With an increasing push for Ephox to have a European presence based out of England, I’ve been reflecting on some of my favourite things of my time there. These are the bits that are slightly more uniquely me, than the standard tourist things. Out of the varied experiences and things to do in London and the UK, these are some of my favourites.
Christianity and church is an essential part of life for me. Finding All Souls was a great discovery, and the times and people there form some of the fondest memories of our time in London. Before going there I had no idea how good pipe organs could sound. I was also thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Christianity Explored, and some of the other ministries of the church. It was great hearing John Stott preach, and we were also blessed and challenged by the other preachers there. I still listen to sermons from their sermon library (which dates back to 1966), which is available online (All Souls Sermon Library).
Of all the great museums, historical and cultural places and sites, my favourite was the British Library. It was great to go and see some of the extant manuscripts, especially some of the early new testament artefacts. Seeing some of the early versions of Beetles songs, some of Leonardo DaVincis writings, and Handels work was cool too.
I took a trip to Bletchley Park one week-end with my Dad. Given Dad’s background in Cryptology, and my interest in IT, and security, visiting the home of where the British government was attacking German ciphers in World War 2 was a must. It was great to be able to go around on a tour and see the rooms which were filled with people attacking Enigma codes, and to see where the first computer was created by Turing. The computer history museum they had there was cool too.
Ryanair and similar flights for a penny + taxes are too hard to refuse. Even though you end up miles from anywhere, and have to pay for transport to obscure airports at both ends, as well as taxes the trips are good for a week-end, and are a real part of the England experience. It really is worth doing this at least once, and taking advantage of these cheap flights for a great week-end away.
On the subject of cheap flights, travel generally is an Aussies initial reason to go to London. It is definately worth doing a fair bit while there. If nothing else, going on organised trips makes for a decent way to see different places. Suzanne and I ended up doing a bunch of travel with Oak Hall, visiting Turkey, and doing their Europe tour. Their holidays have a bit of a reputation for being a place for singles to meet, but Suzanne and I had fun as the old married couple :).
We lived in inner London, on the tube, and definitely enjoyed being in the centre of it all. Staying on top of a French Patisserie was definitely nice, as was the Organic Butcher next door.
Overall I have many fond memories of life in London, and would definitely recommend the experience.