London – South Bank, East End, West End

The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The Monument, is a 202ft tall stone Roman Doric column near to the northern end of London Bridge. It is located at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 202ft from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. Its present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Originally it was painted a chocolate brown colour.

Queenhithe is a small ward of the City of London, situated on the River Thames. The ward’s name derives from the Queen’s Dock or Queen’s Quay, known in Saxon times as Aedereshyd, later Ethelred’s Hythe. It only became named Queenhithe when Matilda, daughter of Henry I, was granted duties on goods landed there. The Queenhithe dock remains today, but has long fallen out of use and is heavily silted up.

The home of the London Bridge is the Thames River, and a bridge has existed on the spot for at least the last 2000 years. The first bridge on record was constructed by the Romans, and since then many bridges have risen at the hands of various empires. London Bridge today remains on of the most popular tourist attractions in Britain as well as an icon for the city of London.

The London Millennium Footbridge is a pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. The bridge is owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation. Construction of the bridge began in 1998, with the opening on 10 June 2000.

We stopped by Doggett’s for a lunch – Wild mushroom and pea risotto, and Pork Belly with crushed baby potatos and wilted spinach. Doggett’s Coat and Badge is a four floored bar on the Southbank of the river Thames near Blackfriars bridge. They have excellent outside areas next to the river front and a large terrace at the rear.

The South Bank of the Thames River was buzzing as usual with a variety of street performers and mimes doing their thing next to the London Eye. Some of them are quite talented and are very much worth watching. To say the South Bank was busy would be an understatement. We didn’t bother to join the huge queue to go for a ride on the London Eye.

South Bank Book Market is one of London’s best kept secrets. The market is open daily till around 7pm and can be found under Waterloo Bridge in front of BFI Southbank. There are always plenty of bargains to be found and the market traders are book specialists, so do ask if you are looking for something in particular.

In the background – The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Clock Tower is the world’s largest four-faced, chiming clock. The structure is situated at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament building and is often referred to as “Big Ben” — which is actually the main bell housed within the Clock Tower.

Also seen is the Red AEC Routemaster, a model of double-decker bus that was built by Associated Equipment Company in 1954. Primarily front-engined, rear open platform buses, a small number of variants were produced with doors and/or front entrances. Introduced by London Transport in 1956, the Routemaster saw continuous service in London until 2005, and currently remains on two heritage routes in central London.

West End theatre district – London’s Broadway covers everything that smacks of theater and performance is here including concerts, sporting events, musicals and stage performances. We watched Chicago the musical at Cambridge Theatre London. The Cambridge Theatre opened on the 4th of September 1930 with a Review called Charlot’s Masquerade by Ronald Jeans. The Theatre was designed by Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie and built by Gee. Walker Slater Ltd with an auditorium on three levels and a capacity of 1,275.

Chicago is the kiss-and-tell tale of Roxie Hart, a chorus girl who kills her lover as a career move; Billy Flynn, a sharp lawyer who turns Roxie into a celebrity; and Velma Kelly, a dancing jailbird with an ear for headlines and an eye for talent. Chicago, winner of six 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, is a loving look back at vaudeville, a timely satire of the justice system, and a reminder of what great theater can be.

Chinatown is an integral part of London’s history – haunt of Boswell and Reynolds, birthplace of the post office, first site of Ronnie Scott’s, host to immigrant communities from the Huguenots to the Maltese and now London’s vibrant Chinese quarter. The bustling Chinese community of restaurants and businesses has been here since the 1950s. However, the Chinatown story goes much further back – right across London and all the way to the Far East.

Harrods was established in 1834 in London’s East End, when founder Charles Henry Harrod set up a wholesale grocery in Stepney, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the vice of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park, Harrod took over a small shop in the district of Knightsbridge, on the site of the current store. The store occupies a 4.5-acre site and has over one million square feet (90,000 m2) of selling space in over 330 departments.

One of the most spectacular parts of Harrods is the popular series of food halls that offer a breathtaking variety of foods so beautifully and luxuriously displayed that they are real eye candy and heaven for true gourmands. Harrods food halls are divided in sections based on the type of food they offer, and the prices vary from cheap and moderate to sky high. In the various sections, you can find a vast choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, pates, meat, seafood, products from the bakery, chocolate, and wines.

We stopped for Sunday Roast at The Shipwright Arms, a pub true to its name with its nautical theme complete with ceiling tile painted by Charles Evans & Co. The handsome exterior really stands out amongst the nearby brick warehouses and glitzy new buildings. Its spare interior is dominated by a bar in the centre and the walls are decorated with nautical pictures and ephemera.

The London Dungeon was opened in 1976, initially designed as more of a museum of “horrible history”, but the Dungeon has evolved to become an actor-led, interactive experience. It showcases various tortures from the Medieval Age using a mixture of live actors, special effects and rides, and recreates various gory and macabre historical events in a grimly comedic gallows humour style.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – Since the Home’s establishment in 1860, they have cared for over three million animals. The animal rescue organisation is one of the most famous and longest-serving charities in the country. For more information on how you can adopt a pet or help the shelter, visit

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