We have been in the UK for one week now and what a hectic week it has been. We arrived safely at Heathrow on Sunday 15th March at 6.00pm and made our way with our British passports to the customs counter. We needed to get our passports stamped to prove our entry date to the UK, however the customs officer had another idea – not to stamp the passport, its not allowed! Never mind, we can use our renewal notice for proof when we need to renegotiate our insurance in a years time. We caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington and made our way to our B&B, the Days Inn where we were staying for 3 nights. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the room very clean and we would definitely stay there again if the need arose. An early night due to a very long flight and the next day we were to visit the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio. What a day, we spent most of the visit with our jaws on the floor. What an amazing place, you just don’t realise what goes into a movie until you get to see behind the scenes. All of the sets were the original ones used in the movies. The amount of work that is done before shooting begins is unbelievable, from sketches, to white paper models of buildings, to costume design, engineering of the latex models of the cast that were used throughout all of the movies, too much to mention. There were 16 technicians alone to get Hagrid’s face to move with all of his expressions when the scene required a full body shot of him to be in proportion with his surrounds. The attention to detail was just amazing, hundreds and hundreds of small labelled bottles that were used for the memories in the pensive. I could go on for hours about this tour, if you are ever in London even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan you must see this movie studio to appreciate the amazing technology that goes into a movie like Harry Potter.
The next day we took off on foot for a walk through London. We started off at Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge to the Anchor Hotel for a pint which is near Shakespeare’s Dome, then the Queens Walk along the Thames to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and back through Hyde Park, a total of 26 kms. Nice walk!! We had a lovely meal out at The Victoria Hotel before an early night.
We have now had two nights in Matilda, both very comfortable. We now have Matilda organised a bit better although we think in a day or two we may find a couple of things that need tweaking. We have had some laughable moments along the way. David was trying to fill our water tank, waiting for about 30 minutes when he realised that water was pouringy out the other side of the van from the overflow valve!! Another moment was David emptying the toilet cassette, no spillage but getting it back into the right position was another story. Suffice to say a lesson learnt is a lesson remembered! Yesterday we had a lovely walk around the old town of Adderbury with beautiful thatch cottages and colourful gardens before coming back to the caravan park for David to get our bikes ready for a ride into Banbury today. Apparently we can ride along the river tow path the six miles into Banbury for a look around. We are now comfortably laying in bed looking at the ice on the skylight above, having a cuppa and a bit of a chuckle about our mishaps that hopefully will lessen with time!