Day 57

You can find the map for today’s 6.73-mile walk here. Only 8 days until the Congestion Zone Ends Party! Follow on Twitter for more updates.

Today was another fairly lazy walk.

The south has been nice because, without the hustle and bustle of the city and the plethora of shops and distractions, the streets themselves are the only thing I have to pay attention to. I like that. It’s why I started this project in the first place. I like the experience of seeing what the streets themselves have to offer: their aesthetic, their atmosphere, their level of activity. I like observing it all and getting a feel for each neighbourhood as it’s own thing.

The relaxed vibe around here means also don’t feel as much pressure to find amazing things to tell you about. It’s becoming more natural to just walk the walk and tell you how it went rather than try to make it be something spectacular. That’s pretty nice too.

So like I said, today’s walk was slow and lazy. I found some streets that weren’t very pretty. I also found a couple of places I think every Londoner should know about. It’s a lot of fun uncovering these gems in an area that is otherwise pretty ordinary. It’s like going on a big Easter egg hunt.

Although having said that, the first one I’ll tell you about was very hidden, but the other two are pretty much right there in plain sight. Chances are you haven’t stopped to check them out though!

William Blake

I met Mr. Blake and his wife Catherine back on Day 10 in Bunhill Cemetery. It was nice getting a little visit from them again on the walk today.

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Apparently, Blake had a dream of having his works displayed as public art around London, so Southbank Mosaics decided to make that vision come true 200 years later. They designed and installed a whole series of mosaics showcasing his poems inside the tunnel system that sprouts out the back side of Waterloo Station.

Day 57

I like how much poetry is lying about the place in London. In memory of my grandma’s birthday a couple of years ago, I decided to go for a walk to see where the day took me (surprise, surprise), and I ended up getting a poetry-filled day. She was big into poetry so it was an absolutely perfect thing to have happen.

That’s the day I discovered the Poetry Library hidden in the Royal Festival Hall and spent an age reading through the Poems on the Underground at the London Transport Museum. Coincidentally, the Southbank also had a poetry festival going on that day, so the railings were covered in big prints of short poems from around the world.

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Finding things like these poetry mosaics always brightens my day (particularly if it is in an otherwise grim tunnel).

Lambeth Riverside

I don’t know why more people don’t know about the Bankside walk between Lambeth and Westminster Bridges. It is absolutely gorgeous. I mean look at this view! Continue reading

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Day 50

You can find the map for today’s 6.64 mile walk here26 days until the Congestion Zone Ends Party! Follow on Twitter for more updates.

As per usual, today’s walk had some distinctly different areas.

For the first bit, I finished off the streets I had left in St. James. I thought these would be a little boring because I had obviously seen the prettiest parts of the neighbourhood the day before. But there are a few gorgeous places around here, too rich for my blood, perhaps, but fun to walk by.

Most of the pretty buildings are hotels (really swanky, rich people hotels), or private clubs (to go along with the gentlemen theme from Day 49), or both like the St. James Hotel and Club (probably the most beautiful of all the buildings around here), which is also home to a Michelin Star dining experience.

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Also, I had always wondered where Duke’s was, the hotel whose bar claims to be the creator of James Bond’s famous martini, and I found it tucked down a tiny little mews off St. James Place. One day (when I like actually like martinis) I will come here and get the real deal. Continue reading