We had an early start today to meet my sister, Christine, her husband, Adam, and Jessica and Lewis, our niece and nephew, for a trip to the London Dungeon. We had a very nice second breakfast while we were waiting for them to arrive in a cafe off Borough High Street called De Gustibus. Michael had an almond meringue which was very nice, chosen from a selection of about five meringue mountains. My fruit flan was very nice too. We started queuing about 10, and by the time the family arrived at 10.20 there was a massive queue behind us that looked like it would take hours to clear.
The London Dungeon trip started off quite poorly. We were hustled from place to place, photo taken in a pose with no explanation or thought to whether we wanted it. The first room, is then a tatty walk-though that takes far too long, but luckily is really a holding queue for the main attractions. These were scenes from London’s grizzly past: the plague, the great fire, Jack the Ripper, ghosts etc. Lots of actors taking us through this in, what must be, an exhausting and repetitive schedule. Some of the actors were great though and I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. The woman in the torture chamber was an especially good torturer and she scared me within seconds of entering the room. The woman in the Sweeney Todd scene was also great fun. There were three or four very good rides/experiences. One was a good water ride and Jessica liked the Sweeney Todd experience (all the lights went out). The whole trip lasted a couple of hours and culminated in a court scene where we tried, found guilt and sentenced to be hanged. The hanging took place in a fairground ride called Extremis: the photo’s speak for themselves:
So it was great trip. Jessica and Lewis were amusing too they ‘weren’t scared’ of anything, but crept closer and closer to holding mum and dad’s hands when things got a little bit scarier. We left on a bit of a high in perfect time for lunch, and headed back to Borough High Street to go the The George Inn, which we discovered on our beer tour a couple of years ago. We had a good lunch and nice Green King beer there, then headed over to the South Bank to have a walk. The Tate Modern was setting up for a new installation in the turbine room (but had impressive street art murals outside that I enjoyed), Wandered over to St Pauls cathedral. I’ve never been in and I’ve wanted to go for a long time to see John Donne’s grave. We had a lovely walk over the Millenium Bridge, but were a bit shocked to discover that it would have cost about £35 for us to enter St Pauls, so decided to move on to Hyde Park, by bus.
The weather was great and Hyde Park had a lively and friendly atmosphere and a Caribbean Festival (with Steel Band). Walked around, and had a good look at the Albert Memorial, which Jessica and Lewis had running races around to keep them occupied while we had a cup of tea. It takes about 50 seconds to run around the monument—not nearly long enough!
By now it was about 5pm, and we headed back to the Central Line, via the Peter Pan Statue, which Jessica liked. Finally, we had to say our goodbyes at Lancaster Gate tube: it’s amazing how quickly a day can go!