A Day Around London

With the help of the book, “33 Walks in London You Should See,” by Nicola Perry, my friend found at the Waterstones Bookstore in the Piccadilly neighborhood of London, we set out for a delightful day of various walks around the city. It was a chance to see a part of London I hadn’t seen, and a revisit to a parts I had seen; now with decorations of Christmas.

Regents park, even in winter, is a beautiful place. The park was nearly empty that morning as a mist of rain dampened the air. It was as if we had the park all to ourselves. The grass was still green having not turned brown with the cooler months. The trees were colors of fall, and it looked as though they forgot to drop their leaves.

One cannot think of London without thinking of the Beatles. Yes, they came from Liverpool, but they made Abby Road famous for the album of the same name, produced at Abby Road Studios in 1969. People were taking pictures of each other crossing the very crosswalk seen on the cover. The studio was closed to the public, but it is worth seeing. St John’s Wood has red and white brick apartments, gated homes, and stylish townhomes. It is home to Lord’s Cricket Ground and various religious building’s representing Christian, Jewish and Islamic beliefs; all within walking distance of each other. London is extremely diverse in Its representation of all walks of life.

Set in a quiet street up from Regents Canal was a pub with delicious food and exceptional service. Crocker’s Folly, established in 1898, has affordable small plates of Middle Eastern Food.

Regents canal was experienced twice during this trip in different ways. This day was a walk on the towpath. We picked up the path near the pub, and took it to the end at little Venice. River boats dotted the canal. Some were occupied, but most were in hibernation for the winter. The homes along the canal that caught my eye were off white Georgian. In the back of my mind I pictured a ride along the canal to get a different perspective, and this would happen later in the week.

The Natural History Museum in South Kensington London was a quick tube ride away from Little Venice. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/ It was opened in 1881, and is free to the public. The Victorian Architecture it represents is worth a see on its own, before even looking at what it holds.

The end of the day was a stop by Oxford Street to shop and look at the lights. Each neighborhood presents a different array of beautiful lights to make the season even more festive. Oxford presents some of the best.

To Start off

Having never been to Europe during the holidays, I thought a trip was in order this past December. So I set off for England, Germany, and Austria to experience the festivities of the season. With apparel appropriate for the winter climate, I set out to meet friends via the use of the underground, to meet at Sky Garden. https://skygarden.london What better way to start off a vacation than to go above London for an amazing view.

Landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London look so small below. To see them from above is truly breathtaking. Wembley Stadium could be seen in the distance; remembered as the venue for Queen’s dramatic concert for Live Aid July 12,1986. We would see Bohemian Rhapsody later that evening at the movie theater in Swiss Cottage. My son later remarked, “you go all the way to London to see something you could have seen at home?” I answered with a yes; how poignant to see where it all happened for Queen.

A walk around London, off the beaten path, is a good way to see every day life. While searching to find the Columbia Road Flower market in Shoreditch, http://www.columbiaroad.info, we knew we were close when people could randomly be seen with flowers in their arms. The street was packed with people browsing the market. Christmas trees were being sold, right off the trucks. The smell of pine was in the air. There were stands of tulips, flowering kale, orchids in shades of purple,white lilies, and fresh wreaths for the door.

As we continued to walk, street murals decorated buildings here and there. Needing a place to warm our bodies as well as eat, we stopped into Dirty Bones Shoreditch. https://dirty-bones.com/locations/shoreditch This American cuisine establishment was in a historic building that looks as if it has always been there, with a welcoming friendly atmosphere.

The day ended with Bohemian Rhapsody. I thought sure after a long day walking around London, after having left the day prior from Washington Dc,I would fall asleep, but the movie was so good, there wasn’t a chance of that. What a good end to the first day in London.