10 Photos in London

Welcome to our new series, 10 Photos in…

To kick off our first destination we are heading to London. There are probably over a million photos taken of London every week (or even day!) but we have 10 photos from bloggers and Instagrammers who want to share the best places, different views, a new side to popular landmarks and their favourite photos of this wonderful city.

As a lover of photography and travel one of the first things I do when I’m going somewhere new is google images, peruse Pinterest and stalk every possible hashtag or location tag I can on Instagram. I want to know where to go and what looks great.

With this series hopefully, you’ll get photographic inspiration, learn about some new places and meet some new bloggers.

This is London

Ezra Street,  By Meandering WildLondon takes on a magical feel at night and even more so when you explore the back streets and alleyways that are still lit by gaslights.  Columbia Road in Bethnal Green is well known for it Flower Market. On most Sundays, a longstanding market, which attracts flower buyers from across London fills the street with colour and fragrance.  Halfway along Columbia Road is The Royal Oak, a public-house rebuilt in 1923 sitting on the corner of Ezra Street.

This little street is still cobbled and holds a magical charm all of its own. Sometimes forgotten by its larger and bolder Columbia Road neighbour this street can compete with many of London’s more famous locations.   Walking onto Ezra Street is like being transported back in time. The cobbles remain and the shops keep their 1930’s feel with a solitary lamp lighting the street. During the day this is a busy café with chairs and bustle but at night when no one is around you can easily imagine London from the Victorian era and beyond. It may seem familiar and that is because it has been used extensively for wartime and 1950’s movies.  Most notably ‘The Kray’s’ and Guy Ritchie’s ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ as well as being the pub in the TV series ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’.

It may be a small corner of London but it gives an insight into the old and ‘normal’ London that millions of people once knew.

You can find Meandering Wild  on Facebook here 

The British Museum, By Two Traveling Texans

I chose this picture of the new British Museum roof to share because it is a perfect example of one of the things that I love about London – the mix of the old and the new.  The British Museum was built in 1852 (it has been expanded several times since) and the new roof was added in 2000.

There are so many new buildings going up in London now and I love that they all have fun nicknames.  Some of my favourites are the Walkie-Talkie, the Shard, and the Gerkin. The new buildings are in stark contrast to the older buildings like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s, yet to me, they compliment each other.

The British Museum should be on your list to see in London.  They have a vast collection of historical pieces there are impressive.  You won’t want to miss seeing the Rosetta Stone, artefacts from Ancient Greece and Egypt, the treasures from Sutton Hoo, and much more.  If possible I would recommend allowing at least 3 hours for your visit. You won’t be able to see everything but you should be able to cover the highlights. Just like many other museums in London, admission to the British Museum is free.

The Elizabeth Tower & Westminster Bridge, By Travel Stories and ImagesThis is one of my favourite photos of my brief visit to London a few years ago. I chose it because it’s so iconic. The Elizabeth Tower (commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as Big Ben) is arguably the most recognizable symbol of London and represents the heart of the country’s tradition and its government.

The photo also captures Westminster Bridge, which is the primary thoroughfare between the Westminster and Lambeth districts of London. While it’s an important route through the city, it also holds more sombre significance for Londoners: it was the site of a terrorist attack in early 2017 that killed four and injured 50. Memories of this attack will not soon be forgotten.

The photo is a long exposure, meaning that my shutter was open for several seconds. This is why both the water of the Thames and the clouds above the Tower and Parliament buildings appear so smooth. I also chose to render the final version in black and white. This gives the photo more of an antique, timeless look that, to me, echoes the fact that London is a timeless city – always growing and changing, but ever rooted in thousands of years of rich history and culture.

You can find Travel Stories and Images on Pinterest here

London Cobbled Streets and Pretty Houses, by The Glittering Unknown

Though my address may say Paris, my first city love was London. At fourteen upon my first visit, I decided I would one day live there, and consequently, I love the looks of all the different residences around the city. London is beautiful because it’s so different and diverse- the people, the mix of cultures, the architecture.

I love wandering through each quiet little nook I find, relishing the fact that it’s possible to find a calm spot in such a huge city. These mews streets always have the cutest details, from the bikes out front to the picnic tables to the vines snaking over the multi coloured facades. It’s so easy to become wrapped up in a picturesque moment and forget that there are real people who dwell behind those doors until the red-jacket-clad postman comes rolling down the cobblestones and into your photo. To tell the truth, I’m not sure if I’d love or hate to live in one of these houses given how popular they are with photographers! But they are a good reminder that behind every picture-perfect facade lies something raw and real, which I think is a notion that encapsulates London as a whole- beautiful, gritty, and always something new to discover.

You can find The Glittering Unknown on Instagram here

Skygarden, By Travel Hacker Girl

Skygarden is my favourite place in London. Whenever I have friends or family in the city I make sure to take them there. I have visited Skygarden 5 times and each of my visits has been different. You can get a great view of London and the best part is it is all free. However, you need to book tickets ahead on their website. Tickets are released every Monday and you need to book about 2-3 weeks ahead. One of the most special visits was when I witnessed a rainbow above London. It is also a good idea to plan your visit to watch the sunset. This was really great because we got to see the city with the lights on after darkness as well. Skygarden is not just famous for its stunning 360-degree views over London, but also of its lovely garden that is located on the top floor. You can see many different plants. You can also find a restaurant as well.

You will need to book ahead if you want to dine there. I am sure it is a great experience to enjoy your meal with such amazing view. Another option is to have a little nibble or a hot drink in the cafe that is also located on the top floor.

Find Travel Hacker Girl on Instagram here

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St Pauls Cathedral, By The Wandering Darlings

St Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favourite places in London. It’s just such a commanding building and just being in its presence you can feel its greatness. The delicate detailing of the interior, the huge dome, the history that lies in every brick it really is a must visit on any trip to London. On a recent trip, we climbed to the very top to see the views of the city. If you are visiting I would recommend you do this, London should be viewed from above as much as possible.

You can find The Wandering Darlings on Instagram here

Queen’s Guard By My Suitcase Journeys

Find My Suitcase Journeys on Instagram here

Greenwich, By Where Jo Goes

Greenwich, London, is famous for being the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the prime meridian. This unique claim to fame is explored in detail at the Greenwich Observatory where you can find out how timekeeping here changed the world.  Stand with one foot each in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres!

But Greenwich is so much more than the birthplace of GMT.  A world heritage centre, it is home to three more royal museums. The National Maritime Museum houses such historic treasures as the coat Nelson wore when he was fatally wounded, cannon balls from the Battle of Trafalgar and artefacts from hundreds of years of Britain’s maritime history.  Head to the Cutty Sark to find out why this tea clipper was the fastest ship of its kind, see the collection of figureheads and watch actors bring to life this iconic vessel. The Queen’s House, regarded as the first classical building in Britain, presents art and architecture and the royal history of Greenwich. Christopher Wren’s Royal Naval College is famed for its celebrated painted ceiling, book a tour if you want to climb 60 feet for a close-up look or visit the chapel and visitor centre.

Greenwich has a flourishing market – a great place to grab lunch from the many food stalls or a locally made souvenir. The park that spreads out beneath the Observatory is a wonderful spot for a stroll. From Greenwich, you can catch a boat down the River Thames and see London’s iconic sights by the river. Directly across the Thames from is the O2 and the Emirates Airline cable car.

Greenwich has more to offer than you could pack into a single weekend from the modern to the historic, from the royal to the relaxed, it truly is one of London’s gems.

London Scenes by Emily Fedorowycz

The London Eye, By The Wandering Darlings

Yes, it’s totally touristy but you can’t go to London and not see the London Eye. Even if you don’t go up it makes for a picturesque view of the South Bank of the Thames.  If you can stomach the line and the ride up (it’s not scary I’m just not good with heights) then I would 100% recommend you go up especially at dusk. You get the best views of London and as it is goes very slowly you get the time to take it all in and honestly you can see for miles!

You can find The Wandering Darlings on Facebook here

And that is our 10 Photos in London. Did you discover somewhere new or is there somewhere you would have liked to have seen? Let us know in the comments below.

Coming up we have Barcelona, Paris, New York and Marrakech if you would like to be involved then get in touch! We’d love to have you involved

Have you seen the London from the Thames? Well you really should

So many great cities are always said to be seen best from the water. I’ve seen Venice, New York, Paris, Sydney all from the water so I have no idea why it took me so long to see the majestic London from the long and winding River Thames.

This week I righted my wrong.

The opportunity came along with some of my work colleagues as a change from the standard after work drinks. So instead of heading to a pub, we hot-footed it down to Westminster Bridge to go on the City Cruises Sundowner boat.

Now I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously, a boat, that it would be touristy AF but also hopefully some insta worthy shots and a nice way to see the city. I certainly wasn’t expecting fizz on arrival, one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen or that we would be up dancing to the onboard performer on the boat. Just wait for more on that later.

We were booked with City Cruises and they do cruises throughout the day. The one we went on, however, was the Sundowner Cruise. Tickets cost £32 per person (adults and children are the same prices). You can generally get a deal on Groupon so do check there first. The cruise departs from Westminster Pier which is easily accessible from Westminster tube station. You depart at 6.15/6.30ish and are then on the water for 2 hours so getting back to Westminster in time for dinner and drinks. There is fizz/soft drink on arrival and canapes severed throughout. There is also a bar if you want to have further drinks throughout the cruise. If that wasn’t enough they also provide an entertainer who performs throughout the journey. Mainly pop songs but also covers all eras to cater for the mix of ages. The lady we had was brilliant and she had our group and some others up dancing around during the cruise. The processco may have also helped with the dancing. I swear some of the other guests probably thought they had boarded with a group of crazy ladies but most of them got involved with our shenanigans. We did get to make friends with one of the guests they were over from the US and celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I’m sure when they booked their cruise they were expecting to be dancing around with us to Bruno Mars’s Up Town Funk.

The rain from earlier the day decided to disappear just as we boarded however it did mean that it was wet up top so for dry seating we did need to sit downstairs. The inside of the boat has lots of tables and its group seating. Had we not been such a large group we could have been sat and been able to chat with other guests. What we could do however was stand up top and take some photos (and drink some fizz) and watch the sunset then head back down below deck for some nibbles and a dance.

From the boat, we got to see so much of London and it truly is such a remarkable city. At the start of the cruise the London Eye was contrasted against the grey sky and by the end, it was a luminous red orb. Tower bridge looked postcard perfect before and after the sunset. You could see the Oxo Building, The Shard, St Pauls, Big Ben, red buses going over the bridges along the river, Londoners out on their evening runs, Canary Wharf and the super expensive homes along the banks of the river. I don’t think I’ve ever seen London look as beautiful as I did that evening.

The sunset decided to set just as we went under Tower Bridge making it the perfect silhouette against the sky. So quintessentially London. Seriously what is more London than watching the sunset behind the landmarks of the city, while on the Thames with wet puddles from the day’s rain around you and a Pimms in hand? If you are visiting London or even if you live in London I would 100% recommend doing a cruise like this and if your not sold yet then have a look at some of my snaps for further encouragement.

For more information on the crusie we did then check out this link below
http://www.citycruises.com/london-thames-experiences/evening-cruise

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Welcome to Life in the UK

So you are making the big journey across the seas to the UK.  Be it moving or just spending some time exploring you need to ensure you get involved in the British way of life. Get chatting to some locals, watch British tv, go to places off the tourist trails, learn the lingo and try out some of the British cuisine. If you are staying in London,  do make sure you get out and see some other areas. Go rural, get to the coast and just don’t stay in Shepherds Bush with all the other Aussies. The UK has a brilliant culture and heritage and the best way to experience this is just throwing yourself in head first.

As it’s a funny old place and I’ve put together a few pointers for you to get you prepared for your time in the United Kingdom. Things I wish I had known before I moved to the UK include – 

They drink. A lot! Aussies often get a reputation for being big drinkers and to some degree, we probably are however the Brits seem to do just do it more often. There is always a reason to go to the pub. The weather, new baby, new job, lost job, a new partner, break up, celebrations and commiserations. There is a huge pub culture in the UK and you know what they do pubs really well. There are cute ones, quaint one, historic ones, real ale ones, cider ones, gastro ones that serve insanely good food and trendy ones. If you ever find yourself in a village there will always be a pub welcoming you with open arms. I live in a small village and we have 6!! Another thing I always find weird but is considered perfectly normal is when two people go to the pub for a pint of coke. If you’re not having an alcoholic beverage I just don’t get it. That just wouldn’t happen in Aus.  I also for ages couldn’t work out when someone asked for a ‘half of larger’ what the half of the drink would entail. A ‘half’ however is a glass size. #muppet

Although we both speak English there is still a language barrier.  A couple of my favourites that have caused a few giggles are the following

Muffler= exhaust

Whippersnipper = strimmer

Zuchini= courgette

Capsicum = Pepper

Lollies- sweets  (lollies in England is an ice lolly or lollipop)

Band aid- plaster

Doona- duvet

Singlet top- vest

Overalls- dungarees

Rather than just having towns and cities in the UK they have cities, towns, villages and hamlets. Towns are considered a town if it has a town hall and city is a city if it has a cathedral. A village can be bigger than a town but if it doesn’t have a town hall then it’s still a village and a hamlet is just a really small village. The mind boggles.

Soaps are huge over here- Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. I’ve dabbled in a few but have stuck with Emmerdale. What can I say I’m a country girl. They have their own national comedy duo Ant and Dec which are kinda like the UK version of Hamish and Andy. Although Hamish and Andy are funnier. And younger.  Piers Morgan in the morning is no comparison to Koshy or Karl. There are far too many reality shows- Love Island, Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex you really don’t need to watch them but be warned they will be all over the magazines and newspapers and the locals will be obsessed with them.

There are SO many old buildings. Which is great as there really isn’t that many in Australia so getting to explore them is pretty awesome. The National Trust and English Heritage have memberships and there is always several properties within a few hours of each other. It’s a great way to learn more about the history of an area.

You can tell where someone is from the moment they open their mouth. Coming from Australia where it’s such a vast country you couldn’t tell if someone was from Sydney or the back of Bourke but in England, two people that live an hour away from each other could have a different accent. I still don’t understand how it works. My personal fav is a Somerset or Yorkshire accent.

In England driving more than 2.5 hours to a destination requires an overnight stop. There is no way people would drive 2 to 3 hours somewhere to then return that same day. Considering Australia is several times bigger than England driving long distances is in our blood. The roads in the UK are also really narrow. In many places especially the country there will be some parts of the road that have ‘passing places’. If you plan to drive do make sure you’ve read up on the road rules

Barefoot is perfectly normal down under. England not so much. They also think you’re weird if you wear flip flops all year round.

The weather is always a good conversation starter. If I’m lost for something to say I will ALWAYS bring up the weather. Even if you’ve not checked the weather bring up rain and it will usually cover it.

A cup of tea will fix anything. No matter what time of the day or night. Brits love their tea and to be fair there is nothing better a cup of English Breakfast. What you do need to do though is read up on the colours and strength of teas. Builders brew is a common term for a cuppa and this basically means a dash of milk. If you are making a cuppa for someone always ask what strength they want their tea.

‘Alright’ is considered a greeting. My dad will alway answer it like a question which he thinks is funny every single time. If someone says ‘Alright’ to you just reply ‘yeah, alright?’

There is still a class system. Not everywhere and not everyone cares but it’s there. Your postcode, up bringing, social status all come into play at one time or another. Just ignore it.

Bank holidays are just public holidays.

Fridges are half the size of Australian fridges and often houses will have the washing machine in the kitchen. Yes, the kitchen!

Their postcodes are completely different to Aussie ones. A postcode here can pin point your exact street and then you just have to pick the house number. It’s really good for sat navs and finding your way around.

Vegemite will always be better than marmite. Penguins don’t compare to Tim tams and Nik Naks have nothing on twisties. Try them all but you’ll soon understand. 

And finally for the love of God whoever you speak to do not call your thongs, thongs. They are flip flops and you will get some seriously weird looks.

I’m sure I have missed many other tips but this should be enough to get you on the right track. If you have any pointers I’ve missed do put them in the comments below with your blog link and I’ll update this post with your suggestions.

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Rain drops in London

I swear  Mary Poppins is flying in on this picture in the background somewhere.


I’ve been up the London Eye several times and I must say going up at dusk was by far my favourite. The lights, the sky, the contrast of the sun set against the buildings all much prettier than in the daylight.

I’d recommend booking ahead. It wasn’t overly busy when we got there but as we had booked ahead we literally went straight into our pod when we got there.

You get a full 360 view of London. All of the well known landmarks and then some you’ve probably never heard of. The rate at which the Eye goes round you have so much time to take it all in and get your photos.

Yes it’s touristy, yes it’s crowded but it’s a definite must for a trip to London.

To book ahead here is their website https://www.londoneye.com

A few photos from our trip

Renewing my book of travel 

If there’s any Aussies out there who have had to renew your passport abroad you are going to understand this all to well.

Firstly when I moved here 9.5 years ago I wasn’t expecting that I would have to renew my passport here so low and behold when it came up for renewale this year I needed to find out the process rather swiftly.

Probably through naivety I thought it would be a case of filling in a form, having some hideous photos taken and the posting it off and it coming back a few months later.

Oh if only it was that simple.

Yes I had to fill in a form and have the hideous non smiling photos (I actually had two lots done as the first ones were so bad) but rather than posting the form I had to 1) organise an appointment at the high commission in London and 2) attend said appointment.

London for me is a good 2.5 hours away which in Aussue terms is nothing but in British terms this required a long weekend break to the capital. I even considered flying home for 2 weeks to get it renewed as it would have been cheaper.

After realising a quick trip home was a little excessive I booked my appointment to get it renewed.

Going to Australia House was like a little taste of home. Aussie flags everywhere and all the staff have our beautiful accents.

I got there and was told I was late for my appointment which was strange as I was actually 45 min early. Called the help desk and was told my appointment was supposed to be the month before. Which I wasnt according to the paperwork I had so there was no way I was leaving without getting this form in. I really didn’t want to have to go out and  tell my hubby that the trip to London was for nothing. So after chatting to the lady on the phone and explaining that something had happened and how far I had travelled she found some time to squeeze me in. She was a legend.

Once that minor issue was sorted I then barely had to wait and within 10 minuets was back out again. My current passport had be cut to cancel it, which felt like she was cutting off my legs.

Then within a week my new passport was here on my doorstep in all its glory and  FYI the new passport design is fabulous.
Now my next drama is getting my residence visa moved from my old passport to my new one but I’ll save that for another day.

X

The Monument 

Having recently spent the Easter break in London we went full throttle on the tourist trail. Selfies with Big Ben, sunset ride on the London Eye, popped by Buckingham Palace for a cuppa with Liz and hanging with the Lions in Trafalgar Square. It was like I had just visited London for the first time!

One thing we hadn’t planned on doing was going to see ‘The Monument’. To be honest I didn’t even know about it or the history behind it. My partner did but he’s British and probably learnt about it at School. I knew there had been a ‘Great Fire of London’ but that was about it.

So to fill you in, just in case you were equally as uneducated on this structure as I was. It is to commemorate the Great Fire of London which happened in 1666. It is also very close to the spot where it started (Pudding Lane) and is built on the site of where the first church that was burnt down by the Great Fire. There is also another monument where the fire stopped.

We were walking looking for a tube station to get back to our hotel after a nice little romantic moonlit walk along the Thames. I had seen on the map that Monument Station was up ahead. With that we looked down a side street and there it was in all its glory. This is when I had my history lesson. We also saw a sign saying you could climb up it for ONLY £4!! ( note- its only cash payments)

So the next day we headed straight there. There were only 5 people in the queue and it was a 1 in 1 out system. Paid our £4 and then climbed the very narrow 311 steps all the way to the top.

Whilst catching my breathe (yes it was a long way to the top) I then looked out and was shocked at the amazing views. You could see St Pauls, the London Eye, The Shard, London Bridge, Oxo Tower and just the beautiful London Skyline of and a few Cranes (or 100 so my other half counted). Looking at it at street level you could just see all the skyscrapers surrounding so I initially didn’t have high hopes of what we would see. I have since learned that the Monument website have a live camera giving panoramic views of London 24 hours a day.

I’ve been to the top of the London Eye and to the top of St Pauls and I can honestly say the views matched both of these and this it was ONLY £4 and no long queue. You even get a certificate on your way out to say you have climbed the monument, historic information and a nice historic sketch of the structure (without all the skyscrapers around it now).

If you find yourself in London I can’t recommend enough that you include going to see and climbing this beautiful Monument.

Here is a couple (ok more than couple) of photo from both the street level and also from the top. I’ve even put in a selfie – I couldn’t let Big Ben have all the fun.

More info- http://www.themonument.info/

xx