London is synonymous with bad weather, sorry Londoners but it’s true. Well let’s say “unfriendly”. For Australians we associate our winter with your summer. When I visited for the first time last summer I had to wear 5 layers, 5! I was also still freezing. So it’s safe to say that when the weather is good in London (which is often rare) you make the most of it.
I imagine The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace as one those Bucket List items on many peoples list, the problem with wanting to view this when the weather is fine is that so do all the other tourists that are visiting London. This iconic ceremony is only worth your time if you can see anything, so if you have the patience then arrive at Buckingham Palace well before the scheduled 11:30am start and position yourself near the golden gates that mark the entry to the palace. I have provided a link to the website with days/times for the ceremony, also information about the phone app available.
For food connoisseurs the Borough Markets is the place for you, London’s most renowed food market that is guaranteed to have something for everyone. The full market is open Wednesday-Saturday. Word to the wise, don’t go on Sunday as you will be thoroughly disappointed if you wanted to experience the bustle of the market, although various surrounding café’s will be open. If you do go on the Saturday hold out on your coffee fix until you get to Monmouth Coffee, arguably the best coffee in London. There is a queue, and quite frankly if that many people are willing to wait in a line for coffee, then it must be good! London’s Southwark is a fantastic place with countless activities for young and old. So I will write about the various things to do in this not-so-hidden gem.
Crossbones Graveyard is an unholy burial ground dating back to the 12th Century when the land-owning Bishop of Winchester granted prostitutes in the borough legal permission to practice their trade. Needless to say they were not free to be buried on church ground and their bodies were buried in Crossbones Graveyard. The Golden Hinde is a rebuilt ship that has been turned into a museum and guided tours are provided by staff dressed in period costume. Visitors can also stay on the ship overnight to get a hands-on taste of what life as a crew member would have been like.
You could really spend the day exploring the borough of Southwark, and although yes, technically this is meant to be a post about outdoors related activities, it would be irresponsible of me to ignore the other fantastic things on offer. Southwark Cathedral is spectacular for many reasons, its archaic design and welcoming staff (they encourage visitors even during a service), and historical links to Shakespeare, just to name a few. Which brings me to my final destination. Shakespeare’s Globe. It’s a crime to visit London’s Southwark and not visit Shakespeare’s Globe. I mean London, hell England itself is synonymous with Shakespeare “and where the offence is, let the great axe fall.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, Will.