London OK, it’s a bit of a cheat for a bear who has lived in London all his life to write about ‘holidays in London’. So, sorry. But why not? Obviously, London is in the south east of England. Getting here is quite easy, under normal travel conditions at least. There are multiple international airports, a train service for passengers and cars from Europe, ferries, the whole lot. Scotland and Wales are easily accessible, by car or rail. People come to London for many reasons: the galleries and museums, many of which are free the theatre (expensive) the history and sightseeing the shopping the red buses You do not come to London for the food (think burger/pizza/fish and chips), or for friendly people or good service. Winters are rarely bitterly cold, and there can  be snow but we often have no snow all winter. Summer can be hot and uncomfortable, and many places are closed. Spring and autumn are best, and Christmas is still an event. But mostly it just rains. There are shops that specialise in teddies. Some have been hit by the virus and have gone on- line only, or closed. The bigger shops, such as Hamleys and Harrods, keep a good selection of bears at all prices. And there are very many chocolate shops. And cheese, too. The whole of Greater London is rather grey. There is always building work going on, roads being dug up, buses diverted, rail lines closed. But the central part is more walkable than people imagine. One down side is the number of people sleeping rough, and there are still beggars who will pester you at every opportunity. Don’t give them anything, whatever their sob story might be. If you feel you need to do something, find a local charity that helps. There are many exciting places to visit just outside London if you get bored. Try St Albans or Canterbury for the cathedral, Brighton for the nude beach (your chance to be bear/bare) and the pier, Windsor for the castle, Watford for the Harry Potter Studio Tour, Greenwich for the naval history or Camden for the markets. Just don’t expect to see the Queen.
© MMXXIV Harrison Bear

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