Tag Archives: London travel blog

Tate Modern

St Paul’s to Tate Modern to London Eye

October 2017

Our last day in London is a walk pass St Paul’s cathedral to Tate Modern and onwards to London Eye. This has been on our itinerary since 2015 but ranked low, thus never realised. We made this year (2017) a point to accomplish this. Getting off our bus at King Edward Street, we walk through Paternoster Square to reach the back portion of St Paul. Walking around the cathedral to the front will lead you to the Millennium Bridge across river Thames and to Tate Modern museum on the other side.

St Paul's Cathedral

The back of St Paul’s cathedral from Paternoster Square. Bronze sculpture of man & sheep in the foreground.

Front view of St Paul’s cathedral.

St Paul's Cathedral

This ‘old’ London bus still operates it’s route in-front of St Paul’s cathedral.

Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge at the far end and the chimney of Tate Modern clearly visible.

Millennium Bridge

The start (or is it the end) of the Millennium Bridge beside City of London school.

Millennium Bridge

As you look backwards from the bridge, the City of London school & St Paul’s cathedral.

Towards your left walking to Tate Modern, past the Southwark Bridge, is the Tower Bridge and the Shard, the tallest building in UK.

Millennium Bridge

MBNA Thames Clippers under the bridge. It’s the fastest and most frequent river bus service on the Thames.

Millennium Bridge

Tate Modern in full view.

Millennium Bridge

The other end of the Millennium Bridge at Tate Modern.

Tate Modern

This lone female busker in-front Tate Modern entrance really entertained everyone.

Tate Modern is a museum that houses UK’s national and international collection of modern & contemporary arts. It is located in the former Bankside Power Station in London just off river Thames directly across St Paul’s cathedral. The power station ceased operations in 1981 and Tate Modern was opened in May, 2000.

Tate Modern

Building housing Tate Modern.

If you entered the building through the ‘Turbine Hall’ this is a massive 500 feet by 75 feet area with a height of 115 feet. The building also has a chimney 325 feet in height. Entrance is free for access to the collection displays, while tickets are required for the major temporary exhibitions. The building comprises of two units namely the 6-storey Boiler House and the 10-storey Blavatnik Building.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern’s vast ‘Turbine Hall’. A huge silver pendulum swing backwards & forwards above the entrance.

Currently until 2 April, 2018 the ‘Turbine Hall’ is hosting a work commissioned by Hyundai what is known as ‘One Two Three Swing!’ which turns the ‘Turbine Hall’ into an adult playground. Visitors can lie on the stripped carpet of the sloping entrance and be hypnotised by a large pendulum swinging from the ceiling. The carpet is thick so it is comfortable to rest on. Further onwards, are collection of 3-person swings in an effort to encourage interaction between visitors sitting next to someone who one might not usually interact with.

Tate Modern

The area with ‘One Two Three Swing!’       Credit : standard.co.uk

Tate Modern

One of the levels inside Tate Modern.

Tate Modern

Another level in Tate Modern.

Tate Modern

Photo gallery exhibition.

Tate Modern

Sculpture in one of the exhibition hall.

Tate Modern

You go figure out what this is.

Tate Modern

‘Informational’ wall in Tate Modern.

There are 2 viewing levels at Tate Modern. One is at Kitchen & Bar on the 6th floor of the ‘Boiler House’ building. This is actually part of Kitchen & Bar area overlooking river Thames and you can quickly take pictures and be done with if you do not intend to have any food or drink there. Their rest room facility is also free to use.

Tate Modern

Kitchen & Bar on the 6th floor of ‘Boiler House’.

Tate Modern

The bar facing the Thames. Nice views.

The viewing level on 10th floor of Blavatnik Building is a free open air covered level where you have 360° view of London. On a clear day, you can see London for miles. So, forget about paying expansive tickets for London views from the London Eye or the Shard.

Tip: You can get views of London for free from the Sky Garden at the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building but you need to book a free ticket very well in advance.

Tate Modern

Views towards St Paul’s cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from the 10th floor viewing level of Blavatnik Building. The chimney of Tate Modern which stands 325 feet towers over the viewing level.

Tate Modern

Blackfriars Bridge over river Thames.

Tate Modern

The Millennium Bridge with a tug boat underneth pulling containers on barges.

Tate Modern

The Shard on the right and across river Thames, the ‘walkie talkie’ (20 Fenchurch) building to the left.

Tate Modern

The 52 storey ‘One Blackfriars’ building under construction.

Finished with our tour of Tate Modern, we headed to London Eye. Took the hydrogen powered ‘RV’ bus  and got off at Royal Festival Hall. A stroll along ‘The Queen’s Walk’, leads to the London Eye and the Waterloo Bridge. Along the way, there is carousel ride for kid and adult alike, a Caribbean group doing street performance as well as a lone soldier performing robot like act.

Hydrogen Powered Bus, London

The Hydrogen powered bus of London.

Royal Festival Hall

Morning food market in-front of Royal Festival Hall on Fri-Sun. Halal food available here.

The Queen's Walk

A merry-go-round along The Queen’s Walk heading to London Eye.

The Queen's Walk

A street performance by a Caribbean group along ‘The Queen’s Walk’ besides Jubilee Gardens.

The Queen's Walk

A solo act by a group member.

London Eye

London Eye and Big Ben (under renovation) in the distance.

The Queen's Walk

This robotic act is really intriguing.

The Queen's Walk

The captivating act needs to be rewarded. Shook hands with the soldier but the hand felt soft. Could this be G.I. Jane ?

Although we were at London Eye, we didn’t take a ride in it. We haven’t done so and will probably not be doing it in the near future. Not only is the ticket expansive, the crowd is just ridicalous. Anyway, for the skyline of London, we’ve done that from the air via flight coming into London City Airport, The Shard, Sky Garden,  and of-course from Tate Modern which we consider the best venue on ground.

London Eye

The lines for London Eye.

London Eye

If you think this is crowded, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Come and see the line during peak period.

Big Ben London

Big Ben undergoing renovation. Scaffoldings an eyesore. Target completion : 2021 !

A shot of Big Ben under the arches of the Waterloo Bridge.

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf, London – Night Scene

October 2017

Our night out in London this time around is Canary Wharf. We’ve seen several captivating Canary Wharf night scenes in YouTube and tought this might be a good walkabout to do albait the cold single digit night. Getting off the tube at Canary Wharf station, you’ll exit the station via steep escalators to the street level.

Canary Wharf is a major business district in London. It is one of UK’s two main financial centres, the other being the City of London. It’s 16 million square feet of office and retail space has many of Europe’s tallest buildings, including the second tallest in the UK, One Canada Square. Canary Wharf is home to the world’s or European headquarters of major banks, professional services firms, and media organisations. It cater jobs for more than 100,000 Londoners in the area.

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf from 1802 to 1939 was one of the busiest docks in the world. After 1960s, the port industry began to decline leading to all the docks being closed by 1980. The British Government then adopted policies to stimulate redevelopment of the area. The Canary Wharf of today began with the idea to convert it into a back-office operation  centre.

Canary Wharf would unlikly be on the list of attractions for the first time tourist to UK. Our first impression of the night scene was a little dismayed as it’s not as glittering as we’ve seen on videos before. The streets are deserted and the lights isn’t as fancy as seen. This probably is due to we being there in early October. Should we been here just before Christmas, things may have been very different.

Nonetheless, most of our pictures of Canary Wharf at night do turn out to our satisfaction. Below are pictures we’ve taken during our walkabout. Apologies for no caption attached to the pictures.

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf night sceneCanary Wharf night scene

Canary Wharf shopping mall

Canary Wharf lower level shopping mall.

Canary Wharf shopping mall

Another section of the mall.

Canary Wharf night scene

Escalator down to the tube station.

Canary Wharf night scene

Heading towards the tube platform. Rather deserted at around 10 p.m.

Camden

Camden to Regent’s Park Mosque

Second time visiting Camden, this time covering what we didn’t the previous year. Coming on a working day makes a whole world of difference in that the maddening weekend crowd isn’t there. You can do your browsing on your own pace minus the jostling and get attended to by the shop personnel. The varieties of things you can find in Camden is enormous.

Coming by bus No.27 from stop ET Edgware, we dropped off at stop CQ on Chalk Farm Road, This stop is basically located near to the entrance of Stables Market. Just a few meters ahead to your right, you’ll come to Hartland Road where on this road, you’ll find houses painted in different colors and a couple of street art.

Hartland Road with it’s multi colored painted houses.

Similar to what you’ll find at Portobello Road.

Hartland Road, Camden

One of the street art along Hartland Road.

Hartland Road, Camden

This isn’t a rainy night at Camden. It’s another street art. Notice the electrical box and a ladder on the right.

You would not believe the Stables Market was once a stable and a horse hospital housing a sizable herd of horses used to transport goods along the Camden canal. In Victorian times, the stables is where injured horses pulling barges down the canals would come for treatment.

The Stables Market and a couple other markets in Camden expanded in the 70s, when artists and artisans began to open stalls. Over 450 shops and stalls are housed here selling vintage wares, accessories, jewellery, alternative clothing, furniture and imported ethnic goods.

Entrance to Stable’s Market just next to bus stop ‘CQ’.

Stables Market, Camden

Deck chairs at the entrance to the lower ground bazaars. Proud Camden is a nightclub.

Stables Market, Camden

That’s “Stables Market since 1854”.

Clothing store in Stable’s Market.

Figurines in display cabinet.

A mix of everything.

Assortment of items for sale along the passageway in Stable’s Market.

Varieties of handbags to choose from.

Multi colored Turkish lampshades.

Meanwhile, along Camden High Street, the main road across Camden, you’ll find varieties of shops selling well, varieties of products from antiques to top of the line branded goods. You will note the shops here display their wares on the facade of the their stores in gigantic sizes.

Camden

Even restaurant do not want to loose out. Dragon on the facade.

The Camden Market sells mainly clothing.

Camden

Camden underground station.

For lunch we headed to Poppies Fish & Chips on Hawley Cres. Poppie’s is renowned for their authentic fish and chips. This is our first time tasting Poppie’s Fish & Chips and we can say it’s one of the best we’ve eaten. Beforehand, the waitress confirms the batter does not contain alcohol. We were at Poppie’s well before 12 o’clock, thus getting a table wasn’t a problem otherwise, it’s usually pack during lunch. Our order of 2 regular haddock cost £29.98

Poppies Fish & Chips just off Camden High Street on Hawley Crescent.

Interior of Poppies.

Fish & Chips for lunch. The sauces comes in cute little bottles.

Right after lunch we took bus no. 274 heading towards Park Road stop ‘P’. Here, we’ll be going to the London Central Mosque to perform our afternoon prayer. The London Central Mosque built in 1974 and opened in 1978 is located close Regent’s Park thus aka Regent’s Park Mosque. It’s the biggest mosque in London that we’ve been to. The building is situated on it’s own site complete with dome and minaret. Ablution place is on the lower floor whilst the big carpeted prayer hall is above. The mosque itself can accommodate as many as 5,000 worshipers in it prayer halls and courtyard.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

The mosque is situated just off bus stop ‘P’ on Park Road.

Minaret & dome of the London Central Mosque.

The central courtyard. Entrance to the prayer hall is to the right.

Ablution area situated on the lower level.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

The main prayer hall.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

Another view of the prayer hall.

After prayers, we took a stroll along Regent’s Park walking from Hanover Gate behind the mosque to Clarence Gate to exit for Baker Street. Autumn leaves already evident and flocks of birds, ducks, geese and the like patronising the lake. The cool autumn weather makes the walk pleasant. Onto another bus ride from Baker Street and we’re back to our hotel.

Regent's Park, London

Regent’s Park.

Regent's Park, London

Autumn leaves at the park.

Regent's Park, London

Family on the way for a swim.

Regent's Park, London

Community hogging the green.

Regent's Park, London

Along ‘Boating Lake’. BT Tower in the background.

Regent's Park, London

Across the ‘Boating Lake’.

Regent's Park, London

Clarence Bridge across the ‘Boating Lake’.

Regent's Park, London

Clarence Gate, the entrance from Baker Street at the far end.