Christine’s fourth day in London was Monday – my birthday! The day started with some birthday presents, and then we headed to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. Unfortunately the weather was not good, but this was the only day we could go to see them, as the last day it would happen before Christine went to Scotland was the day we’d be at the Harry Potter studios.
We did the same thing as last time – instead of crowding in front of the palace to watch the changing of the guard in the yard, we stood by the Mall to watch the guards come down the road. Unfortunately there was no musical accompaniment this time (this wasn’t mentioned on the website, so I wondered if it was due to the rain) and not as many soldiers. Also, because it’s winter the guardsmen wore their grey winter coats over their red uniforms so didn’t look quite as spectacular. The horse guard still had red uniforms on though. After taking some photos of them, we headed across to Birdcage Walk to get a photo of the second group that come out from Wellington Barracks, but there were none this time.
For the afternoon we decided to do some shopping, mainly because Christine had only come to London with one pair of shoes. We went to the Westfield at Shepherd’s Bush, which might have been more enjoyable if it wasn’t full of post-Christmas-sale shoppers and we’d been able to find somewhere to sit in the foodcourt. The shopping centre was impressive though, and we found Christine another pair of shoes. On our way back to the train station we popped into a library to print out a whole range of tickets we would need for the next few days.
In the evening we went to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Fortunately the weather had cleared up while we were shopping and we had perfect weather for wondering around a fair.
We had pre-booked tickets for the Ice Kingdom, which at £9 was probably a little over-priced, but it was fun and we didn’t do any of the other pre-booking, over-priced activities like the ice-skating or giant ferris wheel.
We didn’t go on any of the rides though, but spent a lot of time looking through the markets and exploring the different food stalls and bars.
So even though we didn’t get up to a lot during the day, the evening was fun and a bit different! Definitely keen to come back next year and maybe have a go on some of the rides!