On Monday, I took a rare trip away from home and spent the night in London to have some fun.
I don't get to travel or have fun very often these days, as I struggle to cope with my spinal pain when I'm out of bed. I manage the odd couple of hours here and there, but most days I'm lucky if I can push through five minutes. It makes it difficult to go out and do the things I enjoy most in life, but every so often I need to push myself to my limits for the sake of my sanity, and say "fuck it."
And that's exactly what I did on Monday, when I went to London with my best friend and my older sister to see Linkin Park live at the O2! It was exactly what I needed to put a smile back on my face.
My sister and I left home around noon, hopped on a train, and made it to our hotel in Covent Garden by half two. My best friend arrived soon after. We made it to London so early so that I could rest for a few hours before the show, to have the best chance of making it through the evening. It was a wise decision and the perfect excuse for a catch up.
The trip was only possible because I won a night's stay at a Travelodge hotel on Rachel's blog a couple of months ago. I don't actually live far from London; our journey only takes about an hour and a half by train, but I wouldn't have managed all the travelling and shenanigans in one go. Winning the competition could not have come at a better time! It meant that we could all afford a night away, even with Christmas on the horizon. It allowed me to get plenty of rest before and after the show, and to see my best friend who I'd not seen for almost a year, and we were / are all so grateful for that.
We stayed in the Covent Garden Travelodge on High Holborn Road, which is in the theatre district and about a quarter of a mile from Covent Garden, and a mile from Westminster Bridge. It's about half a mile from Oxford Street and Leicester Square, too, so it's a great location to stay in if you're visiting London for sight-seeing, shopping, and a show.
It was the first time any of us had stayed at a Travelodge hotel, but it didn't disappoint. The staff were friendly and helpful, the room was clean, and the hotel was well maintained. We had a good-sized room, which, although simple, was all we needed for a night's stay. The room had a double bed and two single camp beds, which we all found comfortable. There was plenty of storage space for clothes and luggage, and a large wooden counter to work from or do your hair and make up from. It also had tea and coffee making facilities, a TV, and a decent-sized bathroom with a bath and shower (over the tub).
The best part about the room, and we all agreed, was the view we had from our tenth floor windows. There was so much to take in! We could see modern office structures alongside beautiful old buildings, with a little bit of nature and a couple of landmarks in between. Everything looked like it had been squeezed in between each other in no particular order and I loved how mis-matched it all looked. It's something I've always loved about London; the way new and old exists alongside each other.
Over the rooftops to the left of the window, we could see the tops of some of the buildings and ships along the nearby river Thames. I think the structure with the flag on the top is one of the bridges, but I'm not sure which one.
To the right of the window, was the BT Tower, which let's face it, is a bit of an eye sore. It looks so out of place towering above everything else.
It was grey and cloudy when I took these photos on Tuesday afternoon, but when we arrived on Monday, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, which made the view look so much prettier.
We all had a great stay at the Travelodge, and I just wanted to say a big thank you to Rachel for hosting the giveaway, and to Stephanie from Talented Talkers who was organising my stay and so kindly allowed a third person to tag along. Thank you both so much! I still can't believe I won, but it allowed me to spend a rare night away from home, and I really appreciated the opportunity to escape reality for a day. We all had a fantastic time, so thanks again!
I'd happily stay in the Covent Garden hotel again next time I stay over in London, and I'd gladly recommend the hotel to you guys. It has everything you need for a comfortable night or two away from home, and you really can't beat the central location!
This is only part one of my London adventures. Tomorrow I'll be back with part two, when I'll be talking about what I got up to while I was there.
Have you ever stayed at a Travelodge hotel?