Rainy day? Go visit a museum

Barely two weeks into September and rain is becoming more frequent. The last weekend was almost a total washout. Winter is coming people 😦

IMG_2416I am not sure what you think but I am not quite ready to retreat and huddle indoors. Sure bad weather is the perfect excuse to binge watch on Netflix or get lost for hours playing video games (or what ever takes your fancy) but winter is long and grey in the UK and there is plenty of time for that to come.

So crazy as that may be why not take a trip to the museum? One thing that is pretty dam cool about London is that museums are pretty much all for free. Most other European cities charge. I like going on shorty city breaks but unless there is a museum I really want to see the only time I’d consider to stop walking and exploring the city is on a rainy day when all the outdoorsy stuff is no longer fun. Museums are usually indoors and warm and if it’s free why not – I’d go and see something I’d probably ignored otherwise and if lucky be positively surprised. But if it costs, I’ll think twice seeing something I am not that interested in and probaly end up in the pub.

So if stuck in London on a bad weather day, pick a museum (there is plenty to choose from). My personal favourites are the British Museum or the Science museum especially when the Museum Lates season is on. I once went to a Zombie late night which was brilliant.

IMG_2426The other day I joined a friend to visit the Natural History Museum. It only occurred to me on the day that after living 13 years in London I had never been. I am from Frankfurt and our equivalent is called Senkenberg museum. It’s one of those you go excitedly as a kid with your parents and then being dragged to over and over again with school until you simply don’t ever want to set foot in it.

But I have to say, I did really like this museum. First of all the building is amazing. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to walking through Hogwarts (after the Harry Potter experience but that’s definitive not for free). And who can resits a roaring T-rex or gigantic whale skeleton hanging from the sealing.

I’ll definitely go back a second time. Looking outside the window, I fear I’ll have plenty of opportunities soon. So get ready for autumn and check out a London museum.

 

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A stroll through East London

It’s too nice to sit at home right now, so I took a little stroll through East London from London Bridge to Waterloo.  Check out the sights for:

  • St Dunstant in the East Church Garden
  • Borough Market
  • The Crossbones Graveyard
  • The closed Southward Library
  • The graffiti tunnel in Waterloo

St Dunstant in the East Church Garden.

It’s supposed to be a little oasis of tranquillity near Monument. Sadly I miss-timed my visits as it was lunch hour, which meant office workers  and tourist groups all had the same idea. But I definitely will go back on a quieter day.

 

Borough Market

Well it was lunch time after all

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The Cross bones graveyard

I used to work in the area and we always called it the prostitutes graveyard but it is so much more. It’s a place where London’s undesirables were buried – single women, paupers and a lot of children. It’s a mass grave that now lies beneath land owned by Transport for London. London is build upon the bones of the dead and there is hardly a place where not a plague grave could be found or some other history trinket. It’s always been like that. But I think it’s also the responsibility of us now to ensure we make space for the past and honour it. There is only so much certification a city can cope with before it becomes soulless. The local community in Southwark has been campaigning for years to give the dead some dignity and recognition. You can find more details on the Crossbones website.

The old Southwark library

Sadly like so many libraries in London this is now closed. I have no idea what they may turn it into (probably a pret) But it’s a nice old building.

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The graffiti tunnel near Waterloo station

It may not be everyones cup of tea but I like it.

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