A new sight in London: The unofficial ‘Covid Memorial Wall’

When Ellie & I were going for a little stroll along the Thames yesterday afternoon, we spotted the London Covid Memorial Wall for the first time. It stretches over 500 metres just opposite the Houses of Parliament, next to the riverbank and St Thomas’s Hospital. This clinic is where Boris Johnson and a significant percentage of central London Covid patients have received care. The Memorial is still a work in progress, with roughly 120,000 of the planned 150,000 hearts completed since the first heart was painted on the Wall a bit over a week ago on Monday, 29th March. 150,000 hearts 150,000 hearts representing 150,000 dead. That’s the same number of people as live in Oxford or roughly 16 times the population of the City of London’s 9,400 residents. (For our friends from further afield: The City of London is only a tiny part of the UK’s capital, and this […]

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Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink – Perhaps London’s Best Ice Rink

We have just returned from our visit to Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, which opened today and will be open until 17 January (extended from the initial 3 January end date). Except for Christmas Day, the rink will be open every day from 10am to 9pm. The last skate starts at 8pm. From 18 December, the hours will be extended to 9am to 9:45pm. Tickets Pre-booking is required. Sessions last up to 45mins and guests are being asked to arrive at least 15mins early. Adults and teens pay £16, children £11.50. There are discounts for families. Food and drinks are available on location. Light Show We prefer visiting during daytime. However, many guests choose to do their skating after dark, when the castle is covered in a stunning light show. Family-friendly fun We were very pleasantly surprised to find the large (1,040 sqm) skating area almost empty, compared with our […]

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120 Fenchurch Street Rooftop Terrace – Some of the best views of London

In February last year, The Garden at 120 in 120 Fenchurch Street in the City of London opened to the public. It is the largest roof top in London, operates on a first-come first-serve policy and it is completely free. You simply rock up, enjoy the digital art installation by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier on the ceiling of the lobby (psychedelic, rotating flowers on multiple levels, when we visited, but there are different themes at different times), go through the airport-like security check, then make your way to the elevators, which will take you up to the 15th floor. The 360 degree views are magnificent and very different to the views from the tops of the surrounding skyscrapers. Apparently some people are upset that the Gherkin, Cheesegrater, and surrounding buildings ‘block the view’… I was just blown away by the beautiful views onto those skyscrapers right in front of […]

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Racing e-karts around TeamSport’s Acton race track – I’ll never drive a petrol-kart again!

Last week I tried out karting with an e-kart for the first time at TeamSport in Acton, West London. I had previously checked out their petrol karts with Ms B in Mitcham, which had been great fun, but not really much of a racing experience. The petrol karts hardly managed to get me up the ramps and they failed to accelerate my 105kg frame to any serious speed despite the fact that I never put my foot off the gas pedal. With e-karts, everything is very different. Electric karts have much more torque and acceleration. Even their top lap time is around one second better than that of the petrol-driven ones. For fat guys like me, or, indeed, for anyone weighing more than 75kg, this makes all the difference. While back then, it was more like a bit of light afternoon amusement, much like high tea, this time around, it […]

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Skylight Ice Rink, Shadwell – Close to impossible to find, but good fun once you’re there

We’ve recently checked out the Skylight Ice Rink in East London, which is located on a roof top of the Tobacco Dock. Take the DLR from Bank (one stop) or London Overground from Whitchapel (one stop) or Canada Water (three stops) to Shadwell station. From the station, walk Cable Street westward until you get to the first major crossing, where you turn left into Cannon Street Road. Walk down Cannon Street Road until you get to The Highway. Turn left into The Highway, then immediately right into Chigwell Hill. When you reach the T-junction with Pennington Street, the Tobacco Dock parking house entrance will be on the opposite side of the street slightly to your left. The walking distance from the station is no more than five minutes. There will not be any meaningful signage, but just enter the parking house and the porter will point you towards the staircase […]

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