london-gerkhinThis week we swapped our more usual smoky bonfire or log burner  surroundings with a half day trip up to the Big Smoke, London.

It’s all certainly changed since we were living in the vicinity and I’m pleased to say mostly for the better.  We started with a train trip into City Thames Link  and then took a great walk past St Paul’s Cathedral, had a great view of The Shard, modern, imposing and angular somehow managing to blend harmoniously with the (now looking tiny) ancient Leadenhall Market.

A super speedy lift whisked us up to the 40th floor (eek!) of The Heron Tower.  Perfectly timed we had drinks in our hands, just as the sun was setting. This sunset didn’t disappoint and on this occasion gave the countryside a run for it’s money. The lowering golden globe, lit up The Gherkin like a, well a, umm, giant lit up gherkin thing.  The red and purple sky perfectly silhouetted both the London skyline and the planes taking off in our direction. (Was it just me who found that a little nerve wracking?).  Unsurprisingly, drinks were a bit pricey up at this level, but the view more than makes up for it – and it was a perfect place for a lingering aperitif.

Once our stomachs had re-joined the rest of our bodies back on the ground floor, we continued on foot through Borough Market where the stallholders were busy packing away for the night.  With many new trendy bars and street food to chose from (they’ve probably been there for years!) we opted for a mulled wine to amble along the riverside [Thames] with.  After a cheap and cheerful (yes, there is such a thing in London!) pub burger we topped off our visit with a stroll along the South Bank. We were treated with views of the illuminated Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye it all added up to a nice leisurely visit. Not something a trip to a capital city can often boast.