We travelled by train, first class, from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston, a journey of two hours and ten minutes in complete comfort, with complimentery food and drinks - all for £61.00 each return which we thought was very reasonable. We booked with Virgin Trains on a value advance ticket which can only be used on the day and time it is booked for, but these are really good value as First Class tickets can cost up to £337, though these are fully flexible - see here.
Then we hopped on the tube changing at Victoria to Kew Gardens. Our accommodation was only a ten minute walk from Kew Gardens station.
Our agenda for the visit was The National Archives, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens and see a show and the only thing we didn't manage to see was Kew Gardens which, considering we were actually staying in Kew, was disappointing but we just didn't have time.
We arrived at our accommodation at 2.45 p.m. on Monday and just dumped our belongings so we could go straight to the National Archives to do some research before they closed at 5 p.m. You have to register and have a photo identity card made before you can go and start your research but it was quiet so it didn't take very long. It is absolutely free and the cards last three years, so we can go back if ever we need to do more research without having to re-register. The staff are very helpful and explained what records we needed to look at and how to order them for viewing. We stayed until closing time searching through the records that were available but had to reserve some records for the following day. Luckily the NA was just around the corner from where we were staying, which is why we chose it.
We headed back to our accommodation to unpack and freshen up before we went looking for somewhere to eat. Kew Green was only a 10-15 minute walk from where we were staying and there were some lovely restauarants and pubs encircling the green, we settled on the Greyhound Hotel. After a meal and a few drinks we set off back for a good night's sleep in readiness for our next attempt at research the following morning and a full afternoon of sightseeing (Tower of London), and the show (We Will Rock You) the following evening.
Tune in for Day 2 - The Tower of London