London long weekend – part 1

I always enjoy travelling by train, and the journey from Manchester to London is rarely an exception to that. A speedy two hours seems to slip past quite effortlessly. Even with the minor annoyance of the woman blabbing loudly on her phone in the quiet coach (I think she twigged from people’s glares – not mine! – as she moved out of the carriage after five minutes or so of this.

Anyway, a train journey seems to relax me into readiness for a trip away. I stepped off the train at Euston into a surprising chill at the start of a weekend where I decided to do my best to avoid what I consider to be the obvious things to do in the capital (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

My port of call for the afternoon was Richmond. The Thames is really quite pleasant there and I sat there for a while with my M&S lunch. As an aside, I’m not sure I’d recommend their beetroot crisps. An odd taste, although they do do interesting things to the colour of your wee.. IMG_20150227_150625IMG_20150227_143644
After lunch, I made my way along it to a National Trust property, Ham House. I’d checked the website the day before to see that it was open (many NT properties aren’t between November and March), so was a bit disconcerted to arrive and discover it was only partially open and then only by tour rather than open access. Fortunately, I arrived just as a tour was starting, so didn’t have to wait. The lady leading the tour was a fount of knowledge about the history of the place and presented it in a very engaging manner.
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It was great afterwards to explore the below stairs areas and then meander through the gardens, even (as the wind had dropped and the sun had arrived) sitting there for a while enjoying the setting.
I eventually wandered back along the river and looked a little more around the centre of Richmond. Although it’s mostly your usual high street shops, it has a nice feel to it, including some lovely colonnaded bits, a cute row of terrace cottages just off the high street and a nice semi-hidden square which I stumbled into.
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Part 2Part 3

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