With Bank Holiday looming and everywhere booked up at the coast, the roads busy........so, where to go.
"Let's do London." No international tourists, most people will be heading to the coast so it should be quite quiet. The M1 should be fine all the way down from Nottingham.
We chose Swiss Cottage on the outskirts of town as a good location with Primrose Hill across the road and Camden Town a steady 20 minute walk away. We stayed in the London Marriott at Regents Park, which was a regular stay back in the days of the textile world I used to be in. it has a swimming pool as an added bonus for the little one after a day of smashing the city's pavements. And it's outside the Congestion charge zone.
I booked it the day before we left, arriving mid afternoon on Sunday. The M1 was fairly quiet as expected so a steady 2 hour journey from Nottingham. We checked in, had some food at the hotel restaurant which was pretty good to be fair, we then left for an early evening stroll up Primrose Hill and then down into Camden Town.
Primrose Hill is a must for the skyline view of London, it's laid out all in front of you with the breathtaking view. From here the next stop was Camden Town, down the hill taking in the normality and a stroll along the Regents Canal. It's not scary or dangerous, with lots of people milling about we headed straight into the melting pot which is Camden Town. It's cool, hip and vibrant with noises and smells assaulting your senses. The Stables etc have lots of food to sample, and every other product you may wish to buy, from the 4 corners of the planet, a true multicultural environment.
If you have children, I would say its a safe environment for them and they should love the Hansel & Grettel Ice Cream Parlour amongst every other wonder there is.
Don't let the looks deceive you, the Punks are a friendly bunch and we even grabbed a photo with them on the bridge.
It was a steady walk back to the hotel via the road this time and to catch our breaths over a well deserved beer, or two, or three. Not even 24 hours in and its been a true assault on the senses.
With Covid restrictions still in place, we were unsure on Breakfast in the hotel, but it was a Full English. Absolute bonus.
With full bellies we were ready for a trip to Oxford Street to see how it had faired after the pandemic and with Swiss Cottage Underground being just a short walk away it was ideal. It was eerily quiet at 10am on Bank Holiday Monday, but soon got quite busy around lunchtime. Always interesting to visit Nike Town and see what the giant sports brand is doing, with a nearly teenager obviously we HAD to hit the other shops before going down to St Christophers Place for lunch. It's a hidden gem just off Oxford Street., full of great little cafes and the prices are reasonable too.
We had to pop in to the world famous Selfridges, if only for a cool down from the sun beating our backs. Still as fabulous a shopping destination as always and we left with the obligatory yellow bag filled with a few goodies.
Shopped out we jumped back on the tube to the hotel for a well earned rest while the little one went for a swim.
The sun was still beating down and the skies were blue, so we decided to go back to Camden Town to sample the street food and do the classic people watch. If you're down that way you must pop into Cyberdog.
Every race, creed and colour is in the melting pot of Camden Town, and feels far away from the racial tensions that seem to be spread by the mainstream media.
As early evening approached we purchased snacks and beers and made our way to Primrose Hill to watch the changing colours of the City before us. It seemed busy on the Hill with it being a Bank Holiday, but a great vibe, with sound systems playing and people generally having fun. P.S - Budweiser have screw tops which helps if you do not carry a bottle opener on your fine self.
48 hrs in our Capital City is never enough. Ever evolving, forever inspiring & during these strange times, it still has a heartbeat.