Sunday, December 21, 2014

London, Dickens style, for Christmas

Lin and I went up to London today for another of the Charles Dickens guided walks  that we enjoyed so much before. this one was based on his Christmas books, and took us round the City alleys and hidden churchyards that feature - or are supposed to feature, in Dickens' Christmas stories. Supposed to, because as the guide said, Dickens kept the exact locations vague.  It was another fascinating tour.

We met however, at Kings Cross, and walked down to Tottenham Court Road (where we "happened" to pop into the flagship Paperchase store.... oops) sorry, where was I?  - past the St Pancras Hotel

 which is a truly gorgeous looking building

 we met the tour group at Bank tube station - by the Royal Exchange which has a fabulous Christmas tree outside

 and a very beautifully decorated entrance
 not to mention one of the Paddington's that are all over London to mark the release of the Paddington movie.

 and some Bus Art - which isn't something I'd heard of but will be looking out for more of these
first stop on the tour (and I can't remember all the stories; which isn't much help..)
 but this one I do remember - the George and Vulture - the pub where the Pickwick Club was founded and where the Dickens family even now meets on the Friday before Christmas for their family Christmas meal.

 Leadenhall Market - don't think I've ever been here before, but it's beautiful
 the tour guide Richard, in full Victorian costume (and megaphone today, as he'd lost his voice, but with a big group of 40, I think that would have been sensible anyway)

 the back of the George and Vulture
The tour finished about 4, so it was dark but Richard pointed us in the direction of One Exhange - for a glass lift ride up to the skyline to see some views over London... I persuaded Lin that as she's been brave on the tube today, we should check it out...
 Fab decorations on the way up (they were redder in real life)
 and boy, was the view worth it...
 and the sun was setting

 and London was looking fabulous!

 love the reflection of the sunset in the glass restaurant windows, and the fabulous cranes all around the skyline.

coming back down in the lift.
 and at ground level,
 beautifully lit trees

 and another Paddington!

 selfie time in a metal sculpture

it really was a lovely day, thanks for the company Lin, can't wait to to it again.


Lin said...

well you did it again Helen another fantastic post after another brilliant day!! the piccie on top of the exchange of the steps looks like a modern day Lowry..great pictures that camera is worth every penny lol.
thanks again for great company on a fab day out in good old london town xx

sam21ski said...

Love all the photos, but my fave one is the one nearing darkness with the London Eye in the background xxx

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

Such great photos, the setting sun ones are wonderful. I'm glad it was such an enjoyable day for you both.

Deborah Wainwright said...

Glad you had such a great time. Fantastic photos Helen. What a lovely start to Christmas time xx

Hazel Agnew said...

Enjoyed sharing the tour Helen. Great sunset pics! Xx

Lisca Meijer said...

Thank you for taking us on a virtual walk through London! Beautiful photos! Especially the twilight and the lit trees.
Happy Christmas,

butterfly said...

Ah, ha - there's my answer! What a wonderful guided walk, and a brilliant suggestion from your guide to head up to the skyline - wow! Amazing photos all round, capturing the best side of London at Christmas.
Alison xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Every place looks better during Christmas, but London looks great any time of the year, and from any angle. I was in awe of the photos from ground level and up top. But what got me were all the cranes that show how much London is either growing or changing.

Thanks for taking me with you to see a few of Dickens' Christmas tales haunts.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Ooooh! Now I want to visit London in Winter!! These photos are fabulous Helen! Love those rooftop views! Chrisx