London Bankside by Night

Millennium Bridge by Night
Millennium Bridge

Last night I took a walk around the Bankside area of London. Bankside is one of my favourite parts of London and it stretches all the way from London Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge.  I’ve posted about the area immediately around London Bridge and Borough Market before but this is the first time in ages that I have wondered all the way up to the Tate Modern with a camera.

City of London as viewed from Bankside by night
City of London

The views from Bankside on the Southern Bank of the river Thames are quite exceptional.  You can see 30 St. Mary Axe (fondly known as ‘The Gherkin’) peeking out in the middle of the photo above.  You can also just make out Southwark Bridge and Cannon Street Railway Bridge at the far right of the photo.

City of London School and St Paul's Cathedral by night
City of London School and St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral looks exquisite at night time and you really can’t help but stare at it!

London Bankside by Night 4
The City of London viewed over the Millennium Bridge

It is probably best that I confess how very, very cold it was outside last night!  These photos were only taken at about 5pm and as you can see, it was already completely dark in London.  The temperature at the time was about 2°c which equates to too-cold-to-be-outside-taking-photos in Fahrenheit. 

The Founders Arms London Bankside
The Founders Arms

I was wondering around because I was attending the London Travel Bloggers Meetup at the Founders Arms at 6pm and I had an hour to kill!  Behind me was the towering chimney of the old Bankside Power Station, now known as the Tate Modern.

Tate Modern Bankside
The Tate Modern

Behind the Tate Modern, there is an exciting new residential development called NEO Bankside.  Of course, not everyone shares my love of modern architecture but I think these are stunning.

NEO Bankside development 2

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The NEO Bankside Development

I gratefully made it into the warm interior of the Tate Modern building and not a moment too soon.  I’d lost feeling in my toes!

Tate ModernThe Tate Modern

The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 2The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 3 The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 1 

I took a look at The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds exhibition which is strangely mesmerising.  I was almost overcome with an urge to touch the seeds (because we were told not to) and I was quite taken by the sea of handmade porcelain sunflower seed replicas.

I also saw two other photographic exhibitions in the Tate which I would highly recommend: Bruce Davidson's Subway series as well as the Photographic Typologies exhibition featuring Simryn Gill's Dalam series and Paul Graham’s Television Portraits.

The Scottish Town of Crieff

Crieff 01

It seems strange to me that a couple of months have passed since I visited Scotland.  But it is true!  It has been a crazy and busy time but my memories of the most lovely and idyllic holiday remain.  After our first day in which I took a walk around Lock Monzievaird, we drove on down to the nearby town of Crieff to see what there was to do. 

Crieff Tourist Information Centre

Crieff has a Tourist Information Centre which appears to be housed in an old church.  The ladies at the Centre are incredibly helpful and they really take the time to help each visitor plan their time in the area.  We left with loads of pamphlets and ideas and also a map showing us the way to the Crieff Visitor Centre back on the road to Loch Monzievaird.

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Crieff is a market town and is famous for being a major cattle droving hub for hundreds of years.  I really loved the creepy architectural style of the town (and I mean ‘creepy’ in the best, most admiring kind of way!)

Crieff 06

In the week that we were in Scotland, we spent most of our time in the council area of Perth and Kinross.  A ‘council area’ is similar to a county in England and it is a local government administrative area.  Perth and Kinross crosses the southern boundary of the Scottish Highlands so while we didn’t get to see huge mountains or majestic waterfalls, we did get to see breathtaking views wherever we went.   We visited Crieff, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry and you just had to look down the side streets to see incredible views like the one above.

Crieff 08

We were rather amused to discover a dedicated Christmas store in Crieff.  The store is open all year round and we were amazed that they manage to stay in business!  I imagine the tourist trade helps somewhat as we certainly couldn’t resist buying personalised gifts for all of the grandchildren, nieces and godchildren in the family.

Crieff 11Crieff 10

Their prices were really good too so perhaps that accounts for them staying in business!

If you follow the Scotland Here and Now blog, you will know that one of the biggest attractions to Scotland is their food and drink.  I didn’t sample nearly enough of those in my time in Scotland and that is one of the biggest reasons why I intend to return there!

Crieff Whiskies and Cheeses shopCrieff 13

We did visit the divine J L Gill Whiskies and Cheese shop which was a lovely little shop full of… you guessed it, whisky and cheese.  I bought a lovely little orange and port pâté and I wished that I drank more whisky as they had a really impressive selection. 

And so with map in hand, the five intrepid travellers set off for Crieff Visitor Centre.