Sky Garden, London

A year ago I arranged as a present for my dad for us to go up the Shard. This didn’t work out that well as we were thwarted first by the London Fire Brigade and then by Thor. So it was with some trepidation that I booked to take my in-laws up to Sky Garden this Christmas Eve.… Read the rest

A Night at the Museum

We’re not great museum goers in the Thompson household, although the Pitt Rivers in Oxford is excellent. However, we do make exceptions when there is something a bit different going on.

The last Friday in the month the Natural History Museum in London opens late (until 10pm) and what sealed the deal, for Helen at any rate, was that they also sell wine which you can sip while looking at the exhibits.… Read the rest

Out for an Early Bath*

We had decided to spend the day in Bath and given that it is easy to get to from Reading we elected to do so by train. It is always cheaper to buy train tickets in advance and as we also had a railcard it made it reasonably cheap too.… Read the rest

A Day at the Races

It’s been about 35 years since I last went to the horse races. On that occasion it was Ripon and I was too young to bet (well, directly anyway. I do seem to remember bets being made by proxy). However, I was given a pair of tickets to go to Newbury for last night’s meet and so off we went.… Read the rest

London Zoo Sunset Safari

It was last year, I think, that I first saw London Zoo advertised and thought that it sounded like an interesting idea – to open up the zoo in the evening over a few weeks in the summer and to lay on other events and food too.… Read the rest

Hadrian’s Wall

“All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Well, they built a bloody great big wall running from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth, a total of 70 miles, and over the weekend I got to visit.… Read the rest

Portchester Castle

Fresh from an exploration of a hidden London gem on Saturday we visited somewhere that has been hiding in plain sight pretty much all my adult life.

For four years I went to Portsmouth University (or Polytechnic as it was then) and twenty odd years later my son did the same.… Read the rest

Hidden London – Camden to Paddington

I like London. It’s a great city. I wouldn’t want to live there and nor would I want to have to commute up there everyday to work but it is a beautiful and richly varied city.

A great example of this is the almost jarring contrast between Camden Market, with it’s brash high street and shops with large footwear adorning the frontages, and the canal-side walk from the lock to Paddington.… Read the rest