Last week my mum and I took a trip to the Dulwich Picture Gallery to visit their Astrup exhibition. This was excellent - so many gorgeous paintings and beautiful woodcut prints, and all by an artist I'd never heard of until this exhibition was announced.
You can watch a short video about the exhibition here and read about a previous trip of mine to Dulwich here.
After viewing the exhibition, visiting the shop and having a quick look round the main gallery (I especially love this painting in their collection) we headed back towards central London for lunch. A short train and Tube ride later and we were at Tate Britain - they do very tasty lunches here and it's always nice to have an excuse to pop in and look at the art!
Tate Britain doesn't have the flash of its younger, bigger sister Tate Modern but it's free to visit and has some wonderful art (including many of my all time faves)... and the building itself is pretty nice too.
As it was a nice sunny afternoon we decided to walk along the Thames to Westminster and catch the Tube home from there, as I'd (shockingly) never walked along this bit of the river before. It turned out to be a lovely little walk and (like so many places in central London) absolutely jam packed with history.
We both admired this interesting-looking building... which Google informs me is the headquarters of the Security Service, MI5! The MI6 building is just over the river, too.
A little further along the road you come to Victoria Tower Gardens, which are home to a very decorative memorial.
The Buxton Memorial commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834. It was originally located in Parliament Square but was moved to Victoria Tower Gardens in the 1950s. There are also a couple of interesting statues in the park, including one of the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
You get great views from the park of the Palace of Westminster (home to the Houses of Parliament), after whose looming Victoria Tower the park is named.
Looking up river you also get a great view of Westminster Bridge and the London Eye.
The Palace of Westminster probably needs no introduction but it really is a fabulous building, all Victorian Gothic splendour.
Westminster Abbey - just over the road - is similarly impressive. When I mentioned to my mum that I'd never been to the Abbey she was positively appalled, so I guess we'll be planning a day trip there sometime soon!
At the far end of the Palace there's the Elizabeth Tower with it's famous clock and the bell, Big Ben, which chimed three as we were walking through the park (Bong! Bong! Bong!).
The whole area is swarming with tourists, of course (most of whom are all trying to get a selfie with the clock in the background!) but don't let that put you off.
The buildings are truly wonderful in person (so much detail!) and whenever you see Westminster on the telly you can think "I've been there!" (not gonna lie, I find this hugely satisfying when I spot places I've visited).
All in all, a very nice end to our day out!