Mammals, Markets & Musicals. . Day 2 in London

Another early wake up (thanks Mum), we chomped down some brekkie and set off towards the tube while B headed off to work. Our first stop today was the Natural History Museum, which I’ve heard is a must-do in London but have never gotten around to going. Mum went the last time she was in London over 20 years ago, so she was excited to see what had changed.

We got off the Tube at South Kensington and walked the short distance to the museum. As it is a free attraction it gets rather busy but luckily we were there early enough so we only had to wait in line for 15 minutes or so to get it. The grand old building is bloody beautiful, to put it bluntly. The architecture had us fascinated, particularly Mum and Dad, who own a building company. The sandy coloured stones, intricately carved and detailed and the pointy turrets make it seem like a castle. The entrance is just as grand as the outside, with a giant skeleton of a dinosaur in the foyer and colourful stained glass windows. We walked through the different exhibitions, such as the dinosaurs, mammals and the cocoon. The museum, as beautiful as it is, was a little out-dated. Mum even said it looked much the same as it did when she visited 20 years ago. In saying that though, they are still researching new species and providing updated information. Even if you aren’t overly interesting in the natural world (can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be!), a visit to the Natural History Museum is definitely a must-do. The carvings in the stone walls are enough to marvel over.

The beautiful exterior of the Natural History Museum.
The beautiful exterior of the Natural History Museum.
The architecture was just incredible.
The architecture was just incredible.

After the museum, we walked through Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens where we caught the tube to Camden Town. I love Camden. It’s quirky, cool and there is always something to look at. We were pretty starving at this point so we made a beeline for the Stables and grabbed some lunch from the multicultural bunch of food stalls in the middle of the markets. My dear friend K met us briefly for lunch and a wander around the markets.

Dad braving the shops in Camden Town
Dad braving the shops in Camden Town
DJ Grandad killin it on the streets of Camden
DJ Grandad killin it on the streets of Camden

Unfortunately, jetlag was still affecting Mum and Dad so we headed back to Hammersmith for a quick rest. Dad by this stage, was a bit over London and the crowds, so Mum and I bought tickets to see the Lion King in theatre, while he had a quiet night in. Mum and I did a quick turnaround and were back in Leicester Square by 6:30pm. B met us for a quick dinner and then the three of us went into Lyceum Theatre ready for the show. Even though it was my second time seeing the Lion King, I still got goose bumps when the curtains were opened and ‘Circle of Life’ begun. I won’t go into great detail about the Lion King, I don’t think I need to. If you haven’t seen it, well then, go and see it. You will not regret it in the slightest.

Mum and I ready to Hakuna Matata!
Mum and I ready to Hakuna Matata!

The following morning we packed up our gear and said goodbye to our little London home and B, potentially might not see him until he’s back in Australia around Christmas time, so that was a little sad. We didn’t have to pick up our hire car from Heathrow Airport until 1pm so we spent the morning in Notting Hill at the Portobello Markets. It was a delightful morning, however somewhat rushed as we browsed through the many stalls as quickly as we could before catching the train to Heathrow. You could find anything at these markets and if not, the people watching level is off the radar!

Portobello Markets
Portobello Markets
Colourful town houses in Notting Hill
Colourful town houses in Notting Hill

 

A sneaky bit of Banksy in Notting Hill
A sneaky bit of Banksy in Notting Hill

 

From here we start our three week long UK road trip. First stop is at friends of my grandparents in East Bergholt!

J. x

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