Sunday, 9 April 2017

Can't get enough of London

I am just back from a morning at the Museum of London Docklands, which we visited for the "Tunnel" temporary exhibition about the archeology uncovered by the construction work for the Elizabeth Line, the Crossrail Project. Returning it occurred to me that I have not yet written about our visit last year to the exhibition marking the 350th anniversary of the 1666 Great Fire of London. As I write this I have just been amazed to be told by Trip Advisor that I am in the top 1% of reviewers of London - a sign, I suppose, that I visit so often! Both of these museum visits were hung onto visiting of family in London, as I wrote about a little while ago in my post, "The Usual Train," and we did return on the usual train, the 19:30 to Bradford, in our usual seats 31 & 33 in coach L.

Looking west towards the museum
from West India Quay DLR station
In order to fit in our time at the Museum of London Docklands before our luncheon engagement in Hammersmith, we left Stamford on the 08:00 train for Peterborough and after a brief wait there caught the 08:33 Virgin Trains East Coast service to London. It arrived just on time at Kings Cross, a journey of just under 90 minutes station-to-station from Stamford. The Northern Line Tube to Bank was an easy journey, using our Oyster cards, then Docklands Light Railway to the best station for the museum, West India Quay. A slight problem was that since the extensive remodelling of the junction there, trains from the City cannot stop at that station, so we had to go on to Canary Wharf (all of about 100 metres, but over water!) and get the next train back - frustrating if in a hurry, I suppose, but it "wasted" only about 4 minutes and we were on a leisure trip which did not really matter. It is not much more of a walk from Canery Wharf, actually, but not being local I was unsure of the way - I know it now and might do that on my next trip, and there will be another trip, for all we had time to do on this one was the Tunnel exhibition, and there is all the permanent display still to see!

It was a gorgeous, sunny day and a pleasant waterside stroll to the museum, which was just opening its doors as we arrived at 10:00, the first visitors of the day and just two hours after boarding our train in Stamford. We were greeted, introduced to the exhibits and let in. Admission is free of charge and donations are invited, there is a coffee shop, cafeteria and a children's soft play area on a dockland theme: given that admission is free, these are a fantastic resource for local families.

The Tunnel exhibition is on until September and is worth a visit if you have any interest at all in either the history of London or the construction of this huge transport project. The tunnels themselves, like all deep level tubes, are well below the level of archeological remains, but the portals and the stations and other access points were dug through many layers of London's history and revealed some very interesting facts - although the explanations are often shrouded in mystery!

There are lockers at just £1 for luggage, coats etc: we did not have coats but we did have bags of Easter and Birthday presents en route for Hammersmith and it was well worth £1 not to have to traipse them round the exhibition. Coffee and then DLR train to Bank, through the corridor to Monument station for the District Line to Hammersmith and our visit was completed with a family lunch and a stroll be the Thames before the usual train home ...

... and I still have write about the Great Fire. Give me a day or two ...

No comments:

Post a Comment