We split into two groups today. My Sisters family wanted to go to London Zoo and offered to take Charlotte. “Just leave her there” I said.
The rest of us were going to Borough Market, have a walk along the South Bank and then go our separate ways. I was excited about the Market, having been there before. Did I mention its a food market?!
It also allows you to get a really up close and personal view of the Shard. On the other hand I was unsure about the South Bank. My Brother loves it, but for all the reasons that we differ – modern art, DVD stores. But one of my resolves when on holiday with other people is to do something that I wouldn’t normally do. Why not.
We got the tube to London Bridge. Borough stop is closer but not served by as many lines. Its not worth the hassle with the buggy, we prefer to be up on the street. A few hundred yards and we were in the market. Ravenous.
The market, like most London markets, is outstanding. Its a mix of food stalls serving hot take away food, stalls showing off local UK produce and items from abroad. Across the road is a whole section for cheese, vegetables, bread, olives, spices, you name it.
You know when you watch these trendy cooking programmes and the chef pops down to the local shop and buys something you’ve never heard of? Its in Borough Market.
We breakfasted, coffeed and even had a glass of Prosecco as we wandered. If you take your time you could spend a couple of hours here. Bring cash money.
From the Market you are straight onto the South Bank. I was impressed straight away. There was a pirate ship, old architecture, The Globe and loads of interesting bits and bobs. Marcus was happy in his buggy as he had brought along his dinosaur from yesterday and still hadn’t given up ‘roaring’.
We stopped at a few places. Firstly, the pirate ship. The Golden Hinde. Of course its not a pirate ship, but thats what you think when you see it. Its actually a full sized reconstruction of the ship that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe. You can pay to go on board, tour the ships main features and play the part of a sailor. Just behind the Hinde (get it!) there is a great view of the London sky scrapers. Very photogenic.
We didn’t stop at the Globe Theatre.
We popped into a few little markets and small shopping sections which were all good and sold handmade / unique stuff. There was also a number of promotions along the river – companies giving away new food stuff – we had a bag of pic-n-mix that was unremarkable.
The paths are wide and Marcus was able to wander about when he wanted, no cars so easy to look after him. Having the river right on your side was also nice and he was entertained by the goings on along it.
We sat for a bit outside the Tate Modern. Listened to a busker and had a drink. This was my test for the day – was I going to go in? I do not get modern art. I can appreciate how people like it, but its not for me. But hey, its free, there were some interactive bits for Marcus and crucially, I had read that it has a open air viewing platform about 10 storeys high. This I had to see.
Inside it was sparse. I couldn’t work out if I was waling past exhibitions or they were just parts of the building. We headed for the viewing platform through a series of complicated lifts. Not all lifts lead to the roof we learned.
The view from the platform is ace. I bet it’s even better at night. Could we make it back another day? I spent as much time up there as possible. It was safe for Marcus too.
We headed down and regrouped. We were getting tired by this point. The holiday was catching up. I had also read about a small roof garden on the top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was almost secret but not really. It took a while to find – behind the Wahaca restaurant – which looked awesome by the way. Its stairs again so carried the buggy.
It was a bit grubby up there, maybe due to the building work, maybe not. But there was a small outdoor cafe also selling beer and some seats that overlooked the river front. It was very pleasant. Marcus was able to run around again and be quite safe, while we rested up.
We decided to wander home after that. Yes, all the way to Shoreditch. Marcus had done a fair bit of running about so was happy in his pram. The weather was nice. Wendy and I wanted to burn off some Borough Market goodies. It took over an hour, but we got to see parts of London that we hadn’t before. Nothing remarkable, but we enjoyed it.
So I would say South Bank is very much like Greenwich in as much as – if you have more time than average to visit London, get it done.