Having arrived in London at 2030 local time, it will take roughly half an hour to reach the Hotel Ibis Earl’s Court from Heathrow Airport. Our travellers speak English, so there’s no real concern about them getting lost. Thus, they will head directly to the hotel and retire for the evening. It will be March 27, 2013 when we begin the first day of the journey. For ease of access, the map may be accessed here.
Day One Itinerary
We will replicate the more of the locations that the girls visited on the second day. For the first day, our travellers will have breakfast at the Ibis’s restaurant for 11.50 GBP (18.35 CAD) per person. Upon finishing breakfast, they will make their way to the West Brompton station and take the London Underground to the Westminster station. The major attractions in this area are the Tower of London and the Westminster Abbey. The Tower of London (also known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress) is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England, United Kingdom. Located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Tower of London is separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired and the castle reopened to the public. The Tower of London is presently one of Britian’s most popular tourist attractions. Cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site, the admission costs are 19.00 GBP (30.31 CAD). Westminster Abbey, (The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster) is a large, mainly Gothic church located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. Admission is 16.00 GBP (25.52 CAD), but recalling that our travellers have the London passes, they’ll be admitted free of charge.
- Before anyone starts asking questions, I’ve deliberately chosen to send our travellers to Westminster on the first day, as the girls in the movie only really get to sightsee on their second day. The first day is dedicated to getting lost in London, and the last day is capped with a concert.
- London has at least two millennia of history, originating with its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile mediaeval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.
If time permits, St. Paul’s Cathedral may also be a noteworthy destination to visit; set at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, it is the mother church of the Diocese of London. The present church (dating from the late 17th century) was built to an English Baroque design of Sir Christopher Wren, as part of a major rebuilding program which took place in the city after the Great Fire of London, and was completed within his lifetime. The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London, with its dome, framed by the spires of Wren’s City churches, dominating the skyline for 300 years. At 365 feet (111 m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1962, and its dome is also among the highest in the world. In terms of area, St Paul’s is the second largest church building in the United Kingdom after Liverpool Cathedral, and admission is typically 15.00 GBP (23.93 CAD) per person.
- A lot of the sights and attractions in Westminster are located within 2 kilometres of each other, a reasonably short walk. In late March and early April, the average high is 11.4°C, and the average low is 4.1°C. To us Canadians, this is warm, but I imagine it’d be quite cool for the Houkago Tea Time girls.
- There is a surcharge for food in London: this is something that Canadians probably aren’t used to outside of the tips. The calculations in this experiment account for that, but the methodology isn’t very precise.
Lunch may be had at the Pier 1 Fish & Chips (66-68 Haymarket, London), located around 2000 metres from St Paul’s Cathedral. Their fish and chips range from 9.95 GBP to 19.95 GBP (18.81 to 31.82 CAD), and are made with an specially made in house batter, cooked in pure ground nut oil, served with chips, peas and Tartare Sauce. It would not be unreasonable to assume that lunch would therefore cost roughly 25 CAD per person; this configuration would provide an excellent experience for London Fish and Chips (something the girls did not have the opportunity to enjoy in the movie, or at least, not depicted as having done so). Fish and chips dish became popular in wider circles in London and South East England in the middle of the 19th century. The concept of a fish restaurant was introduced by Samuel Isaacs (born 1856 in Whitechapel, London; died 1939 in Brighton, Sussex), who ran a thriving wholesale and retail fish business throughout London and the South of England in the latter part of the 19th century.
- The iconic red telephone box is a telephone kiosk for a public telephone designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is a familiar sight on the streets of the United Kingdom. Despite a reduction in their numbers in recent years, the traditional British red telephone box can still be seen in many places throughout the UK, and in current or former British colonies around the world. The colour red was chosen to make them easy to spot.
- Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster on the north side and Lambeth on the south side, in London. The bridge is painted predominantly green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons which is on the side of the Palace of Westminster nearest the bridge. This is in contrast to Lambeth Bridge which is red, the same colour as the seats in the House of Lords and is on the opposite side of the Houses of Parliament.
Following lunch, we’ll take a walk down Abigton Street, explore the Victoria Tower Garden and then proceed down Millbank Street, beyond Lambeth Bridge towards Vauxhall Bridge. Along this route, some London style architecture might be noted. Once Vauxhall bridge is reached, we will note that the SIS building is right across the river. Vauxhall is an inner city area of South London in the London Borough of Lambeth. It was once in the historic county of Surrey. Its name is derived from Falkes de Breauté, the head of King John’s mercenaries, who owned a large house in the area which was referred to as Faulke’s Hall, later Foxhall, and eventually Vauxhall. The area only became known by this name when the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens opened as a public attraction. Initially most visitors would have approached by river, but crowds of Londoners of all classes came to know the area after the construction of Westminster Bridge in the 1740s. The entire route will be a 2 kilometre trip and might proceed at a leisurely pace. The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were removed in the 1850s and replaced by mainly industrial units, including a glass factory, a vinegar works and a gin distillery. By 1983, the land was purchased by Regalian Properties Plc. and architect Terry Farrell won the competition to develop a building on the site—originally an urban village. Plans shifted and the area was eventually zoned to accomodate office blocks, with the SIS Building (MI6 Building), eventually designated for the site. The SIS building was completed in 1994 and is currently theheadquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service (otherwise known as “MI6”). As such, it has been featured in the James Bond films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, starring Pierce Brosnan. Filming of the exterior of the building for the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall starring Daniel Craig.
- I keep mentioning that it was disappointing that the girls did not see the MI6 building; the building is only two kilometres from the London Eye, so I imagine the deliberate decision to omit the building might have been to prevent K-On! fans from flocking their and disrupting the service’s function.
- Come April and later, boat tours are conducted on the Thames River. Given that this hypothetical trip is set in March, these tours are not in operation yet.
Crossing Vauxhall bridge, we will board a train at the Vauxhall station, and transfer to the Northern Line at the Stockwell station. We will disembark at the London Bridge station, allowing us the sightsee at the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge was built 1886–1894 and is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge’s present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee. Originally it was painted a mid greenish-blue colour. The Tower Bridge is relatively close to the Borough Market, which will be included on the destinations to visit (it was visited by the girls in the movie). Located in Southward, the Borough Market that is currently seen today was designed in 1851, with additions in the 1860s and an entrance designed in the Art Deco style added on Southwark Street in 1932. It is one of the largest food markets in London, and sells a large variety of foods from all over the world.
- Stallholders come to trade at the market from different parts of the UK and traditional European products are also shipped over and sold. Amongst the produce on sale are fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. There is also a wide variety of cooked and snack food on sale for the many tourists who flock to the market, which includes the Houkago Tea Time girls, who purchase cupcakes here.
- If memory serves, Yui wishes to have roast beef for dinner in the movie upon the day of arrival. Hence, we’ll go to a steak house at the end of day one.
Dinner will be had at Black & Blue London Bridge (1-2 Rochester Walk, Borough Market), a moderately priced steak house (entrees range from 16 to 33 GBP, or 25.53 to 52.65 CAD). Once dinner is complete, we will cross over the Tower Bridge and make for the Monument train station, which is right on the District line and thus, will take our travellers directly to Earl’s Court. Disembarking at the West Brompton station, we will leg the remaining 200 metres back to the Ibis Earl’s Court and retire for the evening.
The day’s expenses total to around 120 Canadian dollars per person.