good part is when Oliver was happy and well looked after, and the bad part is when he was taught to pickpocket to line the pockets of Bill Sikes, and Fagin). In the good part of the movie, where he lived with the kind elderly gentleman in London, Oliver would look out of his bedroom window onto the streets below, and he saw Nancy in one of the songs (the movie is a musical, and the song I refer to is “Who Will Buy These Wonderful Roses” and Nancy is Bill Sikes’ girlfriend). I remember the London I saw in the movie, looks just like the London I know in the Fitzroy Square/Fitzroy Street area.
The hotel is not at all fancy, it is simple, but very central – in a great location! Who would not want to be in an Oliver Twist like setting?!! This is a bed and breakfast, and I’m sure they have fixed up the windows since that time. I remember they served a wonderful hot English breakfast, complete with bacon, eggs, sausage, toast and jam, as well as coffee and tea. Needless to say, I went in to the hotel on my visit to London last year, and took a few pictures. After all, this place is part of my history! This hotel used to be only something like £30 or £40 (pounds) per night for a single room, now I’m sure it’s more like £80 per night, and you may have to share a bathroom. I believe I shared a bathroom back when I first stayed there, probably even during my second visit.
It is quite notable to see that High Commissions, and Embassies also are in this very same area. If the signs weren’t on the buildings in such a visible way, you would never imagine that it could be a High Commission or an Embassy.
This is Telecom Tower, as you head towards Tottenham Court Road tube station, which is also only a few minutes walk away.
The picture below reminds me of the scene from the song where Oliver looks out from his balcony. It probably was not this very street, but to me – this is what I remember or imagine it to be. I must watch the movie again – what a fantastic movie it was, and so memorable – just like London is to me. “Please sir, can I have some more porridge?” Then we all know what happened to Oliver, and how he was thrown out of the orphanage just for asking for more food!
George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf both lived here.
Robert Adam, the architect, lived here.
Of course, i had to take a picture of the Indian YMCA – also very close to Fitzroy Street, and I remember this being here years ago too.
Just in case you are curious, “To Let” means to rent, and I’m sure you know that a flat is an apartment.
This is also nearby, but it is Bedford Square, just as pretty, but not quite as spectacular as Fitzroy Square. Bedford Square is shown in the next four pictures.
Back to Fitzroy Square again.
Well, hopefully, you got a feel for one of my favorite areas of London – the Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy Square area – near the Warren Street tube station. It is also walking distance to Tottenham Court Road tube station. I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane, plus the pictures that show the surrounding area. Also, did you get to see the clip from the Oliver Twist movie – to compare it to my pictures, click here – so what you do think? Is it the same place? Here’s to good memories of where ever your travels take you to. Happy summer!
I meant to show you more pictures of Covent Garden, but before we got there on Day 5 of our trip to London in July, 2014, we went for an early morning walk from our hotel at The Trafalgar Hilton, situated right there in Trafalgar Square – so convenient! First we went across the road to Trafalgar Square to see the Blue Hen and the fountains – why not wake up to a hen in Central London? There’s nothing like it!
The National Gallery is a very impressive art museum, and it’s located bang in the middle of Trafalgar Square.
Look at this, you get Nelson’s Column, the lions, Big Ben and London Buses all in view! Oh, how I love London!
Here I am in Trafalgar Square in front of the Blue Hen.
What a fabulous place to take a walk, but then again – it’s nice to be walking anywhere in London.
Right there at Trafalgar Square is a beautiful church – St. Martin In The Fields. I’m not sure how it got this name as I don’t see any fields around – but I’m sure there’s a reason to the name. However, it is a beautiful church.
So, now…..we have made it across the Square to this beautiful church – St. Martin In The Fields.
This is not the main part of it, rather the pictures above show you what it looks like – I am including the one below because it is unusual to have such a structure – I do believe it’s the Crypt – and think it houses a cafe. Since it’s surrounded by such gorgeous architecture, I had to throw in this picture too.
I went inside this beautiful church. How I love to go into churches!
I saw quite a bit of the service, and joined in singing some of the hymns. It reminded me of my childhood when we used to sing hymns at my school – as part of our assemblies – most mornings in northern England.
Anyway, I still have more pictures from Day 5, and guess what? The next day is the last day of London before we headed up north to where my family lives. Still, I have many more pictures to share. Until then.
Ahoy there, I went to the Savoy!
Well, what you may ask is so special about that? It is that I got through the doors of this establishment and was able to take pictures without having to pay hundreds, if not thousands of pounds a night for a room. I spent forty-five minutes or so, went in and took pictures and got out – and had quite a pleasant experience. This is after all, the hotel that is supposed to be London’s most famous hotel, and one where many celebrities have stayed. It is located on the Strand in the City of Westminster. Here are some pictures:
This is the lobby area as shown in the two pictures below, then if you walk down a few stairs, you will see a beautiful gazebo, and a restaurant/bar/lounge area
You might just want to get a little something sweet in their delightful little treat shop
Also, I have to mention, the bathrooms in the Savoy are quite an experience too. Best bathrooms in the world! There was even a cloakroom attendant outside the bathroom, and I should have had my camera with me just to take pictures of the entry area of the women’s bathroom. Oh, my gosh, there were framed pictures – it was like an art gallery. I think there was music too. Perhaps, it was good that I didn’t have my camera, and had left it upstairs with my family! I think people would have thought I was a little odd taking pictures there.
So, what do you prefer – the Savoy or the Ritz? It depends on your level of glitz. I have shown some pictures of the Ritz in an earlier post. As for me, I was quite happy with the London Trafalgar Hotel – it suited me just fine.
The London Eye
You can’t escape it
Every which way you go when you are in Central London
It’s before your very eye
(Two examples below: you can see it from Big Ben, you can see it from Buckingham Palace at the Queen Victoria Memorial, and you can see it from Trafalgar Square)
The London Eye
Why would you want to give it a miss
When riding it can give you bliss?
The London Eye
Will take you to the sky
Or so it will seem
As you circle the earth
You’ll think you are in a dream
The London Eye
Don’t even think of not going
Rain, shine or snow
You must go
To the London Eye
I hope you liked my attempt at a poem! I tried.
The following pictures were taken on our approach to the London Eye.
Want to know how much it costs – that will be £20.95, please for an adult.
Here’s another picture taken from within the London Eye
Here are some pictures of the view from the London Eye
So, I’m sure you’ll want to know if I recommend it? Of course, I do! When I used to live in London, the London Eye was not a part of London. Then when I started returning to visit London, I used to pass it and not really consider going on it, because I used to think it was a waste of money – for a ride that was very costly. However, now that I have been on it – I think it’s not just a ride, it’s an experience. Try it and you’ll love it!
The City of Westminster has so much to see – this is where Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace are. Therefore, I would say this is a very important part of London.
In this post, let’s continue with Day Three in London – July 25th, 2014. After we saw Big Ben, we continued walking just a few feet away, and we were near St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey.
Time for a family picture
Now, isn’t this lovely?
What about this? I just love the architecture!
The statue is that of King Richard 1, who was also known as Richard the Lionheart (known as this because of his reputation as great warrior and military leader)
Back to Westminster Abbey again
Niki’s taking in all the history, culture and the beauty of her surroundings
Well, wouldn’t you like to live here? I’m afraid you can’t, and it seems like this place has quite a bit of history to it, you might want to read up on it.
This is the only visible reminder that Old Palace Yard was once a residential street.
Wow, the bus almost looks bigger than the Palace of Westminster!
This sundial is between the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey by Old Palace Yard, it features in it’s outer circle, a quote which is hard to show you here, unless I show you several pictures that I have of the different words. So instead, I will include the quote below taken from William Shakespeare’s play, Henry VI, part III: “To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, thereby to see the minutes how they run: how many makes the hour full complete, how many hours brings about the day, how many days will finish up the year, how many years a mortal man may live.”
Here it is closer up
There’s the sundial in the picture below wedged in between two magnificent buildings
This is where we came from a few hours ago, and now we are looking at it from Westminster Abbey
Again, the magic of Big Ben being next to other buildings when seen from different angles just amazes me! Do you think about this yourself, or do you not ponder upon it? I really wonder whether you do or not.
Just added these last three pictures because I love the color red, and of course you can get a lot of that in London – you don’t have to walk far to see either a red London bus or a post box, or phone booth.
I think I have shown you a lot of pictures now of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament (which is also known as Palace of Westminster), St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey. I hope you feel like you know this part of the City of Westminster a little better just by looking at my pictures. Don’t miss visiting the City of Westminster, there’s nothing quite like it!
You think you only need one picture of Big Ben, well how about ten? How about fourteen – I think that’s plenty. You know me, I love London, and I love taking pictures of it. However, I think I love taking pictures just in general, not just of London. However, London is a special place – the place where I once went to when I was eighteen when I didn’t know where I would stay and just showed up. When I saw it, I was besotted – it didn’t seem like the rest of England, the England I was accustomed to – the up north England of Yorkshire, or even the few other places I had been to occasionally for weddings such as Leeds, Birmingham, Derby, Walsall or places such as Bingley, and Halifax that I had also gone to quite a bit. London was different. London was grand, elegant, majestic, breath-taking, and ever so different. It was like being in another country. I ended up staying in a bed and breakfast for a few weeks, and then rented a studio flat in Paddington. Anyway, let’s get back to reality and to pictures and not my story of another time. I will leave that for another time.
Here are some Big Ben pictures, who could have known it could be next to so many different things and look different in each picture.
Here it is is, alongside the Houses Of Parliament
Here it is with people in front of it, well that was bound to happen! And a bus, and now that building on the left crept into the scene too.
Here it is with more of a glimpse of another building behind it (the white building). The trees show up more in this, and the sun must have just gone behind a cloud too.
Here it is with more people, and a sightseeing bus in front of it.
Here it is with the London Eye showing up. How did that happen? Magic! Well actually no, just get pictures from all different angles and you’ll get different pictures – pretty amazing!
Here it is with the London Eye and a London Bus.
Here it is with a London Bus, as seen from Westminster Abbey
Here it is with a sign from St. Margaret’s Church in the corner, and the London Eye and the London Bus.
Here it is with a London tree, St. Margaret’s Church sign, the London Eye and a London Bus.
Here it is in just it’s plain grandeur, next to a spiral tower on a ceiling (not just any ceiling, mind you).
Here it is next to historical buildings – this part of the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament is known as Cromwell Green and if you look closely, you can see a statue of Oliver Cromwell at the bottom right).
Here it is is with a bit of the London Eye to the left of it
Here it is with a very nice building to the left of it
I hope you enjoyed seeing the changing scenery that included the Big Ben in it. Also, the fourteenth picture I added in right at the end as the featured image, and that was Big Ben as seen from the London Eye. As you can see, you will get a completely different look of Big Ben from there. Well, until next time.
We are still on Day Three of our Five Day Trip to London which was a three week trip in total. Another week was spent in northern England where my family lives, and one week was spent in Antalya, Turkey (I’ll have to write a post on that at some point soon – I hope).
Today is July 25th, we had left the USA on July 22nd at around 8 pm, and arrived at London Heathrow Airport on the 23rd at around 3pm local time, which was 7 am USA Pacific Time – we were lucky to have caught a direct flight which was a total of 11 hours. Of course, when you get to England, you kind of lose a day with traveling and then have to put the clock eight hours forward.
This post carries on from the previous one – Trafalgar Square via Whitehall to Horse Guards Parade. We had just finished looking at the Horse Guard’s Parade grounds, and this is opposite to the Ministry of Defence. Can you imagine that nearly all buildings in London – even if not exactly touristy, are so beautiful! To me, they are a treasure, and are all worthy of being photographed!
Another picture in the same area.
This person, the Eighth Duke of Devonshire, apparently turned down the job of Prime Minister – his statue is shown in the picture below
Now, let’s not forget the women of World War Two, they had a significant part in the war too – they served, fought, and nurtured the wounded – here’s their memorial.
We are coming up to Downing Street, now the home of David Cameron, and when I used to live there, it was home of Margaret Thatcher. There’s been a few other Prime Ministers in between of course.
This memorial is significant, it commemorates the end of World War 1.
Well, look what else I saw….King Charles Street Bridge. The arch connects the Treasury building to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building.
Now, I’m not sure what this building is exactly….but it is on the way from King Charles Street Bridge to
Here’s a building that just looked nice, so I took a picture of it.
Well, a glimpse of the Houses of Parliament, and now we are getting close to where I was supposed to share more photos of – in this post. I think I dawdle too much along the way, and get way too distracted. Just to let you know, it is not that far from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament – I think you can make it in about twenty minutes if you walk fast.
Next post….I have to share more pictures of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church.
I think I left a part of my heart in London, and perhaps writing about it or posting some pictures might help my heart-ache and might help me get over London, but I don’t think so. I have been ever so busy since I got back from the UK about three weeks ago, and have been meaning to carry on with writing about my trip and sharing pictures, but it’s been hard to do so. I just about got over my jet-lag – that took me over a week to recover from!
Oh, I forgot to show you this picture last time of St. Martin-In-The-Fields
Where did I leave off? I think I was only on Day Two of my five days in London. Did you know that I then traveled up north, and spent a few more days in the UK before heading over to Turkey? We went to an all-inclusive resort in Antalya, and I’ll be writing about that sometime soon. Here are some more pictures of London.
Walking back from Buckingham Palace, we weren’t really sure how to get to Big Ben, and we kind of just stumbled in that direction. On our way, we saw the HM Treasury.
near the HM Treasury
I just take pictures of anything, so I decided to do it some more
Oh, look what I see!
So, the bus moved out of the way, and the picture is a little different
Funny how the sky seems to change
Of course, I have to have one of my kids pose in front of Big Ben!
Oh, how I could keep taking pictures, and did!
Oh, and why wouldn’t you get all your kids to pose together in front of Big Ben? Of course, you would!
Well, I have to leave off here, and I’m still not done with Day Two! It’s not that the day was too long, it’s just that there are quite a few pictures to go with the day. We came back to this same spot the very next day, and got more pictures, including quite a few of Westminster Abbey, not shown in this post – that’s why you have to go back to the same place more than once at times. Also, don’t worry about the part of my heart left in London, it’s been left there before too. Well, until next time!