London Open House – Day 1

The morning of my favourite weekend started well – with a quick trip up the tower at St Anne’s in Wardour Street. There is a rather fine clock up there, and on a landing half way up, a rather earnest chap was terribly keen to show us some art-film about a Soho Museum, which was, – well diverting.

I had to rush though – as I had managed to snag a trip inside the iconic CentrePoint building at 11am – which included a trip up to the 25th floor with quite stunning views over London (albeit hazy in the sunny morning) and to the 16th floor for a slightly closer look at the buildings surrounding the place.

Then over to Liverpool St where I had planned to go into an office building – except I got the dates wrong and it wasn’t actually open today. However I did have a wander round a really exciting 14th century Charnal House – which is visible to the public through a glass window, but this was the first time the public could actually go inside the ancient building remains.

It was now that things started to go wrong.

I wandered down to St Botolph in Aldgate for the Belfry and bell ringing. Got there at 1pm and was told that the next tour wouldn’t be until 2:30pm – oh. Frankly, there wasn’t a lot else in the area so I decided to take a chance and go somewhere I have wanted to visit for years, but is a bit of a pain to get to – Severndroog Castle near Blackheath.

Got to London Bridge and brought a ticket – only to be told to “see posters” for my route – except there were no posters to see, so I had to queue up at the helpdesk to be told that I should catch a train to Lewisham and then bus to Kidbrooke, then train again to Eltham.

After more hassles at Lewisham (no posters or staff to help), I finally got a bus to Blackheath and then another to get up to Shooters Hill.

Then Disaster – someone had a road accident and the bus rather than finding an alternative route decided to park itself there while 2 police cars and 3 fire engines arrived to cut the occupant out of the car. With less then 15 minutes until Severndroog Castle closed, I gave up and had to walk back to Blackheath and then decided to wander down to Greenwich.

There, I had a bit of an idea – and had marked down the Limehouse Accumulator Tower as a possible – so wizzed over on the DLR to Limehouse and joined a queue to go up the tower. It’s not very tall, but I was more interested in the history – being a mini Victorian hydraulics fan – and the view was not bad either.

Finally off home – where very weary feet got a soak.

Tomorrow – finally get to go to Trellick Tower, then random wanderings in Whitehall and off to a tour of the Beefeater Gin Distillery to round off the weekend.

Photos, and more detail write ups later.

Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

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