Playing Tourist with London Duck Tours

If you’re a regular reader of mine you’ll know I’m a big fan of London, and visit whenever I can – especially in Summer. So when I was asked whether I wanted to play tourist and go on a London Duck Tour, the answer was a resounding YES!

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I’d heard of Duck Tours before but wasn’t really sure what they were, having just seen the big yellow boat-like vehicles cruising through the streets of London. I was definitely intrigued. Me and hubby arrived at the Southbank on the day of our tour, and basked in the gorgeous sunshine until our transport arrived.

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The DUKW vehicles (affectionately referred to as Ducks and painted an appropriate yellow) are so-called thus: D = First year of production code “D” is for 1942, U = Body style “U” utility truck (amphibious), K = Front wheel drive, W = Two rear driving wheels (tandem axle). These vehicles were used to carry supplies and were most suited for this due to being able to go on both land and water. Fitted with a lovely roof, they are very accommodating on both grey and gloriously sunny days.

We hopped onto our Duck, Titania (all the Ducks are names after female characters from Shakespeare plays) and got comfy in our seats. Our tour guide Mark quickly gave us a brief of the journey ahead and then we were off!

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The tour started in Waterloo, then Westminster;

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Parliament Street, Whitehall, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Piccadilly;

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Grosvenor Place and Buckingham Palace, MI5 and Lambeth Bridge before splashing down into the Thames next to MI6.

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We then travelled by water past the Tate Gallery, underneath Lambert Bridge and then turned around beside the Houses Of Parliament before heading back to dry land. Back on solid ground, we passed through the Vauxhall area and then back towards Waterloo.

Considering I’m a regular visitor to London, it was great learning so much about places I’ve seen many times, as well as noticing things I’ve never seen before and travelling through parts of the city I’ve never seen. I even learned that the Thames isn’t as dirty as I’d once thought, and its only the colour it is due to the constant churning of clay and soil on its bed. Who knew?! (Well, obviously Mark, our guide knew….)

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I loved the tour. Our guide was informative, funny and really knew his stuff. I honestly felt like I was on holiday, and the time we spent on the water was so relaxing!

I’m so pleased I got the opportunity to take this tour. I’ve seen that London Duck Tours also do themed tours including James Bond and D-Day. I might have to look those up! I visit London so frequently it’s so easy to forget about the landscape and history surrounding you in such a fast-paced environment. I LOVED playing tourist!

I was given the opportunity to take this tour for free by London Duck Tours, but at under £30 per adult ticket I’d say it’s worth every penny, for such a unique way to see and learn about London. You can find out more about their tours, and buy tickets and vouchers here, at their website London Duck Tours

Have you ever been on one of these tours, or even one of their themed tours? I’d love to know what you thought. Leave me a comment below, and tell me about it!

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I was given two tickets to the London Duck Tours for free, in return for my honest review of the experience. All views are my own and totally unbiased. If you like the look of the tours, go try one and see for yourself!

This Week I Have Mostly….

….been learning from your blogs. I have learned:

  • That parents will happily send their ten-year old kids to school with a terrible packed lunch including lots of chocolate, haribo and a red bull. (via A Healthier Moo)
  • There’s no point ONLY training for your race by running. Muscle strength is important and will help prevent injury. Duh! (via The Runner Beans)
  • The Vietnamese are über hospitable when you come to stay and might get offended if you don’t eat seconds or thirds, even if they don’t eat that much themselves. Also, they can carry massive amounts on their little mopeds. (via Solo Wayfarer)
  • Been inspired by seeing Ari’s photo an hour for a day. I’d love to try this! (via WhatAriSaid)

….and lots more besides. You know I love reading your blogs. Recipe ideas, health plans, reviews, new products, current events, thoughts and dreams. You all inspire me!

Other than being inspired this week, and seeing Taylor Swift at the O2, I’ve been working out hard. Mostly running this week but I had a pretty hefty strength training session yesterday which has left me rather achy today. My long run was cut short today but the return of the dreaded stitch (anyone have any ideas what to do to prevent or continue running when one occurs?) Yesterday was a full day which culminated in having dinner with my Sister, her family and our parents. It was her birthday so we all met up for dinner at Frankie and Benny’s. It’s hard to eat healthily when you go out but I chose lamb shank which came with mash and gravy. It was still a little greasy but better than a burger and chips. I did treat myself to some tiramisu afterwards though. Then Gary and I headed to the new casino whilst everyone else went home because we weren’t ready to end our evening. I was doing pretty well for a while but ended up breaking even.

Today I’m just generally exhausted – running, cooking for the week ahead and also for the day we’re in, washing and finding the time to rest as well as catching as much of the winter Olympics as I can. I have one week and then a week off work to use up some of my holiday. I’m planning on doing some training, some stuff to the house (finally!) and maybe even reading a book! That would be nice 🙂

Before I leave you I want to share my favourite song of the moment. I heard it last year and still every time I hear it I just can’t get it out of my head. The video is great too, so please take a look. Have a great week guys!

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Why So Serious?

So, yesterday I tweeted this:

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The first retweet in the picture was from the actual chef who was cooking the loin on the tv show. I’m glad he shares my childish humour 😀 For the record I also giggle whenever a football commentator uses the word ‘penetration’.

Last night on twitter I also learned that if you rub your hand with stainless steel after using garlic (and after washing your hands) it will remove the smell, and if you drink coffee after eating garlic it will clean your garlicky breath. I also learned that if you wear two pairs of socks inside your Dr Martens when breaking them in, your boots will rub on the socks and the socks will rub on each other and NOT your ankles – maybe I can avoid the monster blisters this time around.

Just thought I’d share these little nuggets of information. It’s always important to learn at least one new thing a day 😀
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