A tour of London from the Shard

As our England trip approaches it’s end, we’re staying in luxury at the Shangri-La hotel in The Shard in London; our 44th floor room gives amazing views of the city by day and night!

But today we left the hotel and toured London; first visiting Pudding Lane and climbing The Great Fire Of London monument for some different high views of the city!


Next stop, The Tower Of London! A popular tourist destination:

And then another different viewpoint, taking a “cruise” on the Thames river up to Westminster; seeing The Tower from the Thames – and seeing lots of the rest of London from the river, too:


Returning to our start point, we get a great view of Tower Bridge!

Thunderbirds, recreated

I recently supported a Kickstarter to recreate Thunderbirds episodes, and today had the chance to visit the crew at work (and even to get involved a little!) – we headed to the Slough Trading Estate to see them; given fabulous access, we watched them filming scenes for the first of three new episodes that will be created:

 

Later in the day, I was given the privilege of triggering a pyrotechnic effect set up by Malcolm Smith of Supreme Fireworks:

 

I also had the chance to operate a puppet – it’s even possible that my “performance” might be in the first new episode!

 

A wonderful day!

 

Hadrian’s Wall at Cawfields

We chose yesterday to go for a walk beside Hadrian’s Wall and headed to Cawfields which offered a nice loop walk – with an impressive quarry site at the parking:

Hadrian’s Wall is just as impressive here as it is at the more famous locations (like Housesteads) and there’s clear ruins of a milecastle, too. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, the weather changed to windy and rain headed towards us – we got wet and cold, but we did also enjoy a nice rainbow!

Newcastle bridges and the New Castle

We spent today walking around Newcastle, starting with a walk along the Quayside and beside the bridges – Newcastle has many bridges (this great website details them); favorites include this view of the swing bridge and Tyne bridge, and another view with the high level bridge in the distance:

 

We also toured the “New Castle” from which Newcastle is named – this building is the “even newer” castle keep built in the 1100s (and the 1080 “New Castle” itself replaced older fortifications going back to at least Roman times!) From the top of the New Castle keep, great views of the river and city:

Hampton Court

Not sure if this was “saving the best for last” but today’s visit to Hampton Court left us quite stunned by it’s huge size and by the opulence of the place – especially the wall and ceiling artworks! The exterior of the palace is impressive to begin with; inside, the early ceilings we found were impressive, too (and very high), but the rooms were more decorated as we progressed:

 

We finally had to go outside for a break from the amazing views – but the gardens are amazing too!