We all woke feeling a bit tired but with places to go and things to go there was no time to tarry.
Woolly says – With everything packed we loaded the case into the luggage storage, checked out the queues for breakfast and headed out into the sunshine. A quick stop at Starbucks for tea, juice and pancakes and there I was, again flying through the tunnels deep under London. On our journeys yesterday we had passed The Clink, one of the oldest prisons in England and with the chance to torture Jo and Zoe it seemed like the place to go. For £7.00 GBP (student discount again of £3.00 GBP) we entered the dark, rat infested goal. Established in 1144 the prison was owned and controlled by the Bishop of Winchester. As so many activities were banned in the main parts of the city, Southwark and its surrounding areas became the vice dens of the capital. The prison was always full and by charging prisoners for food and board it provided an excellent income for the Bishop. Constantly flooding from the Thames, disease was rife and more people died in there than were ever released. The exhibition
was really good and we had a chance to try on shackles, the iron boot and many other instruments that would have been used during its gory history. I really liked the idea of the hole in the floor, which was constantly filled by the river and where a prisoner could be thrown and would stay until his skin floated away in the water – gross or what!
With Woolly dreaming up more painful ways to torture us we found our way back into daylight, there was definitely a feeling of happiness that we had escaped from the gloom and smells of the goal and weren’t likely to return. With only one more place to go we pounded the pavements back to the tube and disappeared into the world below us again.
Woolly says – I’m getting too really like this underground lark, so efficient, the longest wait we have had has been two minutes, far better than busses. Our last stop on this trip was to the famous markets of Camden Town. The high street was buzzing with a vibrancy that was infectious. Above the shop windows I could see huge shoes, trainers
and other items to advertise the wears inside. We spotted the entrance to the market and set off along the narrow aisles, jostling our way through t-shirts, dresses and all things ethnic. It didn’t seem to be that big and I felt a bit disappointed that we had already covered the market area, but no, there was more, lots and lots more. Walking slightly further along towards the canal at Camden Lock we found ourselves twisting and turning through more and more tiny alleyways, with amazing cooking smells surrounding us we took up our seats on the conveniently placed scooters and tucked in.
The food was as good as it smelt, most stalls offered a £4.00 GBP deal which provided us with two tubs of food, our choice of Indian gave us more than enough. Having had our fill we crossed the High Street and plunged into the Stables part of the market, we seemed to go deeper and deeper into the tiny rows of stalls, each bend provided us with more to look at and more options of what to buy. Zoe found a lovely stall selling recycled fairy lights and candles and while she choose
her selection Woolly and I chatted to the stall holder. He had worked on the market all of his life and was a true Cockney having been born within the sound of Bow Bells, he also knew Dudley and the surrounding areas and was delighted to be talking to the ‘Yam Yam’s’. With our train time fast approaching we curtailed Zoe’s spending spree and headed onwards.
Woolly says – the market was brilliant and well worth a visit, if nothing else to sit by the canal and watch the world flow by is an experience in itself. We had given ourselves a good hour and a half to get to Euston but we seemed to have lost time somewhere in amongst the life of Camden and once we had retrieved our baggage we were on a sprint to the main line train. Onto the underground at Russell Square off onto the line for Kings Cross a run across the station to grab the next train to Euston and with feet pounding the stairs a last mad dash into the main train station. With minutes to go we ran to barrier 8 to be told that we needed
to be on platform 4!!!! Talk about cutting it fine, we sprinted the last few hundred metres and leapt onto the train just as the whistle was blowing, as we picked up speed I waved goodbye to London. What a great place, so much to see and do and the best people watching to be had, although expensive I wouldn’t have missed it.
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