On a recent trip to the UK to visit family, I decided to treat the children (and myself, of course) to a couple of nights in London before flying back to Switzerland. As I was travelling on my own with the children, I reckoned that 2 nights would be plenty, but another night/day would have been nice, although I'm sure my credit card was glad I kept it short and sweet! We started by taking the train down to London from Telford, which is just north-west of Birmingham. Having heard all kinds of horror stories about trains in England being expensive and delayed by leaves on the line, or both, I decided to play safe and book online in advance here. And I was glad I did. The site is very easy to use and you can see the different prices at a glance i.e. the more off-peak the train, the lower the price. Once you book your train online and pay by credit card, you are sent a code. You can then print your own tickets at machines at the railway station using the code and the credit card you booked with. So, having arrived at Euston station in London, we took a black cab to the hotel, as we had our suitcases and wanted to save a bit of time. With hindsight, it would have been quicker and alot cheaper to use the Tube, as the roads were terribly congested and the journey took quite a long time. But anyway, the children got to travel in a black cab. We stayed at the Premier Inn County Hall (thanks for recommending that, Kim!) which is situated in a great location right next to the London Eye and about 3 mins walk from Waterloo tube station. I booked the hotel directly on the Premier Inn site. I couldn't fault the hotel - the rooms were clean, comfortable and modern and the hotel restaurant came in handy too. After settling into the room we set off literally around the corner to the London Eye. I hadn't managed to book this online, so we had to queue for tickets and again to get on, but we were so excited about going on it and the weather was so fabulous, it didn't seem to matter. You can book in advance online here. Well, what can I say? The whole experience was spectacular. I particularly liked the fact that they don't cram each "pod" full to capacity, so that you have plenty of room to move around and enjoy the view from all angles.
We had booked the "Day and Night Experience" where you can go on at night as well, so we simply popped out again after dinner at the hotel. And the "Night Experience" was arguably even better than the "Day Experience":
The next day was our only full day in London and in retrospect a bit of forward planning would have helped......more on that tomorrow!