Start of our 2nd day in London, we are off to Primark at 499, Oxford Street. What’s peculiar is Primark opens for business as early as 8.00 a.m. We’re not shopaholic to come early but to beat the maddening crowd during the later hours as what we had experienced the previous years.
Nice to note Primark has a return or refund policy within 28 days of purchase. The return or refund can be made from any of their branches. This means, purchase made in Edinburgh can be returned or refunded in London. Foreigners who are entitled for VAT refund, bundle all your purchase receipts and get it done from any of Primark’s branches irrespective of which branch the purchase has been made.
Once shopping done, we took a bus in-front of Primark and headed to Italian Water Gardens located within Kensington Gardens. We got off at the bus stop on Bayswater Road opposite Lancaster Gate tube station. One of the entrance gates into the garden, is just by the bus stop. Unlike Hyde Park, the Italian Water Gardens is gated and opens at 6.00 a.m. and closes at varying times according to the season.
The Kensington Gardens where the Italian Water Gardens is located, was part of Kensington Palace in the past. It was built 150 years ago as a gift to Queen Victoria from Prince Albert. The park covers an area of 270 acres and is located to the west of Hyde Park. The main attraction is the fountains and its quiet surrounding even though Bayswater Road is a stone’s throw away. From here, we can see from a distance, the Speke Monument.
Back on the bus heading towards Shepherd’s Bush, we got off at Notting Hill Gate (stop N, about 4 stops away) just before the tube station. Walk ahead and turn left for Kensington Church street. About 80 metres to your right across the road, you’ll find ‘The Churchill Arms’. The whole building is almost entirely covered with colourful flowers, even in Autumn. This is a favorite photo spot not to be missed.
Back again on the bus, we headed to Shepherd’s Bush getting off at Shepherd’s Bush Road bus stop ‘J’ on Goldhawk Road. Along this road, there are tons of textile stores if you are looking for fabric. A little further up is Goldhawk Road tube station and across the road is Shepherd’s Bush market. We’ve been here in 2016 and as written in our previous post, it’s just an everyday market. If you are short of time, you would not miss much if this market is not in your itinerary. Our main intention getting here is to have lunch at one of the restaurants at the other end of the market besides Shepherd’s Bush market tube station and to perform our midday prayers at a nearby mosque.
After lunch, it’s a 300 metres walk from the other end of the market to Shepherd’s Bush mosque. The mosque is located in between shop lots at 302, Uxbridge Road. The female prayer hall is upstairs whilst the male downstairs. There was a big congregation for the midday ‘Zohor’ prayers full to the brim at the male prayer hall.
After prayers it’s back on the bus heading to Westfield London, a huge shopping mall close to Shepherd’s Bush tube station. Don’t be confused with Shepherd’s Bush Market tube station which is ½ mile away. At Westfield, you’ll find all the big brand names. Westfield is where most Londoners shop, not at Oxford Street where it’s flooded with tourist. Although you can find big brand names along Regent’s Street, Westfield offers the convenience of everything under one roof.