Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jubilee Greenway walk Section 2

 From Paddington station The Greenway walk takes you behind the station and down to the Regent's Canal.

The walk continues along the tow path for quite a distance going through some very built up areas of London.

This area is called Paddington central.

This is a sculpture by Sean Henry to celebrate walking in this area.

This canal basin is where the Regent's Canal meets the Grand Union canal and is known as Little Venice. There is a very small island in the Basin known as Browning's Island after the poet Robert Browning who lived close to the Canal. Leaving the tow path you cross over an ornate blue and gold bridge.

Next to the Bridge is Bridge House which is now a cafe
There are narrow boats moored alongside the canal and the tow path is no longer accessible to the public for a little while.

As soon as I was able to get back on the tow path I spotted this blackboard where lots of people had completed the sentence.

Here are some of the endings:.......I want to live; ............. be a landlord;..........learn who I am; happier in love;...........write a book

Leaning against the wall was this copy of a Banksy painting (I assume a copy but with Banksy who knows?).
It's not long before the canal goes through London Zoo. You cannot access the Zoo directly from the tow path but you can see into some of the enclosures and you walk very close to the Snowden Aviary.

Shortly afterwards is the Feng Shang Princess Floating restaurant in the Cumberland Basin. I left the canal here to climb up to the top of Primrose Hill which gives a wonderful panoramic view of London.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jubilee Greenway walk: 1

This is a walk of 60kms to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. One km for every year of her reign. The signs for the walk are set in the pavement but they do not appear that often and a map, with directions, is a must for this walk.

The walk begins at Buckingham Palace, the London weekday home of the Queen. Her weekend home whilst in London is Windsor Castle.

To the right of the Palace you pass the Canada Gate, erected in 1906, the ceremonial entrance to Green Park.

Following the wall which surrounds Buckingham Palace Gardens, the walk takes you up Constitution Hill with the Memorial Gates at the top. The gates are four stone columns topped with a bronze urn. Carved on the side of the columns are the names of all the Commonwealth countries that fought alongside the UK in the 2WW.

You now approach Hyde Park Corner.Crossing the road needs to be done at the pedestrian/horse crossing. Hyde Park Corner is a large roundabout where 6 major roads meet. In the centre of the roundabout is Wellington Arch.

Apsley House also known as 'Number One London'. This was the home of the Duke Of Wellington, after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo.The house stands on its own next to the entrance to Hyde Park.

Grand Entrance Gates to Hyde Park. This is one of eight Royal parks in London. 

Within Hyde Park is a large body of water called the Serpentine. There is a lido where the public can swim here from June to Sept. The Serpentine swimming club swim here everyday including Christmas day when they have their annual race.

This is the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain. The fountain was opened by the Queen in July 2004. The water flows from the highest point in two directions meeting in a calm pool at the bottom.

Close to the Memorial is the bronze sculpture of the Ibis, sharing its name with the Egyptian Goddess of nature and motherhood.

Hyde Park leads you into Kensington gardens and Kensington Palace. This statue of Queen Victoria was placed in front of the Palace in 1887 for her Golden Jubilee.

Leaving Kensington Gardens through the Black Lion gate takes you onto the Bayswater Road.

On Bayswater Road  is the Black Lion Ale House which dates back to the 1700s. In 1830 it was used to recruit the 'Paddington Volunteers' who were formed for the specific purpose of protecting 'King and country' from an invasion by Napoleon.

This is number 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens and they look like every other house on this road except that these facades are false. Behind them are the open air shafts for the underground trains. Originally the trains were steam powered and were fitted with condensers which needed to vent the fumes into the open air. In such an exclusive residential area the railway company hid this from the residents. In the last series of Sherlock Holmes this is where the meeting took place between himself and Dr Watson.

It is only a short walk until you arrive at Paddington Station which has served as the London terminus of the Great Western Railway since 1838. Much of the current mainline station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel