On foot

I love getting to know a new place by walking around it. In London, for some people it’s getting the tube map straight in their heads. For some it’s the bus routes. For other’s it’s knowing where’s good to drive and where to avoid. For me, it’s hitting the pavement, iPod on, and wandering around the city. I love coming up from the Underground and starting to get a handle on the areas which are above the many stops and stations on the map.

I went for two wee donders yesterday, through two wildly different areas of the city. I walked down from Swiss Cottage (after having parted with a significant chunk of money to join a gym there…I find committing to a membership is a great motivator. I’m always loathe to waste money! I also bumped into two ex-pupils of mine there from a previous guise as an Assistant House Mistress at a girls’ school….genuinely bizarre!) to Baker Street. I had originally aimed to walk further, I will admit, but had told the time incorrectly (FAIL!) when walking past a clock, but still got a decent walk in.

My route cut through many of the beautiful areas of North-West London, Swiss Cottage, Primrose Hill, Regents Park. I love this part of town, full of greenery and quiet privelege. It also makes me a little wistful though…it’s the sort of place I’d love to live, but realistically, it’s unlikely it will ever happen. Without a huge chunk of pennies, it’s just out of reach. And while I work hard and I do save….it feels like it’s just out of reach. I’ll keep hoping, but it may be a step too far. Lovely to walk through though.

My leisurely walk turned into a decided powerwalk when I discovered that I was late to meet the beautiful Siobhán, but I managed to zoom across to Holborn and we went for coffee and peppermint tea and chat. 🙂

After that I gave Matthew a call, and he was out having a pint with colleagues. So I could go home….or I could go for a walk. So walk I did, from Holborn to Liverpool Street, right through the city, passing crowds of bankers and city workers in their suits and skirts, taking in the sights. Some of the skyscrapers are so big they truly mess with the perspective of this country mouse. I saw some cool things on my route – St Mary le Bow church (about whose minister I once read a book), The Bank of England – and I heard the bells of Bow church too (apparently to be a true Cockney you must be born within hearing distance of these fabled bells).

And then, Liverpool Street, and home….

Where will I walk today, I wonder?

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  1. Riot Kitty
    23rd July 2009 / 3:56 pm

    Oh I am SO jealous. If you go into Covent Garden, eat at Cafe Pasta and Sartaj restaurant…yum.

  2. Christielli
    23rd July 2009 / 4:49 pm

    With all the walking, it's almost like you don't have to join a gym. Although I'm sure your pedestrian ways will change once work starts and when it gets cold out. I'm excited to see your London neighbourhood!

  3. morethananelectrician
    23rd July 2009 / 8:14 pm

    That map makes my brain hurt…I might have even had a seizure.

  4. Scarlet
    24th July 2009 / 3:15 am

    You have me missing London and the beauty of having everything within walking distance (assuming you're wearing comfortable shoes). I love the photos and your journey through the city in pics. Keep 'em coming…and keep on walking!!

  5. Cheryl
    24th July 2009 / 5:30 pm

    Aw. I love wandering like that. Also, my first experience with public transit was in London for a week when I was 18. It was awesome and totally prepared me for dealing with it here in Chicago. But your Underground is a lot nicer than our El.

  6. Anonymous
    24th July 2009 / 6:01 pm

    You are so kind to keep my little grandson OWEN in mind…love you for that! Then I clicked and found your blog…What lovely pictures of England- how beautiful your walks are and what a very Smart idea…healthy to walk…but delightful for the brain and heart to see beauty inn a meadow or a skyscraper…you are just the type of person I'd have tea with were I ever be blessed to visit "across the pond". Have a lovely day and yes "poppet" is the perfect word to describe Owen. Thanks again for your prayers and your beautiful blog! OWEN'S GRAMMA VICKI (Andrea's mom)

  7. kristin5683
    27th July 2009 / 2:07 am

    I stayed with a friend who lives in Bow last year. Had a great visit and miss it dreadfully! Loved your post and photos.

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