London – Battersea Power Station & Santander Bikes

April 24, 2017

Planning Paris – we chose a later Eurostar and booked the early National Express to London. This way we were able to explore a bit more and FINALLY visit Battersea Power Station (before it all becomes apartments).

Santander Bikes

So in order to get around, rather than just taking the tube, we thought hiring the Santander bikes would be a great idea. It was!!! We enjoyed being back on bikes (we rather miss our ones, sitting in storage back home). The arrangement/system of hiring the bikes and using them is really easy and the cost is really good value. There is an app, which if you’re a regular user you can sign up and pay a certain amount for the year. Or if you don’t want to, or are sporadic user, the app is really useful for checking availability of bikes or spaces at the stations around town. A fantastic option for sight-seeing round London.

Battersea Power Station

After leaving our cases at the baggage keep in Victoria Coach Station, we picked up a couple of bikes from outside Victoria Train Station and headed on our way along the ‘busy’ streets of London. Our cycling route took us along and down over Vauxall bridge, where of course we stopped for photos and a selfie with MI5 – Hi James – and a distance shot of Battersea. Then we biked alongside the Thames to Battersea.

Battersea was on the list to visit (to explain to those not in the know of ‘real music’) because it was used as backdrop on the cover of one of Pink Floyds albums – Animals. And as Simon enjoys Pink Floyd, it was must visit. 

After Battersea we biked our way to the other side of the Thames, followed the river to wind up round the Palaces of Westminster. Here the roads were slightly busier, both with traffic and tourists but we managed our way round/through the ’roundabout’ and came out safely on the other side.

Leicester Square

Finding an empty docking station near Leicester square was a little difficult (coz of course most of the bikes were docked in town with people having gone into work for the day – keep that in mind if you’re using the bikes on a working week).

Lunch was enjoyed sitting in Leicester Square before popping into M&M’s World (see clip on video page of the wall of M&M’s) and Legoworld.

The M&M’s store was four floors of colour – red, yellow, blue and green (mainly) – there were mugs, plates, cutlery, stretch n’ grows, towels, pens, pencils, magnets and much much more. The wall of M&Ms had it all in colours, in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut and one other flavour. They didn’t have any of the random flavours, like peanut butter, birthday cake or mini M&Ms.


The displays in Legoworld are amazing – huge. Again, we saw the ‘pick n mix’ lego bins (like in Cologne) – it would be so cool to just go shopping like that one day (before we head home maybe). There was a lego picture, of London City, on the wall as you head up the stairs to the second floor

Big Ben

Tube Carriage

It is a fantastic store to visit, and we highly recommend anyone in London (with or without children) to pop in for a visit.

Our Leicester Square jaunt led onto Piccadily Circus and down to Fortnum and Mason (Sara says – finally….). We went up to the stationary floor and well…it was…okay. It stocks Kikki K and some pretty cards, but nothing exciting. To be honest it wasn’t to our taste, the store was nicely laid out and there’s a ice cream parlour that would be worth a tasting visit next time but other than that it was a bit meh.

It was time for our morning coffee, so Café Nero Piccadilly here we come – before then catching the Tube back to Victoria to grab our cases and head to St Pancras

St Pancras

We’d planned on having lunch at the station before catching the Eurostar – found a burger place in the far back of the station – Prime Burger. The burgers here were delicious, great in size, not too big, great price and seriousy scrumptious.

Checking in with Eurostar is so easy, you use the ticket machines, pop in your booking number, confirm who’s checking in and it prints your tickets. Use your ticket to scan through the ‘border’ to security, bags and you checked/scanned and you’re in. Nice. The waiting area was a bit busier than last time (ie we took the first train out in the morning last time). Boarding is called about 20-30 minutes before departure and depending on the carriage you’re in as to which travelator you take to the platform. Find your carriage, then row and seat (checking which carriage has the café/bar) me you’re off….

See the next post for the next stage of our adventure….



FitBit Data. 24/04: 12.01KM’s – SRT 17,692; SJT 15,398

  • on August 4, 2017

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