Plotting a Walk in London

 

J_St Pauls_P
St. Paul’s Cathedral. London. 2018

The United Kingdom was the first place I visited outside of the USA; I spent most of my time in England, and most of that in London. I didn’t stay in London (much too expensive), but I would use trains or National Express coaches to go into the city; while I was there, I walked positively everywhere.

port authority

My host gifted me with a copy of a small, slim book–Francis Chichester’s Map & Guide to London—that I carry and consult to this day despite much of its information being obsolete.

With the aid of that text, I would pre-plan my walks: Hawksmoor’s churches, Wren’s buildings, all the places Eliot mentions in The Waste Land, the sites where Shakespeare drank and ate, and so on.

 

chichester
Just over the size of a train ticket, and with terrific details.

Out of all of the walks I took, my favorite—and one I still repeat when I’m in the UK—takes you from Trafalgar Square to St. Paul’s Cathedral, then along the Thames to the Tower of London, up into The City, around the Roman perimeter, down King William Street, then along Lower Thames Street to Blackfriars. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. It’s especially easy with several pub stops along the way (and there are some excellent pubs along the way). Each leg of the walk is rich with history, and you see how the past and present jostle for prominence.

My first post will focus on The Strand and Fleet Street. It’s a smallish distance, just over a mile, but it’s dense with history.

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