Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Holborn - Perfect Day in London

I know you'll love today's Perfect Day in London.  It is another free day in this great city I call home. 

This perfect day starts at Holborn Station, which is on the Piccadilly & Central Lines.  The Holborn area of the city is one that I know very well.  Before we moved to London, this was usually our homebase when we visited because one of Matt's offices is not far from the station.  The apartment we lived in for a few weeks upon moving to London is just down the street as well.  Aside from that, it's just a cool area with a ton of history.    

Walk out the front of Holborn Station and turn left to follow Kingsway. Turn left a few blocks down onto Remnant Street.
You'll follow this until you come to a park called Lincoln's Inn Fields.  If the weather permits take some time to appreciate that this is the largest public square in London.  You'll see people exercising, playing tennis, or relaxing on the benches.  If you are lucky you might get to see some performers practice juggling bowling pins and cracking a whip.  You just never know what you'll see in London.  Also be sure to admire the houses that line the square.  

The next stop on this Perfect Day in London is in one of those houses back on Remant Street/Lincoln's Inn Field at the Sir John Soane Museum.  This free museum is Soane's former home and it is filled to the brim with more antiquities that you ever thought could be in a home.  The curators are quite passionate about the museum and tend to follow you around just to be sure you don't touch anything.  They don't bother you, per se, but there's certainly a sense of someone always watching.  Despite that, completely worth a visit.  If you visit soon, you can also book a tour of Soane's private apartments.    

When you leave the Soane manor, walk directly across the green space to the Royal College of Surgeons where you will find the Huntarian Museum (click link for my blog post).  The museum's namesake worked hard to collect medical specimens for study and preservation.  Don't be put off by the subject because this specimens in the museum are presented quite tastefully.  The building below does not quite look like a museum, but the nice people at the front desk will point you in the right direction.    

After seeing all of the body parts in jars, I bet you are starving for lunch.  You are in luck as there are many, many choices for lunch near Holborn Station.  Back on Kingsway across the street from Holborn Station is Wagamama Noodle Bar.  This restaurant is a chain, but they consistently make great food.  You'll sit at communal-style tables while you eat your ramen or curry.  If noodles aren't on your palate for today Kingsway has several grab & go/quick service places instead (EAT, Wasabi, Pret a Manger).  

If you are not yet hungry take the half-mile walk to Covent Garden.  This area of town has a lot of restaurants in the piazza and surrounding streets.      

After lunch take some time to explore Covent Garden.  The buskers begging for money are quite varied from the floating Yoda to a live magic show.  The streets surrounding the Piazza are fun to window shop, too.

As of May 2015, Covent Garden Underground station is exit only.  If the tube is your mode of transport today, you will need to find your way to another station.  Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road, and Holborn stations are not far from Covent Garden.  

I hope you like this Perfect Day in London!  Let me know if you've visited any or all of these sites, I'd like to know what you thought.

Every day can be a Perfect Day in London as long as you are prepared.  Always have a collapsible umbrella in your bag.  No matter the weather, dress in layers.  The shade-filled streets, museums, and parks can be significantly cooler than the sunny sidewalks. 

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