After years around our continental Europe, this year (2013) we finally crossed the Channel to visit in and around London, Wales and Cornwall.
Being three and a caravan camper we left Bologna in the late afternoon of August the 5th, arriving in the evening at the Swiss border (with a payment of € 28, which means, for the Swiss motorway toll valid all year) and then on to the wide and quiet service area of S.Gottardo South Stalvedro , situated just before the Gotthard tunnel (18 km ), where we stopped for the night.
Resuming the journey, passing through Basel, Mulhouse, Epinal and Nancy, we have achieved the excellent Camping Municipal Chalons-en- Champagne, where we stopped for a short break of one day.
In Reims we got back on the highway, arriving later in the evening to Calais where we bought at the “Seafrance” the ticket for the ferry to Dover, on the stroke of 3:30 am in the morning, stopping, until boarding, in the great lighted parking lot of the port.
The cost of one way ticket, during the night for two people, was 200 € for car + caravan and 135 € for the camper with the addition of 7 € for each additional person, the crossing takes about an hour and a half. You can also do a round-trip ticket, saving about 10 €, one needs to know the exact day and time of return. We should have known that it coasts cheaper to look for static caravans for sale in the UK but it will be a lesson for next time, when we will bring our kids as well.
In Britain, the road is carried out keeping to the left , so it is necessary , at least initially , to be very careful in driving the vehicle , following engagement with the directions, which are very clear and complete.
I would like to remind all those who are terrified of driving ” in the wrong way” , that once you get off the ferry everything is less complicated than you may think , so after a few miles we realize to be able , though with some fatigue, driving on the left .
From Dover we headed to the English capital along the A20 and M20 , then , arrived in London on the busy ring road , the ” M25 ” (towards Dartford, North East) , we walked to the exit 25 from where we followed in the 1055, arriving after 9 km to the Lee Valley Camping Lesure of Edmonton, well connected to central London by bus , train and metro . The Day Travelcard (daily ticket at a cost of 11 €) can be purchased at the campsite reception and allows you to get on all public transport in the hinterland of London.
On August the 10th , we started, in the rain, a visit to London, but luckily the sun came out around noon and allowed us to appreciate the beauty in the best way of parks , palaces, churches , streets and squares of this extraordinary city .
From the metro station of Waterloo, passing close to the London Eye , the giant Ferris wheel ( 135 m high ), we crossed the Thames on Westminster Bridge with a beautiful view on one of the most characteristic places in London: The Parliament with Big Ben next and behind the famous Westminster Abbey.
Our walk then continued through the London St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park to reach the Kensington Garden, within which lies the Kensington Palace dedicated to Lady Diana. So we arrive in the London area where there are a number of important museums such as the Science Museum and the Natural Hystory Museum, in addition to the mega Royal Albert Hall.
On the following day, which was nice and sunny from the morning , we resumed our walk starting from the Tower Bridge, the most famous and picturesque bridge over the River Thames , from which you have a very nice view to the skyscrapers of the City and the fortress of the Tower of London , along Cannon Street where we arrived at the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral, beautifully frescoed inside with the ability to get on top of the dome from where, from a height of 110 m, it has a wonderful 360 ° view over the whole town