Travel Tuesday: London in Spring

It’s very easy to write about London as being a busy and dreary town where the skies are grey, the rain is cold and constant and the residents are gloomy but when spring arrives a refreshed and cheerful city awakens.

We know our limitations as a city. We know the sunshine hours are short, that rain will come again and that however cute a squirrel might be he only wants you for your sandwich, but we value and adore those moments of renewed energy. This weekend it seemed like spring was daring to arrive in the capital and Ralphie (my dog) and I made the most of the sunshine with a long walk around the West End and Westminster.

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Ralphie enjoying the sunshine.

The green space of St. James’ Park made the perfect location for our little crew of dogs and bloggers to settle down and soak up the sunshine. There are a handful of stands selling ice cream, hot dogs and waffles scattered around the park meaning you’ll never go hungry. However, they’re a little pricey (£4.50 for a hot dog) so you might want to stock up in a nearby Tesco Express or newsagents on snacks and sweets as you while the time away. At this time of year the parks across London are full of the bright spring blooms and right now, St. James’ Park is awash with daffodils which never fail to bring a smile to my face.

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Daffodils in St. James’ Park

Ralphie and I, along with some friends, then strolled through the park towards Buckingham Palace. It’s been ages since I wandered through London with no time constraints, no meetings and no train to catch and I literally stopped to smell the flowers. Of course St. James’ Park and The Mall were busy but they didn’t feel quite so crammed as London can do, and the sunshine meant everyone had a smile on their face.

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Buckingham Palace is always impressive, so much so that I think your best view of it is probably from half way up The Mall, close up it just is so big you can’t get to grips with it. I was disappointed to have just missed the changing of the guard, but I’ve made a little promise to myself to capture that on film at some point soon! The change happens every day during the summer months and every other day the rest of the year at 11:30am. It’s an impressive little event and well worth a watch if you’re in that part of town!

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We returned toward Trafalgar Square through The Mall rather than the park, and Ralphie loved sniffing everything the horses had left behind! This part of London is just teeming with huge monuments and historic palaces and buildings so be careful not to just walk past something that might have a great story to tell.

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Having the dog means your options for dining are limited, but on a sunny day like this weekend we found ourselves enjoying some food sat in the warmth of the sun. We watched protests in Trafalgar Square, saw some enormous bubbles be blown, tried some amazing food as we wandered through Covent Garden and finally, exhausted, Ralphie, my friends and I sat down with a drink and watched the sun set over the Thames.  I was reminded how wonderful this city can be, as much as I moan about it (and the transport system) daily on Twitter.

So my spring resolution is to take a little more time to appreciate all the things London has to offer!

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