I finally got around to visiting the Wellcome Collection in London in March 2013. It bills itself as ‘a free destination for the incurably curious’, which is a pretty accurate description. Henry Wellcome was an pharmaceutical entrepreneur who amassed many medical artifacts during his travels.
For me, the most evocative piece in the museum was the ‘I Can’t Help the Way I Feel’ sculpture by John Isaacs: the British sculptor’s statement on obesity.
‘I Can’t Help the Way I Feel’ sculpture at the Wellcome Collection
Array of surgical instruments at the Wellcome Collection
Tranparent model of female body at the Wellcome Collection
We had lunch at The Pough in Bondgate Without in Alnwick, north east England, in March 2013.
Exterior of The Plough in Alnwick
There’s free parking at The Plough, up a slope through a rather narrow archway. We sat in the area at the back of the bar. There was a very wide selection of dishes on offer in the menu, supplemented by a few more Daily Specials on the blackboard.
Interior of The Plough
My husband had one of the Day’s Specials – Roast Pork served with Black Pudding, Mash & Mustard Sauce. I had a taste; the pork was delicious. I’m not a fan of black pudding but it was very good.
Roast Pork served with Black Pudding, Mash & Mustard Sauce
Our son Simon recommended that I visited Brixton when I was in London in March 2013. After a morning exploring Clapham, I headed to Brixton. On exiting Brixton tube station I wasn’t sure which way to head. I turned left and soon came upon the street market in Electric Avenue.
Market in Electric Avenue
Further along that street, I saw the entrace to Brixton Village, which is an indoor market consisting of several arcades. It was an extremely cold day, so I was glad to be in a covered area.
Restaurant tables in Brixton Village
Entrance to the Reliance Arcade in Brixton Village
I booked a room at Travelodge London Bank for four nights in March 2013. The total cost was £146, on the non-refundable Saver rate, booked 5 months in advance. £36.50 a night is a really good price for Zone 1 ensuite double room in a London hotel. The hotel is a two minute walk from either Cannon St or Bank stations. There’s an M&S Food at Cannon St station and a Tesco Express about five minutes walk away. Many of the restaurants and cafes nearby are closed at the weekend.
Travelodge sign in St Swithin’s Lane
I arrived at the hotel around 12.30 but check-in wasn’t until 15.00. As Travelodge don’t offer luggage storage facilities and I wanted to make the most of the daylight hours, I paid the £10 early check-in charge, enabling me to deposit my suitcase in my room and get out and about. I was allocated a double room on the first floor, directly above the hotel entrance overlooking the cobbled courtyard, shared with a restaurant. I was a bit concerned that my room might be noisy if people from the restuarant and hotel came out into the courtyard for a cigarette, or if the restaurant’s rubbish bins were wheeled out early in the morning. But I wasn’t disturbed by any exterior noise.
Here’s a photo tour of some of the most beautiful bridges in the UK.
The Forth Rail Bridge from South Queensferry
Coldstream Bridge fom the Scottish side
Last time we were in Glasgow walking to our usual Sunday lunch eaterie, the Kama Sutra Restaurant in Sauchiehall Street, we spotted Cook & Indi’s World Buffet. We decided to give it a try. It cost £9.99 all day on a Sunday.
Exterior of Cook & Indi’s World Buffet in Glasgow
The restaurant interior is decorated with various wooden panels. We requested a booth at the back of the restaurant The waiting staff had to check with the manager if we could sit at the booth, as it could’ve seated six and there were only four of us. Fortunately, we were permitted to sit in the booth which was spacious and quiet, ideal for a family get-together.
Interior decoration at Cook & Indi’s World Buffet in Glasgow
There was a selection of Chinese, Thai, Italian, Indian and Japanese food. I didn’t try any of the Italian food or the Japanese Sushi.
Selection of starters at Cook & Indi’s World Buffet in Glasgow
I stayed at Travelodge London Clapham Junction for two nights in March 2013. I chose this hotel because it cost £34 a night for a family room, booked around 10 weeks in advance, and I wanted to explore the Clapham area.
Family room at Travelodge Clapham Junction (taken with fish eye)
Although there isn’t a Tube station at Clapham Junction, there’s a very frequent rail service into Victoria Station (a ten minute journey) and it’s a stop on the London Overground. It only took me a couple of minutes to walk from Clapaham Junction station to the hotel. There’s an Lidl supermarket opposite the hotel, a McDonald’s up the road and plenty of other shops, restaurants and bars within a five minute walk.
Exterior of Travelodge London Clapham Junction
The receptionist was very friendly. I was allocated a room on the second floor. It was a large family room, nice and bright with two windows. I could hear a bit of exterior noise as there was a bus stop across the road. However I didn’t hear anything from adjoining rooms.
The Travelodge London Clapham Junction doesn’t have a Bar Cafe, so there’s no free WiFi here. I did have problems getting online with both my USB modems. I assume this was because I was on a lower floor, if I stay there again I’ll request a room on a higher floor which should improve the mobile broadband signal.
I thought it was about time that we had a hashtag for tweets about travel in Great Britain, aka the United Kingdom (UK), so I’ve created the #gbtravel hashtag. If you’re tweeting about travelling in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland, could you please add the #gbtravel hashtag.
The hashtag should make it easier for anyone interested in travelling in Great Britian to find additional relevant articles, photos and videos to help plan their trip.
We’ve lots of tips for things to do in the UK on Europe a la Carte.
#gbtravel on Twitter
My #gbtravel Pinterest Board
I’ve also got a #gbtravel board on Pinterest.
In yet another case of taking years to visit someplace that we’ve passed on many occasions, we finally stopped at Greeenknowe Tower, just outside the village of Gordon in the Scottish Borders. We’re usually on our way home from Melrose when we drive past the Greenknowe Tower and it’s either getting dark or we just want to get home. However, we were doing our usual circuit in the opposite direction, so no excuses not to visit the Tower.
Greenknowe Tower from the road
There are small laybys for parking on both sides of the road and a gravel path up to the Tower. The 16th century four storey tower house is in the care of Historic Scotland, but unattended and free to enter. I was (happily) surprised that you could enter and climb to the top of the the Tower, the spiral steps were a bit slippy with bird droppings and it was dark. Maybe the Health and Safety Inspector hasn’t gotten around to visiting yet.
The gravel path up to Greenknowe Tower
On the drive back home from the Tourism Fife Conference 2013, I decided to take the scenic route along the coast of southern Fife from Kinghorn to North Queensferry, before crossing the Forth Road Bridge.
Unfortunately, it was pretty misty when I arrived at Kinghorm Harbour, meaning that the usual views over to the southern banks of the Forth Estuary were obscured.
Inchkeith Island in the Forth Estuary from Kinghorn Harbour
My next stop was in Burntisland. Although it was late February, it was mild and still enough to sit on a bench on the Prom for a few minuutes.
Scenic rail route alongside Burntisland Prom