Finishing Our Nordic Cruise In London
After 32 days cruising along the Nordic fjords and through the Nordic countries, we arrived in Southampton. A stay by Hyde Park in London was the perfect way to finish this luxury cruise experience.
We booked a great full day Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle day trip for our transit from the cruise dock to London for 3 days.
Our stay at the Intercontinental London Park Lane put us in the heart of London. We enjoyed a lazy pampering stay to finish up our trip. But we could not miss a walk in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. And another glimpse into British Royalty and traditions.
A Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle Day Trip Between Southampton And London
We did so many amazing excursions on our cruise through the Nordic countries. When we finally got off the ship after 32 days, we really did not look forward to yet one more tour. We must have been crazy to book it for during our transit day from Southampton to London. But boy were we glad we planned a great full day Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle day trip.
We started our tour in the small town of Salisbury with a tour of the Salisbury Cathedral. It was great to see the beautiful and historic church. One copy of the original Magna Carta document is stored here.
Our second stop was at a very different place of worship. The ancient stones of Stonehenge set in the middle of a large grass field were something we had always wanted to see.
The final stop on our tour was at Windsor Castle. We enjoyed the chance to stroll around the grounds. And tour inside Windsor Castle and St. George’s Chapel. It was our first glimpse of the life of the Royal Family.
We loved our great full day Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle day trip. The transit between Southampton and London was the perfect time to see these sights. Although it is also easy to do day trips during a stay in Hyde Park in London to visit these great spots.
A Luxury Stay At Intercontinental Park Lane
After our busy tour, we were dropped at the Intercontinental Park Lane in the heart of London. We booked our stay by Hyde Park in London using IHG Rewards points. Luxury stays were always the perfect way to benefit from our focus on building loyalty status. We never did figure out how the doorman Panny was able to welcome us by name. But this kind of personalized service was always a hallmark of customer service excellence.
We got settled into our upgraded room with a view out over Hyde Park. And then went down to the Arch Bar. I had enjoyed my first gin and tonic when we stopped in the Horse & Groom Pub after our tour of Windsor Castle. There were 50 different gins on the Arch Bar menu. After much deliberation I chose the Edgerton Pink flavoured with pomegranate and lemon.
David was delighted to find the great Trois Rivieres rum from Martinique made with cane sugar and not molasses.
It was great to enjoy a moment of quiet and indulgence as we settled into our stay by Hyde Park in London.
Relaxing At the Concierge Lounge At Intercontinental Park Lane
We sometimes had mixed experiences when we booked Concierge Lounge access. But it was not a hard choice to upgrade for Concierge Lounge access at the Intercontinental London Park Lane. And boy were we glad we did. The lounge was a relaxing oasis at the end of a long trip.
Staff were attentive, the food and drink delicious and we had the best view out over Hyde Park. It was not hard to start each day with a champagne drink.
Afternoon Tea was even served in the lounge every day. You know we do enjoy our Afternoon Tea treats!
We love to finish our trips with a luxury stay to unwind and be pampered just a bit. The Intercontinental Park Lane was a great choice for our stay by Hyde Park in London.
We Walked In Hyde Park
Hyde Park was directly across the roundabout from our hotel. To cross we walked through an underpass. Depictions of local attractions and history decorated the walls of the underground walkway.
Our stay by Hyde Park in London was over the bank holiday in August. We found the gates to Hyde Park closed to vehicles. But we made sure we watched out for the stream of bicycles in the park.
We moved through the park from statue to statue. We started at the Arthur Duke of Wellington statue. As we walked through the Rose Garden, we admired the statue of the Boy and Dolphin. When we found the Diana statue, we were a little surprised to find the mythical Diana. And the Diana Princess of Wales monument turned out to be a concrete ring filled with water the people walked through. The crane statue shone in green stone.
There was so much to see when we walked through Hyde Park.
Enjoying The Gardens In Hyde Park
It was unusually hot (32℃ or 90℉) for our 3 days in London. So as we walked along the Diana Princess of Whales Memorial Walk in Hyde Park, we moved from tree to tree for shade. Even in August we found the park in bloom with flower beds along the paths we walked.
In the centre of Hyde Park was a large body of water. Several busy cafes sat around the water. A large shop offered canoes and paddle boats for rent. Ducks entertained the crowds. And if you were a bird watcher, there were a number of birds that could be spotted in the park.
A walk through Hyde Park was definitely one of the things we couldn’t miss on a stay by Hyde Park in London.
Continuing Through Kensington Gardens
We walked through Hyde Park and into Kensington Gardens. Only a sign showed that we moved from one to the next. We walked until we found the Peter Pan statue. There was much detail on the statue.
As we walked through Kensington Gardens, we saw such an eclectic variety of statues. There was the statue to Cavalry of the Empire and statue of Jenner as he pondered. The aesthetics of Henry Moore was immediately recognized in The Arch.
Taking A Break In The Italian Gardens
At the end of the waterway we found the Italian Gardens. A pagoda offered some respite from the sun. And a spot to enjoy our ice cream.
Fountains sprayed in the centre of waters filled with lily pads. Statues adorned the fountain at one end.
Once we hit this point, we turned around and headed back through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. By the time we finally crawled back to the Intercontinental Park Lane, we were hot and tired. But it had been a great walk through the parks. And something we didn’t want to miss on our stay by Hyde Park in London.
Royal Traditions In London
Close to the hotel we found the Wellington Arch. We were fascinated by the intricate statue on top. Especially as the sun made them glow. The horse guards marched through the Wellington Arch towards the palace near 10 am, in preparation for the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. We saw the horse guards as they glittered in the heat.
When we arrived in London, we planned to visit Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. We felt it would be fitting after we visited Windsor Castle. Close to home we have enjoyed the changing of the guards on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. On other trips, we enjoyed the precision of the changing of the guards in Athens. And the colourful guard ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. But the heat defeated and long weekend crowds deterred us from a day time visit to Buckingham Palace. It would have to wait for another London visit.
But a short walk at dusk provided a view of Buckingham Palace as the sun went down. The heat was down and the crowds were smaller.
As David wandered back to the hotel, he was drawn into the area where several war memorials stood.
Our stay by Hyde Park in London was the perfect spot to catch a little more Royal tradition.
We Saw A Lot On Our Stay By Hyde Park In London
There is so much to see and do in London. When we used London as a gateway for other trips, we saw many of the tourist spots. The London Eye was a great spot for views of London day and night. We made the best of our London Pass with visits to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. When we stayed out of town by Little Venice, it was a great spot to explore the waterways and Camden Market.
On this stay by Hyde Park in London, we enjoyed some new sights outside of London. Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle are all great day trips from London. Or on a transit day from Southampton to London as we did.
It was great to be pampered at the Intercontinental London Park Lane for on our stay by Hyde Park. Being in central London, it was easy to explore the green space in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. And to see a little more of the British Royalty pageantry. But we still left so many things to see and do in London for a return trip.
Have you done a stay by Hyde Park in London? What was your favourite spot to explore?
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