Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Seeing the sights of London from a great height...

My Mum turned 50 last December (she will hate me for telling you all that), one of her birthday treats was a trip up to London. To visit view from The Shard, and then for a Jack the Ripper tour.

Seeing as December is usually cold, wet and busy due to Christmas. We decided to book those things for May. All week we were hoping the weather would improve and luckily for us, after a rainy few days, We woke up on Saturday to sunshine! Yay! 

So along with my parents and my Aunt, I set off for London. The Shard is situated just outside London Bridge station (not the 10 minute walk my Dad was telling me). If you pre book The Shard not only is it slightly cheaper but it also means that when your time comes you just walk straight in, no ques! 

Once you are in, you are welcome to spend as long as you like there. All I can say is the views are breathtaking and you really have to see it for yourself to appreciate it. We were lucky that the weather was so great, we could see for miles. We clearly saw Wembley Stadium in the distance! They have these great viewing computers that you can use for free, you point them at a point of interest and they tell you what it is!

Even though it was busy, it didn't feel over crowded, what ever window/angle you looked out from there was something amazing to see. 

One last thought on The Shard.... You really must use the toilets whilst you are there, I will leave you to figure that one out! 

We then had some time before our Jack the Ripper tour, and we were all getting a bit peckish. So my parents suggested Steak & Co, just off of Leicester Square. They had stumbled across it before and told us it was a great, good value steak restaurant. 

They weren't lying! The steaks are brought out on hot stones, so that you can finish off the cooking of your steak yourself!

This not only creates a great atmosphere and talking point but also means that each mouthful of steak is just as hot and melt in the mouth as the last! Genius! There are so many different steaks, butters and sauces to choose from! I chose from the lunch menu and at £7.95 for steak and chips I call that a bargain! It was just enough to leave a little room for pudding, I had the chocolate fondant and it was divine! Gooey in the middle and served with ice cream. Perfect!

After eating all of that yummy food, we were ready to walk it off! So headed to the Jack the Ripper tour. When I was younger I was interested in the Jack the Ripper mystery, and researched it a lot. So for me it was great to be shown the places where the events unfolded in the Autumn of 1888. The Ten Bells Public House is still open today, the tiles on the walls are the same ones that were on the walls back then!

The tour was 2 hours long, it was very informative, our guide was very good at telling us the information in a fun and upbeat way. He showed us photos, most of which I had already seen, but my parents and Aunt hadn't, I think some of them were a bit of a shock for them to see, especially the bodies of the victims. He managed to tell the 'story' in such a way that we could imagine exactly what the streets were like in those days. At only £9 per person it was a great way to spend an evening in London. We all agreed it was good and we now want to try a ghost walk too, in the Autumn maybe. 

We came home exhausted after a long day out, but we all had a great time, more importantly Mum had a great time. After all it was one of her birthday treats so it was most important that she did indeed have a great time! 

My parents have gone back home to Dorset now, and we are back to normality. Booooo! But I think it's safe to say we had a great weekend and made some more great memories! 

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