Day 22

Today’s walk was split into two very distinctive halves: grotty and grim vs. bright and inspiring. They seemed worlds apart but interestingly these two halves were united by one game-changing invention: the printing press. 

THE PRINTERS

For the first half of my walk, the streets were pretty dull. Some of them were boring and grey and others were dingy, dirty and just plain ugly. I got the impression it was an area that London kind of forgot about. There were no decorations, no plants, no pieces of outdoor art.

As it turns out though, apparently it’s always been pretty drab. In fact, considering this historical description I found on an oddly informative placard down a dark alley, I’d say it’s actually much improved: The Fleet Street was regarded as having unwanted amounts of filth, smells and a noisy clatter of, amongst other things, many churches, street traders and brawls. 

I had several moments of panic wondering if I would find anything of interest to share with you. It didn’t look promising. A couple of important blue plaques maybe, but not a whole lot more than that. 

Day 221-001

Then a theme started to emerge and bits and pieces of earlier walks started to creep into my mind. Remember back on Day 5 when we meet Wynkyn de Worde, the “Father of Fleet Street”? If you recall (or reread) he was the first to set up a printing press on this famous road back in 1500, and in doing so he changed the future of the neighbourhood. Continue reading

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Day 5

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As he is one of the major influencers in the realm of Urban Exploration, this Cart—Źain street art seemed a fitting find for today.

One of the things I love best about these walks is seeing where the day takes me. I never research the area beforehand, I just see what catches my attention along the way. It’s a great way to see a version of London that’s all for me and that highlights the things I find most interesting. I talk with shop owners (and strangers on the street), read plaques on places of interest and keep an eye out for any themes of the day. Every day has its own character and even if I walked the same path next week it would be a new experience again, showing me things I didn’t see before.

My hope with this blog is to inspire you to take a couple of hours one day to set out for a wander with no purpose and see what London has to show you. You know those side streets and courtyards you glimpse as you walk briskly to and from your office? See what they’re all about. Get curious. Get lost. Get a taste of London at its mysterious best. The only downside? You may get addicted. I can assume no responsibility for the hours you may lose in your attempt to quench your London thirst.

Today was a really interesting and fun 5.58 miles with far too many finds to share without boring you to death. Here are my highlights!!

The Star of the Day

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Continue reading