I remember the years when I could dedicate a whole weekend to London Open City and do all the queueing and running around from place to place, trying to fit in as much as humanly possible. As I’ve crossed off many places in the last few years, I’ve slowed down and focused on only doing one or two attractions across the two days.
This year brought me to City Hall, also known as the Snail or the Testicle, that sits on the South Bank and currently houses the London Assembly and the offices of the London Mayor and staff. As they are actually moving at the end of the year, I figured it might be a good idea to go visit it now, as it might not even be on the list in 2022.
If you ever get the chance it’s definitely worth a visit as there’s lots of architectural quirks to enjoy inside the building, plus the viewing deck is a great place to spot all the nearby landmarks.
The Chamber where the Greater London Authority (that’s the Mayor of London and the London Assembly) discuss important issues underneath a hypnotic spiralling walkway.
The building is designed by the same people as the nearby Gherkin and the not so nearby Reichstag in Berlin, so you might recognise the similar use of glass and the helical staircases.
Take in the gorgeous views from the top floor: from Tower Bridge to the Tower of London and the Shard.
I know technically we have another three weeks before Autumn starts, but since the weather has been so all over the place that I’ve been in Autumnal spirits for months and I’m embracing it. And I’m not even going to hold on to the idea of a late Summer. I can’t wait for red, orange and yellow leaves, cooking all the soups and layering all my clothes.
Here are some other things I’m looking forward to this Autumn.
In September, hundreds of buildings fling open their doors during the Open House Weekend, allowing everyone to have a wander around everything from 10 Downing Street, to the Gherkin and Bank of England. I won’t be going to any of those, but I hope to pick up a few random ones that do walk-ins on the day itself.
I have booked another cabin stay for later in the month. I had the best weather when I stayed in cabins earlier this year so it will be really interesting to see what that’s like during the colder weather. As long as there’s a stove and some wood I should be fine.
I’m done with walks around the block. But with the ones further out I’m not done yet! Sevenoaks and Box Hill are high on my list for this time of the year. Both tend to be crowded during the Summer months, so that leaves Autumn and Spring for the quieter walks.
Visit the Museum of the Home that opened earlier this year after being closed for restoration. I’ve also heard great things about the museum’s restaurant, Molly’s Cafe, so that’s another reason to head on over.
I can’t leave out chestnut picking and roasting. Though with this weather I’m not sure when and if they’ll even grow this year, but I’m even happy with a handful of sweet chestnuts. Plus the peaceful walk to the actual trees is worth it either way.
Check out some films at the London Film Festival! Probably mostly online, but I’m not even bothered as I won’t have to deal with annoying people next to me. I also have a backlog of horror movies that I want to see and Autumn is just the most fun season to watch them. Especially on rainy days.
I only got introduced to Pumpkin Pie during Friendsgiving and now that the person that organised Friendsgiving has moved back to the States I won’t have Pumpkin Pie unless I bake it myself. And that’s exactly the last dish on my 10 Things To Cook/Bake in 2021 list. Bring on the cinnamon, ginger and cloves!
[Insert comment on how quickly the year is passing by ;)] Now that things have opened up more and more is possible from my 21 For 2021 list.
Here is what I’ve crossed off in the last few months. Spoiler alert: I’m taking my time!
Stay In a Tiny House Or Go Glamping – with everything booked up, I didn’t think I’d find anything this Summer. But then two opportunities popped up: first I went to the Meadows Nest near Whitstable and a few weeks later I checked in for another Unplugged experience near Pulham.
Bake / Cook 10 Items From My List – I’ve crossed off 7/10 so far. This round included spring rolls, mozzarella and a cobbler. I’m really enjoying going through this list. Now I know the time and work goes into making a spring roll, I’m never going to complain about them being too expensive.
Do Four New Walks For My South East Project – I did the Three Commons walks and a walk to a pick-your-own strawberry farm. With all the rain I’m not too motivated to go through the mud, but fingers crossed that changes in the coming months.
Optimise My Old London Posts – still happening and I don’t think it’ll ever end. I’ve also moved on to optimise my UK blogs.
Watch a Movie Set In Every Country I Have Been In – this might take a bit longer than I thought! Sourcing movies isn’t as easy even though I have Netflix, Mubi and Prime available. Since my last update I added 5 movies to this list. My favourite has to be The Truffle Hunters (Italian documentary), but The Columnist (Dutch horror) and Riders of Justice (Danish black black comedy) are pretty high up there too.
Digital Detox One Weekend A Month – still going strong with this one. I love these weekends and notice I’m much calmer and start off the week clearer.
As of today (2 August 2021) fully vaccinated travellers from EU and USA don’t have to quarantine when arriving in England. Whether you should come over is another debate…but it definitely makes a visit to London a tiny bit more realistic this summer. If you decide to visit, it’s worth checking the requirements before booking as they keep changing.
Between the pandemic and the various protests over the last 18 months, things have changed, just like everywhere else. And today I’m sharing the biggest travel related ones that might make a difference to your vacay. read more
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.