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My Great London Adventure

BRITISH DREAMS DO COME TRUE

Living in London has always been one of my dreams, and in 2015 I finally had the opportunity to make that dream a reality. I spent three months living like a local in southeast London, just a few blocks from the Thames, and I explored every nook and cranny of London I could during that time. My Great London Adventure is a blog I wrote for friends and family that relates many of my experiences during that time.

10 Interesting Things About London

10 Interesting Things About London

Almost every ex-pat I’ve met here has told me stories about getting quite sick when they first moved to London.  Apparently fate has finally caught up with me.  I’ve had a miserable cold since Monday, and I’ve spent the last three days in bed watching BBC iPlayer.  Since I haven’t been doing anything exciting (going… Continue Reading

Left or Right?

Left or Right?

Happy Halloween from the UK!  I was surprised to discover that Halloween is starting to gain a real foothold here.  It’s definitely viewed as an American import, but retailers know a good thing when they see one.  All over London, stores are stocked with Halloween-themed decorations, food, and candy. Here in Teak Close, there’s a… Continue Reading

Out and About in London Again

Out and About in London Again

I was finally feeling a bit better when I woke up on Sunday, and I decided it was time to get out and about in London again.  I ventured out for my shifts at Benjamin Franklin House on Sunday and Monday.  Those went okay, so I decided to resume my sightseeing schedule.  I was craving fresh air… Continue Reading

The Perfect Afternoon Tea

The Perfect Afternoon Tea

You’ll know from reading earlier entries in this blog that I’ve enjoyed many tea breaks since I’ve been in London.  I’ve had cream teas at cafes, museums, and historic houses.  I’ve enjoyed the more traditional afternoon tea at The Georgian Tea Room in Bath and at The Orangery in Kensington Palace Gardens.  However, I hadn’t yet… Continue Reading

The South Side of the Thames

The South Side of the Thames

Between my walking tour of Rotherhithe and my other explorations in Southwark, I’ve covered quite a bit of territory on the south side of the Thames.  Even so, I’ve barely scratched the surface.  On Sunday I discovered yet another interesting area of southeast London. It was a beautiful day.  The weather was quite balmy for… Continue Reading

Broadcasting House and the BBC

Broadcasting House and the BBC

On Friday afternoon I toured Broadcasting House, which is the headquarters of the BBC.  Founded in 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation is as English as cricket, crumpets, and double-decker buses.  Broadcasting House remains the heart of the BBC, despite the fact that most programs are now produced outside of London.  It has a rich heritage.  For example, this is… Continue Reading

Greenwich: A Proud Maritime History

Greenwich: A Proud Maritime History

On Tuesday I visited Greenwich, which is just upriver from London.  Greenwich has a proud maritime history, and the town’s most popular sights relate to this history, including the clipper ship Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, which is the home of the prime meridian, and the massive Old Royal Naval College complex.  This sprawling complex spreads out across… Continue Reading

Market Day

Market Day

I decided to have a market day adventure today, and I set out to visit two of London’s famous markets, the Bermondsey Antiques Market and Camden Market. My timing wasn’t great.  Wintery weather has finally put in an appearance, and both of them are outdoor markets.  Up until now, I’ve been able to get by with a… Continue Reading

Up Close and Personal With Parliament

Up Close and Personal With Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are a familiar sight in London.  Big Ben itself must be featured in millions of tourist photos.  Many people assume the name Big Ben refers to the iconic clock tower rising above Parliament.  It’s actually the name of the 13-ton bell inside the tower.  The tower is called the Elizabeth Tower in… Continue Reading

Thanksgiving in London

Thanksgiving in London

This year I had Thanksgiving in London, far from my friends and family back home.  I still celebrated in traditional American style though, thanks to the annual Benjamin Franklin House annual Thanksgiving dinner. It probably comes as no surprise, but I’ve been having some trouble with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s been overcast for weeks and it’s dark by 4 pm.  At… Continue Reading

Windsor Castle, the Queen’s Favorite Home

Windsor Castle, the Queen’s Favorite Home

I set out this morning on the 45-minute train ride to Windsor Castle.  It’s the oldest and largest continuously occupied castle in the world.  I could see it as soon as I emerged from Windsor-Eton Riverside station, and it loomed over me as I walked up to the steep but picturesque High Street.  The Round… Continue Reading

A Visit to Hampstead Heath

A Visit to Hampstead Heath

Today’s agenda featured a trip to Hampstead Heath.  The Heath is a popular recreation spot on one of the highest points in London.  I managed to grab a front seat on the top of a double-decker bus at the Tube station.  That meant I had a great view as we climbed the steep, twisting streets of Hampstead. … Continue Reading

A Festive Week in London

A Festive Week in London

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here, and I had a festive week in London to match.  There are strings of lights across Oxford and Regent Streets, and the shops are full of Christmas goodies.  During Monday’s shift at Benjamin Franklin House I helped with the shopping for the museum’s annual Friends and… Continue Reading

There’s Real Magic in the Making of Harry Potter

There’s Real Magic in the Making of Harry Potter

I love the distinctly English magical world that J. K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter books.  It really sparks my imagination.  The Making of Harry Potter tour at the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden brings that world to life. Every Harry Potter movies were filmed here.  The tour covers two soundstages of sets, props,… Continue Reading

A Visitor from Oxford

A Visitor from Oxford

I finally entertained my first visitor in London.  On Friday I took the bus to Oxford and met my friend Christina for lunch and an afternoon at the Ashmolean Museum, the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archeology.  We enjoyed the galleries on Japan and on England from 400 to 1600 AD.  Then we caught… Continue Reading

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