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Weekend City Break to London

Weekend City Break to London

Last weekend a friend and I decided to get away and take a weekend city break to London.

I’m a regular visitor to the capital, but decided to travel up and take in some of the tourist attractions that I’ve often overlooked.

We arrived in London Waterloo just before 10pm on the Friday after work and travelled on the underground to Canary Wharf, then transferred to the Docklands light railway to Blackwall.

We booked a superior room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf, which is only about 10 minutes’ walk away from Blackwall tube station.

Sadly, we got a little confused with the directions from Google maps and took a longer route! Note to self – next time check the directions with the hotel!

Image of the entrance to Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf
Entrance to the Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf

We were both very impressed with the room – it was spacious and clean.

The bathroom was well appointed and had both a shower/wet room and large bath.

You might like – take a look at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, New Providence Wharf.

I decided to venture down to the bar area to relax after our journey.

The bar staff was very friendly and we ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio while we relaxed on the sofa.

Despite this being a four-star hotel (and in London) the price was very reasonable. It was a good bottle too!

The next day, we headed off towards Old Spitalfields Market. As it was the third Saturday of the month, they hold a vintage fair.

Regardless of what time of year you go, the market is a wonderful place to visit.

There’s so many stores and restaurants/bar to keep you busy. I think we were there for a good 3-4 hours looking round all the stores.

image of Old Spitalfields Market
Old Spitalfields Market – image courtesy of Wikipedia

In the afternoon, we’d booked tickets for Madame Tussauds.

I’ve been a visitor to London on a number of occasions, but never visited here before.

We pre-booked our tickets for the 5:30 slot. As this was the last one of the day, it meant we bypassed all the queues waiting to get in (top tip!).

The tour was amazing, definitely not disappointed.

The only confusion was the Sherlock Homes section – didn’t quite make much sense and struggled to hear the actors.

The one thing that really stood out was the Spirit of London ride, where you get into small London Black Cabs and taken through a history of the city.

This was incredibly funny – really wanted to go back through it!

We upgraded our tickets to go through the Star Wars section – the number of people that didn’t upgrade, so it meant this section was very quiet, surprised us.

We got a number of pictures with the main characters with very little hassle.

The tour itself was a good 3 hours long and well worth the money.

When we returned to the hotel, we briefly changed and headed down to their restaurant Scoff and Banter.

The Scoff and Banter restaurant at Radisson Blu was amazing.

The view was out overlooking the O2 arena and the River Thames.

We opted for a three-course meal, with a sharing platter for starters.

The food really was tasty, well presented and very reasonable. I did expect to have to pay more than we did.

The next day, we woke up early and had breakfast. We decided to head out to Hampton Court.

Rather than buying the tickets when we arrived, we decided to queue jump and buy them in advance online.

We headed back to London Waterloo, and took the train directly to Hampton Court. This was only about 35 minutes on the train, and we could use our oyster/travel card for the journey.

When we got there, buying tickets online for Hampton Court was certainly a good idea. There was no wait at the collection point (unlike the ‘buy on the day’ queue!).

We went through the main gate and picked up our audio guide. We started by following the tour around Henry V’s apartments.

image of the entrance to Hampton Court Palace
Entrance to Hampton Court Palace

We didn’t realise that there would be actors on site.

When we arrived in the Tudor hall (very impressive!), we were just in time to watch one of their plays. A rather funny sketch based on Shakespeare and his touring group rehearsing for a play, and meeting the King and Queen.

We then continued the tour, but decided to ditch the audio guides for the rest of the tour.

Don’t get me wrong, the audio guide is well worth doing, but we were running out of time before our journey home.

We wanted to make sure we saw everything before we went.

Hampton Court is definitely one on the list of things to do for any tourist visiting London.

I’m certain I’ll go back there – this time I’d allocate an entire day to the place!

After a spot of afternoon lunch (late afternoon!), we got our bags and headed back from London Waterloo. It was a lovely weekend city break!


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