Does going back to a place you’ve been to a few times before count as Exploring? Maybe, I don’t know. But we’re talking about London here, a city that is forever changing with something new to see each time you return. 

We went to visit T’s family on the south coast for a week or so and while there caught up with our best friends who’ve recently moved out of London to a place called Epping. Our first exploring spell was a day out in the city just to reminisce the good old days. 
Having left for Italy 8 years ago we were wandering around the West End realizing how much it has changed (and how many features and memorable buildings were literally wiped away due to the city new development plan). I know it sounds nostalgic but it breaks your heart when you find out your favourite night club has been  knocked down only to be replaced by some new (and let me say, ugly) glass-covered monstrosity. But enough with the moaning. Let me tell you about the good things.


After stuffing our hungry bellies with some unexpectedly good food in a cool eatery just around the corner from Tottenham Court Road (such a lucky find) we headed to Camden for a leisurely stroll. And it was! We walked aimlessly from stall to stall, shop to shop. We browsed around the market (as you do) looking for a t-shirt with a cool print and a pair of ox-blood Doc Martens while surrounded by smells of a hundred different foods from around the world. We had a good time exploring places we once called home and I would do that again a million times (as far as London is concerned). It was then time to head back to our friends place but not before stopping for a pint or two at this Italian bar opposite the famous Stables market.

Walking the dog was a good excuse the following day for heading to a place I had never been before: Epping Forest. This ancient woodland straddling the border between north-east London and Essex was once part of the royal forests although now it is managed by the City of London. It is quite a treat having the chance to walk around such an evocative and calm place thinking that crazy-busy London is just few miles away. 


Armed with rubber boots and warm coats we took our friend’s springer spaniel around the woods. Luckily I had my camera to snap some pictures of the colourful surroundings. 


Next day we said our goodbyes, took the train and headed for the coast where T’s family would be waiting. Seems like a miracle but we actually had several days in a row of sunny weather (please see evidence 1 and 2). 



Walked along Brighton lanes, peeked inside fancy shops, ate a scrumptious vegan cupcake and found the perfect blanket style scarf for winter. Can a girl ask for more?

Last day was spent in Chichester, a nice quirky little town not far from where we were staying in Worthing. Being the weekend it was packed with people desperately looking for the ultimate bargain (sale season anyone?). But I soon got bored with the high street shop hysteria and so opted for a take away coffee.  Despite the rainy English weather, 3 bluesmen jammed out rockabilly tunes for pennies from passers-by. They were awesome and drew quite a crowd.


Our stay in England ended with a walk along the canal at dusk and a home-cooked fish and chips that T kindly offered to prepare for the family that night. You can’t go wrong with that.



What about you..Have you ever looked at a familiar place through different eyes?

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