The turn of the year was just behind us. We have for a while been toying with the idea of shortening the dreary winter and looking for the sun. Suddenly there was a newsletter in one of our mailboxes that brought a nice offer for the Eurostar to our attention. Out of curiosity, a few dates have been typed in and, as a result, favorable train times appeared and the total price was attractive. A booking was thus made quickly. After all, London is an attractive destination in all seasons, where you can have a good time and enjoy the sun … well, we will see about that.
London is a large city and has many hotels in all shapes and sizes. The search for a good hotel is quite a job. We think location is very important. Once, we booked a simple hotel in a southern suburb of Londen, but that turned out less than expected. To get there, you first had to take the Tube, then travel by train and at last walk quite some distance. That simply takes too much time to see and do nice things in the city. Time is money too, so we prefer a better located hotel that is more expensive. To make a long story short … we have chosen a hotel that is close to the Houses of Parliament, has a bus stop right outside the door and from where you can reach many sights while walking.
Tip! Choose a hotel in a central location; it saves time and money.
The train journey went very smoothly. After we had parked the car at the station neatly, we boarded the train to Antwerp. After a few minutes we were able to get on the same platform in the Intercity to Brussels-South. Given experiences in the past, we had left home early and we still had more than an hour before we had to report to the Eurostar so we had time for a quick lunch.
The Eurostar takes about 2 hours to get to St Pancras in London. After a stop in Lille you go under the North Sea for about 20 minutes. Then there is a stop in Ebsfleet. In the meantime, you are expected to set your watch an hour earlier.
You can easily travel from London St. Pancras. The Tube has an entrance and buses stop are near the front entrance of the station. Because it was raining we did not feel like walking to the hotel, so we chose the bus to Waterloo Bridge. The bus may take a little longer than the Tube, but has the great advantage that you can immediately absorb some of the environment.
When we were well installed in the hotel room, it was as good as dry and we walked our first kilometers along the Thames, Tate Museum, Big Ben (which was under construction), Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Waterloo Station and Thompson Hospital.