Weekend in London
by Syd & June Burns

Syd & June Burns recently spent a lively weekend touring London with their family. During their winter holiday, they took in some of the city's top attractions.

Well, where do I start on another fabulous trip to London? I guess at the beginning. Arriving at Penrith Railway Station 40 minutes before the train arrived June was in the hands of the staff who really bent over backwards to see that she was as comfortable as she could be. I asked about parking my car at the station, finding there were no concessions for the disabled as it was deemed disability rights in reverse. Thinking this one out I would say they have got that one right. The charges are horrendous 6 a day which is the equiv. of $ 12 US. I said sod that and drove the car home and walked back to the station that being only 10 minutes away. The train came in on time and June was rolled into her designated "seat" which was adjacent to the toilet so all he needs were catered for. The toilet was well designed and any sort of wheelchair could be accommodated.  3 and a bit hours later we were in London Euston Station. The crew were waiting for us and we were taken to the taxi area in no time at all. The taxi was ramped so there was no problem getting in and out.

Syd & June Burns
London, Feb. 2007

Arriving at the Union Jack Club we rang the outside bell and were taken inside via a stair lift by a Ghurka soldier retired. There are not many villains who are going to get past them. Nick Jen and the kids were there to meet us in the flat. After a coffee we all went for a walk along the South Bank of the Thames. Absolutely level and a pleasure even though the wind was blowing and the temperature was a little on the cold side, but no rain. Amazingly the tide was out on the Thames and the kids went and played on the sand. I have never known that before.

We viewed the outside of St Paul's after crossing the Millennium Bridge. Exploring that area for an hour, the temperature started to drop quickly so discretion being the better part of valour we beat a hasty retreat back to the club. In the rarefied surroundings of the club bar we had a couple of pints of best bitter. Later we went for a meal at an Italian Restaurant which was a couple of hundred yards from the club. No disabled facilities whatsoever. We knew the food was great and if June wanted the toilet we were near enough to the club. The food was superb, the service great and the bill reasonable, thinking London prices. Back to the club bedded the kids down, a few gins and we were ready for Wednesday.
Rain what rain. It was awful first thing. I stood at the window watching the wage slaves hurrying along being thankful that I had long retired. June said skin is waterproof, so off we went over Westminster Bridge and into the heart of London. First stop Covent Garden with all it stalls and bric a brac. Other than a few cobbles it was easy for the wheelchair.

Syd at play with his
granddaughters in Hamley's

An hour there and then to the kids paradise of Hamleys Store. Reputed to be the biggest kid's shop in the world. Five stories of just kid's stuff. The disabled toilet was on the fifth floor and all the lifts where wheelchair preference. So there was no waiting. We were the indulgent G/Parents so our credit cards took quite a knock. Happily. On leaving Hamleys the rain had gone off and blue skies were coming in albeit as cold as charity. The next move was food. We tried several places but they were all full to bursting or had steps so huge there was no way in. Jen had the brilliant idea of going into the Royal Academy of Arts. It was a superb place with a fine restaurant and cafe and the disabled toilet was of first class condition. It was such ease and comfort June said. From there a walk to some of the Royal Palaces such as St.  James, Clarence House and the ubiquitous Buckingham. The changing of the guard was long over. We saw the Guardsmen close up at St James so the kids where enthralled. That took the daylight hours up and as everyone was pretty knackard we had a Valentine's dinner in the club. The kids were given lots of things to do so they were well entertained. We all had a good meal quite a few drinks and bed. Joy what joy.
Thursday was bright and cold. We had booked a trip on the London Eye for noon, so it was a leisurely morning. I was so hungry that I decided that I would go and have breakfast instead of the toast and marmalade that was being made by Jen. I enjoyed the full works, from porridge onwards. Probably some would say instant heart attack, but what is seldom is wonderful. So off to the Eye, along the South Bank. We stopped at the National Film Theatre which had a fine cafe, and to June's delight one of the best disabled toilets she has ever seen. A definite marked place.

Rolling on we got a fast track on the London Eye as we had booked on line with June being disabled. June got the full treatment. To my joy I got on free as I was the pusher. Great views and I am looking forward to my next trip on the Eye at night. That will be different to say the least. Wandering back as we had to leave at 3.45 to return to Penrith we found a kids eating place called Giraffe. About 5 minutes walk from the Eye, the grown ups were allowed in. They had everything going to keep the kids happy as well as a well stocked bar for us. There was a bit of a wait to get our food but we were well served in the bar so as to keep the parents more than happy. The food was brilliant and the disabled toilet was adequate. After the meal we said our farewells to Nick, Jen and the kids making our way back to the club. They were off to the Tate Gallery. The taxi was on time, we were met at Euston, put into our seats and arrived back in Penrith at 8.30 pm spot on time.
Now looking forward to going to London again in April with Ian and his crew.

Check out Syd & June's other adventures to:

Liverpool, England '09
Sheffield, England '09
Wynyard Hall '09
London, England & Dordogne, France '07

Amsterdam '07
Tennessee Trip '07
London in Spring '07
Weekend in London '07

Sheffield, England's Marriott '05

New Zealand Part I
New Zealand Part II

Barcelona '06
Palma Mallorca
East Coast Of America (Boston to Richmond and return)
Chicago and Las Vegas

Top of Page

Global Access News Index
Back to Travel Archives

Copyright Global Access News 2007 1996-2007 "All Rights Reserved"