It was my sisters 18th birthday in April, so we decided to celebrate in London, as she was already in London on a drama course. We woke up early and caught a Virgin Train from Lichfield to London Euston – a service I happen to use most weeks. We decided to visit Hampton Court Palace on the first day of our trip, as we had visited most of the other royal palaces, and I had never visited Hampton Court before.
We used the Underground to get to Waterloo, and then we caught a train to the palace. When we arrived, we listened to traditional Renaissance musicians playing in the courtyard, before taking an audio guide and making our way around the palace. The palace was built by Henry VIII, but a large section was built by William and Mary.
The contrast of architecture was beautiful, as were the large gardens which were full of flowers. Highlights included seeing the largest grape vine in the world which was in the greenhouse, or seeing the magnificent wall paintings that brighten the grand staircase.
By mid-afternoon we had finished touring the palace, so we headed back into central London. We met in Leicester Square, which was alive with street performers and bustling tourists. We ate at Chiquitos (a Mexican restaurant) which was lovely, before heading to our hotel.
The following day, we decided to visit a part of London we had never been to before – Greenwich. We wandered through various maritime museums, before heading through the Park up towards the Greenwich Royal Observatory. We looked around the museum, watched a show about Space, and stood on the line that marks Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Afterwards, we walked through the town of Greenwich, and had lunch in the market – I had the most delicious mushroom ravioli and potato gnocchi.