Walking around London
I love spending spare time walking around London. I am always on the lookout for new walking guidebooks.
A couple of years ago I was delighted to discover a series of books called “London’s Hidden Walks” by Stephen Millar. There are 3 volumes and they are published by Metro Publications. Each one contains 12 illustrated walks and the books are small enough to fit into a large jacket pocket.
The walks take you on routes past some of the more hidden aspects of the city’s history. Most of the walks are around 5-6 miles in length and cover all corners of the capital.
Each individual walk has about 30 -40 points of interest along the way. The points of interest are varied and, although they are often quite obscure, they are never boring.
I have had a lot of fun doing the walks and I have learned a lot more about London in the process. The books must be quite popular because when I have been walking I have bumped into people with the same book on several occasions.
Here are 13 randomly selected points of interest from the many hundreds in the books:
1. An 18th century Jewish cemetery right in the middle of a London University.
2. A ghost sign (a faded painted sign) for Daren’s Bread in Stepney.
3. Beautiful model ships perched on the top of a building.
4. An old pottery kiln in the middle of Notting Hill.
5. Karl Marx’s original grave at Highgate. (i.e. not the current one)
6. Regeneration at Hackney Wick.
7. A garden in the shape of the Thames Barrier.
8. A 1960’s tube ventilation shaft in the shape of a Victorian park building in Islington.
9. Male and Female houses at Deptford.
10. A genuine Norwegian church in Rotherhithe.
11. A preserved operating theatre at London Bridge
12. A London church that survived the great fire in 1666.
13. A beautiful (free to visit) rooftop garden on top of a Kensington department store
London is truly an amazing place to walk around.
You need a good guide book and you need to keep looking all the time.
You just never know what is on the other side of that wall or around the next corner.