Walks in May
Seeing as we've just passed seamlessly in to the month of June, I though I'd take the liberty of mentioning a few walks I did in the month of May.
This is Mercedes & Cindy who were on a brief stop over in London, so I met them at Victoria station, fresh off the Gatwick Express. Although the area of Victoria itself is currently under quite a lot of construction and perhaps not the most attractive of places to begin a tour, it's actually conveniently located for getting to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and places like that. The photo was taken on Horse Guards Parade in Westminster, and if you look closely, you'll see in the background, a pair of young newlyweds. Aaaah ... how romantic.
I spent pretty much the whole day with the Cassanda family, who were visiting from the States, so in the morning managed to cover Westminster, then after a spot of lunch near Covent Garden, went to see the Tower of London, a host of other places and finished at St Paul's cathedral. Here they are standing in front of the iconic clock tower, known as Big Ben ... which is (as I'm sure you know) the name of the massive bell inside.
Here's Erin, who came on one of my regular Saturday walks. It was in fact her second walk with me after already doing the east London one a few months ago. She's standing outside a pub just off Borough High street, south of the river Thames called the King's Arms. I had just mentioned to her, that the huge coat of arms that adorns the front of the pub, was actually saved from a stone gateway on the south end of the old London bridge and had been added in the early 1700's, then removed when the area south of the bridge was redeveloped for access reasons later in the century.
Greg and Nancy joined me on a Sunday walk around the east end of London. Here they are standing on Princelet Street, which forms part of an area known as Spitalfields. Historically, the area has welcomed successive waves of immigrants over the centuries, and the current nearby Brick Lane Mosque is a fascinating English Heritage building that effortlessly encapsulates pretty much its entire migrant history. Just behind them is another interesting building, rarely open to the public and known as 19 Princelet Street. I think the hope is that one day, it can open permanently as a centre of immigration, telling the stories of the many people from around the globe that have lived in the area. As you might be able to tell from the photo, we popped to Columbia Road Flower Market on the way.
Next up is Jill and Jenna from Ohio. I met them at their hotel by Lancaster Gate just next to the Italian Gardens, then wandered through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace. Here they are outside the magnificent Westminster Abbey, which was just one stop on a tour that finished up on the other side of London at the Tower of London.
Last but not least, here's one of my Sunday groups standing outside Shoreditch Town Hall. We spent the morning wandering around the areas of Old Street, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Spitalfields.
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