Mims' Musings

Posts Tagged ‘travel tips

Tim Peake’s Picture of London from Space

I have lived in South East London (right inside the green circle) for my whole life. It’s a 25 minute overground train journey to Central London (referred to as Central for short). The squiggly black line in the middle is the River Thames (pronounced “Tems” – please note my pronunciation guides are half serious, half satire on my own ridiculous accent). 

When I travel to other countries, I seek out the places the residents love to spend time, so I thought I’d share with you my favourite 5 London spots. Please feel free to comment with your favourites- either in London, or in your hometown!

1. Greenwich (pronounced “grenitch”) Park

Greenwich Park is just 15 minutes drive from my house and I’ve always loved it. My Dad always drove me here when I was feeling anxious, we used to pick chestnuts there in the autumn (I still try to) and it still makes me feel calm, like a landmark touchstone. Apart from beautiful views, I love visiting the Royal Observatory (where I used to work), and walking down the hill into the town and visiting Greenwich Market or walking by the river. 

2. Borough (pronounced “burra”) Market 

Food heaven, what more could you want? Endless stalls of enticing produce, my favourites are the Thai coconut pancake stall, and the cheese stall. There’s also a great takeaway pasta place which can’t be beaten. Plus there are brilliant restaurants around the market too, including one where everything on the menu involves chocolate! 

3. Southbank Centre 

There’s so much to do here, some of the best theatre, author talks, free art installations, a shops which are great for presents that are a bit unusual, endless restaurants, but my favourite thing is how much of the building you can access and just relax in. One of the top floors has a children’s library play area where little ones can crawl and run around, and another floor has sofas overlooking the Thames where I’ve spent hours reading a book, I’ve even fallen asleep there and no one has bothered me. 

4. Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop (Covent Garden)

I love the buzz of Covent Garden, but this toyshop is so special. At the back of the picture you can see their speciality- cardboard pop up theatres, I love just going and looking at the craftsmanship of them. Plus there’s always a selection of toys which feel nostalgic but are still fun today, and you wouldn’t find them on the high street. 

5. Cecil Court

Visiting this road is a must-do for any book lovers. It’s lined with shops rammed with antique books, first editions, as well as old second hand books at reasonable prices. There are also shop fronts with antique trinkets and a costume jeweller which has provided bling for films and tv shows, including Downton Abbey if you’re that way inclined. My favourite shop on this road is Marchpane, which specialises in children’s books, my most treasured copies of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales First Editions are from there. It’s rumoured that the road was J K Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame, I’m not sure if it’s true but it feels magical anyway 

If you visit any of these places on my recommendation please do comment and let me know! 


7 People

7 Seater Car

7 Hour trip (Allegedly…it turned into 8)

7 Day Holiday.

This is how our adventure ‘Up North’ began. We’re now staying in a place called Warkworth, Northumberland, I’d be lying if I tried to claim that I have any idea where we are. One side affect from having an international family is that my British geography is awful. I just know that we’re definitely North, and furhter north than I’ve ever been before.

Spending 8 hours in a car with my family (and lovely boyfriend of course), did seem like a daunting prospect. The ideal solution would have been to read for the whole journey- but alas! motion sickness prevents me from such literary bliss. Anyway here’s some things I did come up with to ensure that the 350 miles just fly away.

1.  Breaks

This is the most important part of planning a long drive. The skill isn’t just where to stop but when.  If the stop is too early then the obstacles of thirst, hunger or needing the bathroom may get in the way of your ultimate most comfortable journey. Of course you don’t need a delicious beer to make it a good break, but it does help!

2. Sleep

This is my preferred option. However on this particular occassion I had some trouble drifting off. Here is Colin demonstrating this technique perfectly.

3. Raindrop Race/Window Drawing

Particularly useful if you’re going up north. On this occassion I drew an ‘egg’ and watched the raindrop sperm fertilise it.

5. Games

Small ones without many pieces work well. This is the extremely addictive Lonpos which is a great travel game, or at least it would have been if my brother didn’t drop one of the pieces.

6. Listen to Music

This one will only work if you have a fully charged iPod, otherwise it can be annoying when the battery runs out and you’re only 5 miles away from home. However if you’ve remembered to charge it, setting yourself a task like making sure every song has a star rating can be fun.

7. Think about the Destination

Realising there’s a lovely comfy bed waiting for you is good motivation when you feel like you’ve become too intimate with your car seat.


1. Don’t fiddle with things you don’t know how to work!!!

This is my Dad managing to set the heating to come on and off at 6 different points during the day.

2. Appreciate the ameneties

This is what we want our future house to look like =)


Relax and enjoy! Which we intend to do!

Check back later in the week to see what else we do during our week in Warkworth

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