London is always calling; I just can’t answer it very often! Rom and I are on vacation to the UK this week. Rom is sadly very low on vacation time so we can only go from Wednesday to Wednesday, and the travel time is a day each way (6 hour flight). We did the same thing last summer and made the most of it! The non-stop flight is an overnighter and we’ll arrive at 9 am with a minimum of sleep. But we know enough to stay active all day and not crash until at least 9 pm.
On my previous trips, I’ve seen Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Harrod’s, Covent Garden, Camden Town, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Natural History Museum and the V&A. We went to see the musical Wicked and the play War Horse, and saw a Patrick Wolf show 🙂
We struck out for music gigs this time. I must admit we are quite picky. Of the bands in London this weekend – we liked The Undertones but they don’t have any original members left. We loved Bat for Lashes a couple of years ago, but don’t want to spend a whole day at an outdoor music festival. Muse’s first night at the Emirates Stadium is sold out, and we will have left London by the time of the second show. Sigh!
Our itinerary is:
Day 0 – Leave home late in the evening for an overnight flight to Gatwick.
Day 1 – Arrival:
Drop off luggage at hotel and take the train to Brighton. I have been to Brighton on most of my UK trips and I love it! The shops at The Lanes are so cool. Lots of small, independent design shops. It is a shopping and eating and poking around kind of place. I was quite devastated to hear that Rounder Records has closed, but there are still some record shops. And that huge, crazy vintage market! (Snooper’s Paradise) I like the pier and the pebbly beach – we don’t have those. If it is raining, we can sit in a pub between downpours – no problem!
Day 2 – London:
This is supposed to be our Rock Day. If the weather holds, we’ll be taking a rock music themed walking tour. And even though the sites are nothing like in the days of old, we plan to do goofy things like go to the spot where the album cover for Ziggy Stardust was photographed, and take pictures of each other outside the 100 Club. Silly tourists! Of course, there is always time to look at geek toys at Forbidden Planet. In the evening we hope to see the musical We Will Rock You, featuring the music of Queen. (We were going to go highbrow and see Helen Mirren perform in The Audience, but it’s sold out.) We’ve already chosen our veggie restaurants so I’m hoping for the best! If the weather is particularly bad we’ll probably take a combination of public transit and taxis to various shopping and eating spots before the evening show.
Day 3 – London:
We’ll be heading a little further east and spending the day at The Design Museum and the exhibits at Tower Bridge. We both look forward to seeing the Engine Room. We’re nerdy that way. We hope to finally get to Vanilla Black (restaurant) which we missed last time.
Day 4 – Pevensey
Rom’s parents are picking us up and taking us down to Pevensey Bay – another pebble beach! – and the ruins of a Roman castle, er, fortification.
Days 5 and 6 – Family and Friends
We’ll be visiting family and going out for local shopping and meals in East Sussex. Rom can hardly wait to see his family’s corgi, Mr. Jason!
Day 7 – Depart
We’ve had fun planning this trip – we downloaded a London app and “pinned” all our destinations on it for each day, and added notes for hours, admissions, and travel routes. Do you think that either of us has a paper map from any of our previous trips? NOOO!
Despite spending a year downsizing my wardrobe, I had a bit of a freak-out and bought numerous new clothing items for this trip. Oops!
Rom will get more vacation time next year which means we may have the inconceivable luxury of taking a two week trip next time!
I’ll be back for another post or two before Wednesday.