This is the 31st station I've visited on the Central Line and it is in the middle of one of the busiest shopping streets in the world, Oxford Street. Bond Street station, services both the Jubilee and Central lines.
As with many underground stations in Central London there is no surface building. Before emerging onto the street you enter the West One Shopping Centre which is usually crowded but it is early Sunday morning and the shops are not yet open.
Sunday morning before the shops are even open and Oxford Street still busy with queues building up outside some shops.
Back onto Oxford Street and a short walk takes me to an alley leading to St Christopher's Place.
The largest store on Oxford Street is Selfridges. In fact it's the second largest shop in the UK after Harrods. It must be one of just a few stores to have a TV series written about it (Mr Selfridge).
Above the main doors is the The Queen of Time sculpture with a large bell above chiming the hour.
At the Northern end is a Museum housing the Wallace Collection of art treasures, furniture, porcelain and armour. It is free to enter and well worth a visit.
Leaving the square via Duke St I entered Wigmore St. This large distinctive building occupies almost a whole block and is completely clad in white Carrara tiles by Doulton. Built in 1906 it was the Debenhams building. It is still an office block but is no longer connected to the Debenhams Department store chain.
Perhaps the most well known building on Wigmore Street is Wigmore Hall. Built in 1901 by the German piano maker Bechstein next to its showrooms. It used to be called Bechstein Hall but its German ownership meant that it was seized during WW1 and didn't reopen until 1917 when its name was changed to Wigmore Hall. Its acoustics have earned it the reputation of being one of Europe's best small venues for classical music.
Moving on I crossed Oxford Street to explore south of Bond Street station starting with New Bond Street, home to art galleries and auction rooms
Turned left onto Brook Street where Handel lived for 36 years at No 25 until his death in 1759. It was here he composed many of his great masterpieces including theMessiah and Music for the Royal Fireworks.. The house is now a Museum which you access from an alley behind the building. Many years later in 1969 another musician was to live in the house next door and that musician was Jimi Hendrix.
Left to go to ruin it was later found flooded with the basement under six feet of water. This was discovered to be the famous hidden River Tyburn, a tributary of the Thames. The river still rises at Shepherds well in Hampstead and flows through Regent's Park and the West End into the Thames. However, over the years as these areas have built up, the river was culverted but there is one place that the clean running water of the Tyburn can still be seen and that is in the basement of Grays Mews.
The Tyburn Brook as it was known gave its name to Brook Street and until the 18th C Oxford St was known as Tyburn Road. This led to Tyburn Lane (now Park Lane) and the Tyburn hanging gallows at the site of Marble Arch.
Hanging criminals from the Tyburn gallows, also known as the Tyburn tree, was a popular form of entertainment from 1196 until 1783 when the executions were moved to Newgate Gaol as the large crowds were becoming unruly.
Continuing my walk along Brook Street brings me to the second largest garden square in London, Grosvenor Square. First developed in 1725-31, it was one of the most fashionable residential addresses in London. The buildings surrounding the square have been rebuilt several times and are now mainly neo-Georgian mansion blocks. The exception being the US Embassy which has been there since 1938. It was also the site of General Eisenhower's headquarters during the Second World War.
As part of the peacetime celebrations in 1946, it was decided to make Grosvenor Square a public space. Originally it was reserved for the use of the residents of the surrounding houses. In 1948 the British memorial to president Roosevelt was unveiled. Further memorials include the Eagle squadron monument and a D Day landing commemorative stone.
On the Eastern side of the square is a memorial garden created in memory of all those who lost their lives in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The memorial consists of a wooded temple embraced by two pergolas. Three bronze plaques within the temple remember the 67 British citizens who died during the attack.
In front of the temple is a memorial stone inscribed with an excerpt of a poem by Henry Van Dyke. A section of a steel girder from the World Trade Centre is buried beneath the stone.
I left the Square and made my way up Duke Street and came across Brown Hart Gardens
In 1886 a communal garden was laid down between two large residential buildings for the benefit of the residents of the flats. This garden was dug in in 1903 to make way for an electrical sub station but with great vision and forethought Stanley Peace designed a raised paved Italian garden above the sunken sub station with a domed neo-Baroque pavilion at either end. Made from Portland stone with plenty of seating on either side, it's a great place to rest and have lunch within a two minute walk of Oxford Street.
According to the garden is perhaps the only place in London where quarrelling is specifically forbidden by law!
Walking down the steps from the garden I noticed this huge sculpture which appeared to be an extension of the hotel. I discovered that this 3 floor high sculpture is by the artist Anthony Gormley and is called ROOM.. From the outside a sculpture but from the inside it is the bedroom of a one bedroomed suite. The hotel is the Beaumont opened in 2014 so a recent addition to the many hotels in this area. The building itself dates back to 1926 when it was originally built as a car park. If you would like to stay in ROOM it would cost you £1575 per night. Other suites and rooms available from £395 a night.
I made my way down Balderton Street onto Oxford Street and home.