Last days of my big trip in London

August 10, 2016 | 9 Comments

Well, this is it – the last few days of my big trip spent in London. These consisted of a few social days and one solo sketching day.


After my crazy first afternoon, I spent the next day without doing much sketching. Instead I spent 7 hours catching up with Katherine Tyrrell of the very popular and informative blog Marking a Mark. We always have so much to talk about and it was amazing to discover that 5 years and 1 day ago we had a similar chat where Katherine asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years time. This photo shows our token sketch for the day – our lunch! Thanks Katherine for a great day.

Afterwards I rushed to Putney Bridge and only had 20 minutes before closing time in the Jacksons Art shop under the railway arches. Lots to explore and it was amazing to see so many different brands of watercolour in the one place. Just for the record, I only bought one tube of series 4 WN paint which I use regularly.

I then had a lovely dinner with Isabelle – no sketch and no photo (wow! whats going on?)


A solo sketching day starting with a visit to Bunhill Fields cemetery to see where Bunyan, Owen and Goodwin were buried, then had a late full English breakfast at a cafe in Spitalfields with a view of Hawksmoor’s Christ Church.

I had no plan for the day but just allowed myself to decide on the spot where to go next. I ended up at Westminster surrounded by hordes of tourists!

While doing this sketch of Big Ben I felt the most exhausted that I’d been for the whole trip, but still I kept sketching. I knew I was in a bad way when I made a number of simple mistakes – only drawing 6 bays instead of 12.

I started contemplating having a nap if I could find a shading spot in a nearby park…

…but this view of Westminster Abbey kept me going! In fact it got my creative juices pumping again.

I then wandered up Whitehall and ignoring the horseguards over my left shoulder, sat on the pavement and sketched Inigo Jones’ Banqueting House in a very loose and rapid style. I love sketching crisp classical architecture in a crazy way like this!

But it was time just to take it easy… so I wandered across to St James Park and sat in a deck chair for a little over an hour. The deck chairs cost 1.60GBP per hour but it was worth it!

And then I stumbled across a great local cafe (run by guys from Melbourne) so I had a rare tea and cake. I say rare because this trip I didn’t go out of my way to have tea and cake a lot.


Another social day starting with a lovely chat up with my great sketching friend Alissa Duke at the V&A museum.

We didn’t see much else except for the grand cafe and the courtyard but it was very special to sketch and chat together. I miss being able to do this regularly now that she lives in Melbourne.

This is my ‘reflex sketch’ of the building.

We then headed to Regents Park to meet a few other sketchers on a lovely warm day – ah! so good!

Then we headed down to the Tate Modern (meeting up with Parka) and tried to sketch the new very angular Switch House.

Parka had his camera with him (how surprising!) so you can see what we did at the end of the day on his video here from the 8:50 minute mark – including a silly moment when I was trying to create an Instagram story of how he does his walking videos.

I said goodbye to the gang around 8.45 and ended up walking past St Paul’s and couldn’t resist doing one more quick sketch.



Another great day of rest and workshop. I went to the Met Tab in the morning ie. The Metropolitan Tabernacle built for the famous Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon and in the evening worship with some Free Presbyterians catching up with a Sydney friend who is working in London for a few years.


I only had 2 hours of sketching before heading off to the airport so found myself back at St Paul’s. I wasn’t really in the mood for sketching as some guys turned up and I started chatting!

So great to finish my big trip hanging out with Rob Sketcherman (HK), Richard Briggs (Sydney), Paul Wang (Singapore), Ben and Gary(HK).

I decided to have a sketch-free trip home – not that I was sketched out but I just wanted to chill as much as possible on my big journey home.

Today (Wednesday):


What a welcome home. Sydney mid-winter and its 23C – warmer than most of the summers day I had in the UK.

I had the most incredible 8 weeks trip but it’s great to be home.

A huge thanks to everyone that was a part of my grand adventure – either in real life or virtually leaving me comments along the way. It’s an amazing privilege to be able to travel like I have – to visit different lands, meet lovely people everywhere I go and to be able to share this with others. Thanks!!!

The big thought at the end of any trip is that the real adventure begins when I return to ordinary life, continuing to have an exploratory mindset in the everyday grind.

Thanks again everyone!


To read other reports from the trip click here



  • It was a pleasure taking this trip with you – virtually of course.

  • Dee Ludwig says:

    Thanks so much for the rundown of your great trip!

  • KathyAnne says:

    Wonderful chronicling of your luscious trip! I enjoyed it immensely — thank you so much!

  • Thanks for allowing many of us to tag along on your journey. I’ve enjoyed every moment. Now, I”m off to get some rest, you’ve worn me out Liz.

  • Catherine Day says:

    I have been following you since doing Robyn Bauer’s McGregor School course in July. She introduced you to me. I’ve caught the bug since then and your online stuff is really helpful. I’m now doing your foundations course and making marks almost daily. Love your blog

  • Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us!!!

  • Flory says:

    Welcome home, Liz! Thank you so much for sharing your long, fascinating trip with us. It’s been a joy to travel with you. Xoxo Flory

  • Mary Beth Person says:

    Just now catching up with your blogs, as I have also been traveling. You have inspired me to no end and I find myself dreaming of more places to go with my sketchbook. But you are right . . . the big challenge comes with the daily grind and how to incorporate regular sketching with familiar activities. A goal of one sketch a day here at home is helping me see my daily routine with new eyes.

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