We spent 2 weeks in the UK in July, 2004. About 8 days in London, followed by a trip to Stratford on Avon for the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain.
These are the highlights of London. We were staying quite near Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum. We visited all of the major sites: Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the British Museum, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Charing Cross. We went up in the London Eye (a giant ferris wheel) and got some great pictures of greater London. We spent a day at Windsor Castle, and the Queen was there for part of the day. A visit to Kew Gardens yielded some great flower shots.
In the Formula 1 theme, there was a "parade" on Regent Street, and we went, along with 250,000 others. We went to Harrod's, and St. Paul's Cathedral (in the midst of a major reconstruction, but magnificent nonetheless). We ate at Blackfriar's Pub and spent hours on the Tube starting at our local station, South Kensington.
London is a great city and we will surely return. Nunc est Bibendum!
British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone. We travelled from London to Heathrow to meet our F1 tour. We bussed up to Stratford on Avon, which is about an hour from Silverstone. Weather was typical - it threatened rain the entire weekend, and did rain quite a bit before and after practice, qualifying, and the race, but it never rained while F1 cars were on the track. Practice was on the 10th. On the evening of the 10th, we took in Hamlet back at Stratford-on-Avon. It was a long day, as we had been on the bus at 8 to get to the track, and Hamlet did not let out until 11PM.
On the 11th, our anniversary, we bussed back to the track for the main event. But an F1 race is only about an hour and 15 minutes, so the promoters fill the day with support races, air shows, and so on. There are pictures here from the Maserati support race and the post-F1 Historic Sports car race. The Red Arrows (the British equivalent of the Blue Angels) performed just prior to the race. From the race itself, look for full-size pictures of a few close-ups: one of Jarno Trulli, one of Kimi chasing Michael, and the one of Michael after the win.
The day after the race we were supposed to go tour the Jaguar F1 factory. But due to some misunderstanding, that did not happen. Our tour guide, Trevor, always on his toes, redirected us to the Donington Park Museum which has the biggest collection of F1 cars in the world. Amazing. After a very short rest at the hotel, we spent the afternoon and evening at the Williams F1 Conference Center/Factory. This is a very slick presentation center, likely designed to attact sponsors. There's a 10 minute movie, an interactive display area with engine and transmission cutaways. Then, we moved into the trophey room where dinner was served. During and after dinner, we had a panel discussion with Matt Bishop (editor of F1 racing magazine), Jim Wright (head of marketing of Williams), and Williams chief engineer Frank Durney.
What an excellent way to spend our anniversary, and to end the vacation!