Thursday, 14 May 2015

Weekend in London

This weekend my wife and I had a lovely overnight stay in central London.  At the end of last year my son had entered a competition to win some theatre tokens...much to our amazement he won the top prize (we hadn't even realised there was one!!) of £200 worth of tokens and a night in a central London hotel!  We weren't quite sure which hotel it was going to be and I had visions of a Premier Inn in Hackney but it turned out to be the very nice Park Plaza at County Hall, just next to the London Eye.

As we live on the southern edge of London this might not sound like a huge trip away but we were both very in need of a break so, leaving my son to dog-sit for the night we headed off to London.

There isn't going to be very much gaming related in this post but here are a few of the things we saw...

On the Saturday evening we met some old friends for dinner...we hadn't seen them from about 15 years despite them living in the same city... and had a wander around the South Bank, being tourists and admiring/criticising the architecture.  As this coincided with VE day there were some illuminations going on the mark the occasion

The view from our room

Lots of VE illuminations

On Sunday, after making the most of the breakfast, we took the Thames Clipper up (or is it down) to Greenwich.  On the way we passed HMS President, a Flower class Q Ship and one of 3 surviving WWI Royal Navy warships, now used for entertainment and dining.  This has been repainted in a contemporary take on Dazzle camouflage and is very striking...

HMS President

More info about the project can be found here

We also passed HQS Wellington which I must admit I'd been unaware of.  It is a Grimsby class sloop and again is mainly used for entertainment but does seem to also have a museum onboard as well and is currently hosting an exhibition on Hospital and Troop ships in WWI. More info on Wellington can be found here

HQS Wellington

We eventually arrived at Greenwich and found HMS Ocean moored there...

HMS Ocean is the Royal Navy's only Amphibious Assault ship, built in Govan...possibly by my brother-in-law!    As well as service in Sierra Leone and Iraq, Ocean also has the honour of accidentally invading Spain in 2002 when some of her Marines accidentally landed on the 'wrong' beach!!

We spent the afternoon mooching about the market at Greenwich and then discovered that the large queue we'd spotted was for people who had pre-arranged tickets to go on board Ocean, which explained the large numbers of heavily armed police and marines we'd spotted!  Someone in the queue offered us his tickets as some friends had cancelled but sadly we had to decline as time was getting on.

In all our trip lasted just over 24 hours by the time we'd made it home but it felt like a well-earned holiday!


  1. Sounds excellent. You certainly got a lot in! I have visited HQS Wellington regularly as she is the livery hall for the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and I have a friend who is a member. They do excellent curry lunches every month and have a very good wine cellar (or wine bilge, perhaps).