We were fortunate enough to get some complimentary tickets to the Another London exhibition at the Tate Britain, so on Saturday we made our way into London for a day out. The tubes were pleasantly crowd-free, as we made our was around on the Circle line from Paddington to Victoria. From there it was only a short walk, through what was now surprisingly warm sunshine, despite the weather forecast. The exhibition had some incredible pictures from 1930 through to 1980. Great images of "british-ness" that you simply don't see any more, for example streets filled with bowler-hatted mean going to work in the city. In fact come to think about it, most of the photos included some for of head gear, whether that be a top hat, a bowler hat, a cloth cap, or a scarf.
After the exhibition we caught a bus to Kensington where we, thanks to some more free vouchers, we grabbed some lunch (we are not normally this frugal, but following our California blow out are taking things easy this month now). The food was ok, not brilliant, but unfoftunately just as we finished eating, the heavens opened up, and torrential rain came down, all mixed in with some thunder and lightening for good measure. We were quite "museumed out" after the exhibition of the morning, so after deciding not to go to any more, we caught a bus to get out of the rain. Although I know my way around London reasonably well, the bus we caught took us to somewhere I don't think I've ever really been ... Wandsworth. I had no idea what to expect but it almost had a village feel in places, but not quite so much as Battersea did, which was definitely a surprise to me. Plenty of scope for future visits I think, if only to check out some of the restaurants in Battersea Square, which confusingly seems more of a triangle than a square.
Between Wandsworth and Battersea we walked along the Thames, apart from when we were annoying diverted back in land (one of the most frustrating aspects of the Thames path is that it often strays away from the side of the river). We did get to see the London Heliport though, which I never even knew existed, so that was a bonus. We were also treated to the sight of a freight train on the London Overground line, as it crossed the Cremorne Bridge, heading south. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo, but instead took one from the other side of the bridge after it had gone across.
Boats moored by the Cremorne Bridge (aka Battersea Railway Bridge)
Despite the heavy downpour in the afternoon, we had a great day out, and got back home to catch some of the Reading Festival highlights on BBC 3 before taking our aching limbs off to bed.
Sunday was a different story, and with a much better weather forecast I decided to embark on a bike ride, looking to get some miles under the belt, rather than gruelling hill climbs. In the end I seem to have managed both, cycling out west towards Hungerford, through to Little Bedwyn and Froxfield, and then back via Littlecote, Chilton Foliat and Kintbury, covering 36.7 miles. It was a great ride, but I think I probably need to invest in some new padded shorts as I'm feeling a little tender today.