Day Tripping to Italy from London

It may sound crazy, but you really can take a day trip to Venice while you’re in London. Okay, it’s just Little Venice – a neighborhood in the northern bit of London – and may not be as famous as its Italian namesake, but it was still worth a little excursion while Mr. husband and I were in London.

Studying the Maps

Since Little Venice isn’t at the top of Things to See in most London guidebooks, I happened to discover it by scouring some maps when I was trying to sort out how to make the most of our week in the big city. I knew I wanted to walk along Regent’s Canal, but wasn’t exactly sure where to start our journey. Well, a little time with the city map and the Underground map, and voila, I’d found our starting point in Little Venice.

A Little Bit About Little Venice

With a name like “Little Venice” you have to expect canals (although there are some mighty fine canals in Amsterdam too, so why not Little Amsterdam?). And canals you’ll get because it’s the meeting point of Regent’s Canal, the Grand Union Canal, and the Paddington Basin. In keeping with the Venetian terminology, the point where these waterways meet has an ever-so quaint nickname “The Lagoon” (officially named Brownings Pool, you can see why the nickname is more popular).

little venice, london, regents canal

The Lagoon

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Making My Shakespearian Debut in London

My original plan of covering the London Trip in only three blog posts seems to have failed. Ah well, it’s next to impossible to not go on and on about such a terrific city. Today we head to the south side of London for some strolling, some shopping, and some Shakespeare-ing.

The Making of This Day

When Mr. Husband and I were sorting out what we wanted to do on this trip there were a handful of places we wanted to re-visit, but we also wanted new experiences (which is how we ended up taking a Roman excursion in The City, trekking up Hampstead Heath, and crossing underneath the Thames).

Since I love the Graham Norton show, I tried to get tickets for the time we’d be in London, but apparently the Norton crew didn’t want a couple Americans in their building (who can blame them). I was a little disappointed, but not terribly because I had been reading about the Summer of Love shows at Shakespeare’s Globe and was pretty keen on attending one even before our shameful rejection by Graham. Continue reading

Crossing the Line in London

Okay, okay, that title should be “Crossing the Line in Greenwich,” but “Crossing the Line in London” appeals more to my alliteration-loving sensibilities.

During our recent trip to London, Mr. Husband and I seemed to be making up for all the things we wanted to do last time (way back in 2013), but couldn’t manage to squeeze in. Besides a wander over Hampstead Heath and a spiraling climb up The Monument, we wanted to straddle two worlds in Greenwich. And I just had to see what it was like to walk across the bottom of the Thames.

But First…Getting There

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the monument, city of london, london

A City Day in London

Okay, first off, let’s get our words in order. London is a marvelous city….note the lowercase “c” on city. But The City of London is also pretty cool…note the capital “C” this time. What’s the difference? The city of London means the city as a whole, whereas The City of London is a section of London. It’s actually a corporation and works semi-independently of London (the city) itself, including having its own police force and mayor (who has the spectacular job title of  Lord Mayor of the City of London).

Although very interesting from a historic standpoint, the last time Mr. Husband and I were in London, we didn’t make any time for The City except to wander over after touring the Tower of London to go gawk at the Gherkin. So, this time around, I did my research and planned a City day full of historical ups and downs.

Monumental Ups

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london, st james park

London is a Walk in the Park

Since I couldn’t convince the Queen to let me shack up in a room in Buckingham Palace, I’m back home from London. That means my only way of pretend I’m back in the big city is to share my trip with you. Even though I have SOOO much to show and tell, I’ll try to keep this from running on like Grandpa’s slide show of his trip to the big ball of twine in Iowa.

One of the things I love about London is its oodles of green spaces and free gardens. This is in stark contrast to, say Italian cities, where a green escape is hard to find. So, for this first of three (maybe four) London Trip Reports, get your walking shoes on and let’s stroll through a park or four.

In the Neighborhood: Holland Park

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