With a stand out first day in London where we packed in some many activities, the next couple of days had a slightly slower pace and we explored London and Peckham as this is where my parents and family lived in the 1960’s.
A train ride from Purley plus tube took us to Charing Cross, with a quick walk across the Strand and St Martin’s Place to Trafalgar Square, such a landmark and home to Nelson’s Column.
Next tube stop was Covent Garden which I love, great food and shopping with all the Brit souvenirs. The old worlde cobblestones helped me imagine what it would have been like many years ago where my great grandmother and then ‘young’ grand father worked in their flower stall. In front of St Paul’s Church is the first recorded performance of Punch and Judy in 1662 and the church has many theatrical and celebrity connections.
Walking down to the busy Leicester Square, called into M&M’s World and then over to the discount theatre ticket booth where we got tickets for Billy Elliot at theVictoria Palace Theatre (a quick tube ride away). Chris (our tour guide extraordinaire) met us at the pub and we took the train home to Purley from Victoria.
Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace theatre, “What an amazing show, loved it!” (27.9.12) and then At The Shakespeare Tavern – “Enjoying a cider and the English pub atmosphere”
There are little things that remind you where you are, a red phone box, the traditional post box, chilly (ish) Autumn weather in late September, squirrels in the garden and needing to dress up to go high street shopping. Heading via train and tube to Knightsbridge, first stop was the iconic Harrods where we picked up lots of presents and then popped over the road to Jessica’s favourite place, Top Shop.
Piccadilly Circus is postcard London (taking the tube from Knightsbridge) with the billboards and we liked Cool Britannia too. Lunch in the dining room of the Argyll Arms in Oxford Circus was a welcome quiet stop before shopping along Bond Street and Oxford Streetand as we were undressed so Miss Selfridge for a new jacket was a must and then we found Primark!
“Full on Monopoly day – Harrods and Top Shop at Knightsbridge, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Oxford Circus, Bond and Oxford street ending up at Marble Arch, heaps of tube and train rides plus walking and then dinner at Greenwich with a view of the Thames”(28.9.12)
For the final day on this leg we picked up a hire car and drove to my Uncle Paul’s and Aunty Val’s house in Dartford. After a light lunch, they took us for a drive back into East London and the grant tour of Peckham. This is where the ‘Appendix’ to my itinerary kicked in as we visited my Mum and Dad’s childhood and teenage homes, the church where my grandparents were married, my parents schools and Peckham Rye Park and Common where they would play, go exploring and to the fair.
Back to Dartford we went shopping at Bluewater Shopping Centre and had dinner at the lovely Manor Farm Barn (barn converted into a pub) with a couple of ciders – a great day with lots of memories and a deeper understanding of the makeup of my family.
“did the grand tour of Peckham yesterday – Acorn Estate, St Giles Church, Old Kent Road, Peckham Girls School, Rye Lane and Park, Peckham Park Primary School, Studholme St, and Ashcroft Crescent in Sidcup. Saw my Aunt and Uncle who is my Dad’s twin but cheekier and had dinner at a barn converted into a pub in Dartford.” (29.9.12)
Here’s the photos for the next few days in London and the Peckham Grand Tour.
Written by Wendy Perry, Innovator | Thinker | Speaker | Writer