Figuring we'd gotten our feet wet yesterday by exploring Maidenhead (and only scratching the surface at that), we thought Sunday would be a nice low-traffic day to introduce the boys to The City.
We took the train in from Maidenhead to Paddington. For a full-day RailCard (good for round-trip rail to London, all Underground zones, and all street busses), it was £13 each for Laura and I, plus £1 apiece for the boys. I think it'll get cheaper when we apply for the "Family Card", which provides discounts for adults traveling in the company of a child; plus many days it'll just be Laura taking the kids into town while I'm at work, which looks to be about £15 for an off-peak day-trip.
Anyway, once we got into town (about 25min), we walked along Edgware Road for awhile, just looking at the shops and getting a feel for the other pedestrians. Then we took the Tube up to Regency Park, where we had lunch (we'd packed PB&J's -- the guidebook lied, they DO sell peanut butter in England!). We enjoyed throwing some crusts to some extremely corpulent pigeons, and a pair of fat little squirrels that would literally walk up and eat out of your hands.
We picked up a bus into Camden, a neat little town that was doing a good business for a Sunday. From there we hopped the Tube down to the south side of London Bridge. We hiked back over the Thames across the bridge, and wandered around the banking district for a bit. (Not entirely intentionally, but it never hurt anyone to get a little lost once in awhile. In the rain. In November.)
Once we were properly oriented, we made our way over to the Tower of London, which none of us had ever seen. We were too late for the full tour, but it was neat skirting the battlements and looking in on a real keep. Finally we walked west through town to a working Tube stop (somewhat rare on a Sunday), made our way back to Paddington, and thence over rail to Maidenhead. The whole tour ran for about eight hours, and made for a pretty good introduction to the area and how to get around it.
(Note: Laura feels that I've left out some of the uglier bits of the trip -- alright, so maybe we got lost A FEW times, and maybe all those stops weren't entirely deliberate -- but I'm trying to put a happy face on what was undoubtedly a profoundly educational experience for us all :-)
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