London, March 2017


Thanks to heavily discounted United Airlines fares on the San Francisco to London Heathrow route we were able to spend a week in London last week.

The weather forecast was for rain everyday but on arrival we were pleased the forecasters were wrong.  We had sunshine everyday except our last day.

We saw three musicals, three movies, a day at Hampton Court Palace and the rest of the time exploring new parts of town and new restaurants.

We hope you enjoy the photos below and some of the suggestions we offer for your next visit.

J&J

Mercury’s statue at Piccadilly Circus.
Morning view of Parliament from Piccadilly Circus.

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the town of Hampton, Richmond upon Thames.  It is 11.7 miles from Central London.  We took the Underground to the Waterloo Station where we boarded a Southwest train to Hampton, about 30 minutes away.

Note:  We used London’s Oyster card which can be “recharged” with British Pounds at any subway or train station.  The Oyster card can be used to and from the airport, buses, subways, and railways.  Greater London is divided into 6 transit zones.  For example: Central London is Zone 1, Hampton is Zone 6.

Entrance courtyard to Henry VIII Tudor style palace dating to 1514.
Labyrinth of service areas to support the Tudor portion of the palace.
Henry VIII and the Great Hall below.

200 years later, the Stuarts occupied the palace with extensive additions for William III.
The Stuart’s expansion nearly doubles the size of the Palace.
Self portrait in William III throne room.
Lunch suggestion. Prince of Wales (pub), 23 Bridge Street, Hampton Court, East Molesey KT8 9EU www.princeofwaleskt8.co.uk

The Wallace Collection 

We finally had time to visit one of our favorite art museums in central London.  It is open 7 days a week. It’s free, and set in a historic London Townhouse with an incredible collection of old masters, furniture, porcelains and armory.

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN, United Kingdom.  www.wallacecollection.org

Theatre

Theater in London is always a high point for any visit.  Shows are plentiful, prices are affordable (especially when compared to US prices).

We like to use the TKTS kiosk in Leicester Square.  It is owned and operated by the Society of London Theaters.  That means there is no middle man so prices are comparatively affordable.

We saw three matinees the week we were there.

Kinky Boots in the Adelphi Theater, based on real events this musical is funny, charming, clever and relevant.  The show runs 2 hours, 30 minutes.  Our seats were right of center stage about 10 rows back and cost about £45 each.

Rating. 

Beautiful – Carol King Musical played in the Aldrich Theater is based on the life of Carol King.  It is very entertaining, engaging, often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking and always entertaining.  The run time is 2 hours, 25 minutes.  The encore will get you on your feet!  Our seats were in the rear third of the orchestra section but with a great view of the stage. Our tickets cost just under £40 each.

Rating.  

Dreamgirls played at the gorgeous Savoy Theater.  The famed Broadway production has been around for years but we had never seen it.  It was a spectacular show with a super talented cast.  It is a modern day classic story and a great production.  Run time was 2 hours, 40 minutes.  Our seats were third row on the left, an awesome view.  The tickets were £50 each.

Rating  

Note:  Plane tickets to London are still affordable.  British Airways just announced new nonstop service Oakland to London Gatwick for $503 round trip.  Other cities pairs are even less!!

 

2 thoughts on “London, March 2017”

  1. Of course my favorite is the self portrait in the William III throne room!

    Those fares are incredibly cheap! Go back!

    Xoxo

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