After a very long wait and two rescheduled holiday dates due to Covid, it was finally time for our Perusian Holiday! We always enjoy a day in London prior to long haul trips and so on Tuesday morning we left home bright and early and made our way to Heathrow T5. Our accommodation for the night was to be the Sofitel hotel which is actually connected to T5- due to an exceptionally early start.
We were grateful for an early and easy check in – plus an upgrade as a celebration for our wedding anniversary, and before we knew it we were on our way into London.
Our journey in /out of London from Heathrow is normally along the Piccadilly line but today was a special day- the opening of the very long awaited Crossrail- a project which Keith has followed intently for the last 12 years. The brand new Elizabeth line would connect as far west as Reading and to the East- stations in Essex on a brand new line through Central London.
We picked up the Elizabeth line from T5 and the service from Heathrow to Paddington was on mainly pre existing over ground tracks.
At Paddington we “tapped out” and then walked a short distance to the brand new underground station built to accommodate the new line. The station was airy and bright and a hive of activity.
This is where the excitement of the new line really increased- the main bulk of the project was the section under central London and building the new stations. At times the new tunnels are only centimetres away from pre existing ones. The new trains are wider and much more comfortable- very stable to travel on.
The journey from Paddington to Whitechapel took just under 10 mins. A far speedier way to cross central London. The new station at Whitechapel was impressive and full of exciting train nerds just like us!
From Whitechapel we walked back towards central London, pausing for a drink in a couple of pubs- the Hoop and Grapes and a brand new German bierhouse nestled under Fenchurch Street station arches.
We enjoyed a German inspired lunch before continuing our walk towards Tower Hill and All Hallows’ By the tower church where we visited the crypt exhibition which displayed an impressive section of Roman flooring.
Nearby was a great section of old Londinium city wall.
We dodged the rain and thunder brilliantly and continued walking, following the north bank of the river to our “London Office”- The Tattershall Castle- the best pub view in London.
From here we walked through to Piccadilly Circus, admiring how beautiful London is looking as we prepare to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee next week.
We enjoyed a final street beer before having a dumpling dinner in Plum Valley, our favourite Chinatown restaurant.
We’d had a lovely day, and clocked up some miles but it was time to retreat back to the Sofitel as we had an extraordinarily early alarm call.
Excitement levels were through the roof to say the least!