Well that was a busy couple of weeks. I can’t believe it’s already been ten days since I finished my last walk. In the days leading up to it, time slowed down the way it does whenever you are excited about something, and I felt aware of every minute ticking by. But the moment I took that last step, everything sped up again, and here I am, a week and a half later, just getting a minute to catch up on the last few posts.
Although finishing the walks was a feat in itself, it might be wrapping up this blog that proves the more studious task for me. I love writing about the experience and connecting with all of you over the great treasures of London, but with that last step I felt like everything was done and I could quickly feel my mind moving on to the next thing.
That next thing has a lot to do with walking too and is something I hope to share with you in the next few weeks, but for now I am going to put it aside while I wrap up this project fully and tie the blog up the way it deserves.
So, without further ado, I give you: Day 59
After all that buildup, I feel like I might be letting you down when I say that there wasn’t a whole lot to report on during this walk. Remember how I said on Day 58 that things might be a little samey in the south but that it isn’t boring because there is so much variety?
This walk was kind of boring. There wasn’t much variety.
There continued to be an excess of houses. Houses upon houses upon houses.
I felt myself getting tired of the whole residential thing, to be honest. Sure the buildings differed from one another and I found some I liked more than the rest, but in the end they are all just houses. I had no idea there were SO many homes south of the river but, more importantly, so few things other than residential areas.
Maybe that’s why Londoners don’t really come here to hang out. Not because of its reputation for being rough or dangerous, but because, unless you are visiting a friend at their flat, there aren’t many places to come for.
Not many…but definitely some.
The Best Streets
If you recall from the Day 58, Lower Marsh Street was one of the better spots of the day. The Cut is its eastern extension and it carries on the cool vibe with the Old and New Vic Theatres, and ample restaurants and shops.
Because it is a main thoroughfare between Southwark to Waterloo stations, you’re likely to come across The Cut if you happen to be in the area. Isabella Street, on the other hand, is a place I would never have found if I hadn’t had to walk all the backroads.
It’s always a good sign when people walking around you see that you are new to the area and go out of their way to tell you you’ve stumbled upon a gem. While I was taking photos, I had three people stop and tell me that this was a great street, a quiet little respite away from the bustle near the stations, and also a wonderful place to come for dinner.
Considering the length of the street, it is impressive they manage to pack in Ev (a Turkish restaurant), Thai Silk Southwark (you can probably figure that one out), Jack’s bar & restaurant, and a wonderful garden full of potted plants and hidden seating areas.
One of the tricky parts about these walks is trying to take it all in. I constantly find myself zooming in and out in perspective; getting a feel for a street as a whole or spending some time in one specific place to see what it’s all about. I like to keep an eye out for small things too, little moments that make me giggle.
This door’s name made me laugh out loud in the park. I love it.
As did this rust stain (yeah, yeah, like I said, I am a little weird), which reminded me of a skeletal portrait of Shakespeare.
I think the best silly thing was this name drop of Charles Dickens though.
I haven’t seen Dickens mentioned at all in the south yet, and the wording on this sign made me think perhaps he never lived down here at all. A quick search on the Londonist’s map shows he did have one house in the south that I will see on a later walk, but he was clearly a North Londoner. This church made me laugh, though, when they make sure to say “the church was known to Charles Dickens.” Everyone has to make their claim on him, it seems.
One thing I love in London is when you’re having an otherwise totally average day and you turn a corner to find a National Theatre dance performance going on for free in a sleepy churchyard.
I happened upon a Watch This Space performance on today’s walk and it was such a nice break to sit in the deck chairs and soak up some art near the end of the day. What a lovely surprise.
As many of you have noticed, since Day 45 I have tried to find the corresponding number for my walk for the cover image on each post. The only rule is that the photo I use has to be taken on the day of that walk, nothing past or future.
For some reason, on Day 58, I thought it was Day 59 so I spent the whole day hunting that number down before I realised I was totally off. I was really bummed because I found a couple of really good ones too! Then on Day 60, I found a really great one that I thought about breaking the rule for but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I figured I might as well share them with you anyway because I was really excited about them. They’re pretty good, right!?
Speaking of Day 60, that one holds the record for the longest walk I did on my challenge: 13.62 miles. Considering it covered six bridges and one of London’s cultural centres, I might have a word or two to say about that one.
I guess you’ll have to wait and see…
See you next time!
Quick update from the future: now that this project is finished, I’m off on another adventure! Keep in touch on my new blog at Three Miles an Hour. See you there!