London, Hampton Court Palace, Greenwich & Essex.
29.07.2009 - 03.08.2009 20 °C
Another busy day exploring London – we enjoyed a guided walking tour of the West End – lots of interesting insights, wandering of back streets and the best place to view the changing of the guard.
On Thursday we ventured to Hampton Court Palace which consists of two parts – the Tudor palace of Henry VIII and the baroque palace of William and Mary. The boys enjoyed dressing up in the velvet robes to wander through the palace. The family audio tour was excellent and really entertained the kids. We also enjoyed the gardens and the maze – one of the oldest in the world.
Another London day and we decided to visit Greenwich, our old haunt from 1994. We caught the dockland light rail – a bit of a thrill going through the tunnel under the Thames sitting right at the front. We enjoyed another walking tour through the grounds of the Old Naval College, past the Queen's house and Maritime museum to the observatory and the fabulous views of London from the top of Greenwich Park.
Back into town, we enjoyed some street performers in Covent Garden and dinner with Lester.
Saturday we drove to Essex for some family hospitality, we visited Jane, Stephen & family at Wrekin farm and were joined by Simon, Marlena & baby Thomas and also Jim and daughters Emily & Katie. Delicious gourmet food from their farm produce shop and a great day catching up with everyone.
We quickly came to the point of farewelling St Albans and our exchange house. We explored the Roman history of the area with a visit to the Verulamium Museum and park on our last day. We would thoroughly recommend house exchange – it has been great particularly for the kids to have a home to stay in with all the play equipment and toys.