27.10.2010 - 31.10.2010 13 °C
I'm trying to see as much of London as possible, so walking has become a favourite pastime. I don't always remember the camera, but here's some recent shots I took while rambling around.
First, more of the Hampstead Heath to the north of my place. There's a really lovely tucked-away garden and pergola, part of the grounds of the mansion built by Lord Leverhulme (founder of Unilever, ie. Sunlight detergent), which later become the home of Lord Inverforth. Now it is luxury flats. But the garden is open to the public - it is not within the main space of Hampstead Heath so doesn't get as many visitors. A real find.
Within Hampstead is a little parish cemetery that's a little overgrown but interesting to visit (not quite as wild as Highgate Cemetery which I have to revisit and get some photos to share). I particularly love the holly all around the area (not mistletoe as I was calling it) and many streets are named for it.
Also near my place is a striking street called Eton Avenue. It was once part of an estate owned by Eton College, covering what's now Regent's Park, Primrose Hill, Swiss Cottage and Belsize Park. I usually walk along here at least once a week to a little farmer's market with great coffee plus it ends at the Swiss Cottage tube station which is a handy alternative to my own depending where I'm headed. Most of these seem to be split into flats but a few look like they are still one entire home.
On Hallowe'en day I did a long, roundabout walk from Bloomsbury through Soho, down to Mayfair and St James Palace, through St James Park and passed through the Horse Guards building onto Whitehall and up to Trafalgar Square. Surprisingly it doesn't take that long - the city is much more compact than it seems on the maps.
Then I hopped a bus out to Tower Hill, crossed the bridge and got some shots of it being lifted to let a dinner cruiser pass through just before it got too dark (at 4:30! daylight savings happened today for us.) The bridge has been getting spiffed up for the Olympics and looks sharp.
The area north and south of the Tower of London features some of the most memorable modern architecture, and will soon have its newest building The Shard lording over it all. It will be over 300 metres tall and look like this - I'm captivated by it even at the halfway stage.
Only a few steps away, the well-preserved streets and warehouses of Butlers Wharf now hold upscale flats and restaurants - but the view is free.
More to come...