Up On The Roof

“When this old world starts getting me down” I can climb up to my roof. 🙂

It is an amazing sight, so much more amazing than these photos show… but at least it will give you a flavour, and you can listen to The Drifters at the same time.





















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Walking London

A few years ago my aunt Jeanette introduced me to Andrew Duncan’s Walking London, a guide book with thirty walks in the Greater London area. Originally published in 1991, the guide has been re-printed numerous times and the latest edition was released in 2010.

My 1997 edition was acquired from a pub in Limehouse after it was left there for a few weeks.

Each walk has a summary with length and duration specifics, a detailed map of the area to follow, a clear step by step description of the walk itself – including reference points and historical notes, and perhaps most importantly – information about the pubs en route!

To my shame, I’ve only done six of the walks, but I have plenty of time to complete the book before I fall apart in 40 years or so. So far I’ve completed the six listed below, and further down are some highlights from the two walks I have photos of.

• Bankside and Southwark
• Clerkenwell
• Dulwich
• Greenwich
• Regent’s Park
• Wapping to Limehouse

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Wapping to Limehouse

It was a freezing cold day in January 2009, and my poor newly acquired boyfriend was forced from his warm bed into the centre of London by heartless me.

This was one of the first things we did together as a couple and it was a fabulous walk, we even extended it to Greenwich with a short trip on the DLR to Island Gardens, before going through Greenwich foot tunnel, and then back on the DLR to my place in Lewisham.

The photos only show a small amount of what there is to see on this walk, I would really recommend it, such an amazing walk through so much history and architecture. It is also an area most tourists would never visit, so you will be in for a real treat if you have a nosy about. Plus, tons of pubs!

The walk starts at Tower Hill tube and the first point of interest is St Katherine’s Dock – where “we” looked for fish

Peace dove sculpture by Wendy Taylor, marking the lives lost in Wapping during the Blitz, Hermitage Wharf Riverside Memorial Garden

Up, close and personal with the river at one of the access points along Wapping High Street

Oodles of converted warehouse apartments around here, these ones are by Wapping Wall

Head down the Thames Path passageways on Narrow Street and you find wondrous views

After the end of the walk at Westferry, now in the Greenwich foot tunnel

The foot tunnel dome at night on the Greenwich side

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Dulwich

Last June, prior to an evening concert at All Saints Church, we finally did the Dulwich walk. One always puts off anything in London that requires you to travel across, instead of in or out, but we made it to West Dulwich station on a gloriously sunny day that screamed for a walk and a pub stop.

Dulwich is a curious spot in the middle of south London, it is a world of its own created by Elizabethan actor and charitable benefactor Edward Alleyn. Alleyn began acquiring land in Dulwich in 1605 and by 1619 was well underway with the building of the College of God’s Gift, now known as Dulwich College.

Alleyn’s goal was to educate orphaned boys and to provide almshouses for the poor, and due to the setting of his lands in mortmain, the charitable estate still exists today and has continued to give Dulwich its unique flavour for roughly 400 years.

First stop on the walk is the New College buildings of Dulwich College (1866–70), designed by Charles Barry Jr., “a building of red brick and white stone, designed in a hybrid of Palladian and Gothic styles”.

You don’t have to pay a toll now, but watch the width restriction!

Heading south on College Road towards Sydenham Hill station

Enjoying a Pimms in the garden at The Wood House

Fake ruins in Sydenham Hill Wood

The beautiful path that is Cox’s Walk, and just before this spot you pass over a disused railway line last used in 1954, the Nunhead to Crystal Palace (Higher Level) railway line

Dulwich Park, we were too late to go on the boating pond unfortunately

Looking towards Dulwich Village from the steps of Christ’s Chapel

One of the beautiful houses of Dulwich Village

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To summarise, buy this book! I’m only hinting at the contents in this blog post, the book is simply packed with information, it is a slice of historical heaven for any London lover.

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Open House 2013

Hello all, the dark days are here again, and we’ve not even put the clocks back!

So, after a couple of sad posts it is time to brighten up my home page again. I bring you, after a long delay, photos from Open House 2013!



Trinity Hospital, Highbridge, SE10 9PS
This is a very beautiful 17th century building on the riverside in Greenwich, it has self contained apartments for retired men and women, and is built round a square courtyard with water fountain. You can access the front entrance using the Thames Path.

The Master Shipwright’s House, Watergate Street, SE8 3JF
Hiding from the world in Deptford is the only building left from Henry VIII’s Royal Dockyard. This private dwelling dates from 1708 and is well worth a nosy about, the river views are excellent as well.

Lloyds’s Register Group, 71 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 4BS
Enter on the modern side of the building, exit on the old side! This building is an excellent joining of old and new, a very dramatic modern entrance greets you, and an elegant and sumptuous interior takes you out of the building.

Unilever House, 100 Victoria Embankment, EC4Y ODY
Access to this grand riverside building was sadly limited to the entrance lobby, but the height and space in the atrium made the short visit worthwhile. An interesting art installation is hung in the space as well.

City Of London School, Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 3AL
This fantastic 1987 concrete and glass school sits on the river in The City and has glorious views of the surrounding area. Visitors are given access to much of the school and it is well worth a visit to see some excellent modern architecture.

Tower Bridge Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP
An outstanding feat of Victorian engineering and an excellent attraction – we were able to cross the gantries for superb views and visit the museum showcasing the engines that used to open and close the bridge. Good timing was also had as the bridge opened and closed as we were leaving.

Tower Bridge House, St Katherine’s Way, E1W 1AA
From outside, this glass covered building looks fairly generic, but inside, the open lobby space has a ‘window’ towards The Tower of London and this creates a light and airy space. Once up high on the top floor you can see the effect even better – and you can spot the wildlife!

Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, EC4V 6EJ
Another of London’s livery companies, steeped in history etc etcetera. Nice panes of stained glass, full of dark wooden panelled rooms.

Banqueting House, Whitehall, SW1A 2ER
This is a visually brilliant space with bean bags dotted about for comfortable views of the painted ceiling and extravagant chandeliers. Here, Charles I walked his last steps before his execution, visit his throne and be overwhelmed.

Admiralty House, Ripley Courtyard, 26 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY
Sadly for me, photos aren’t allowed at this excellent building. The inside is beautifully restored with a beautiful double curved staircase and lovely flagstoned floors. Worth a visit but watch the queues, don’t get there too late.

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Open House 2012

After a very long wait here are some photos from Open House 2012, oops!

I didn’t take many photos that weekend as my old camera was on its last legs, only a couple of half decent shots and all my exterior photos of Strawberry Hill House were awful – not a happy photo week!

We visited the following places:

Strawberry Hill House
Stunning Georgian Gothic revival home built by Horace Walpole

Seager Distillery Tower
New development, enclosed viewing deck on the 27th floor, views to Greenwich, Deptford and the surrounding area

The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
Go up some winding stairs for a fascinating looking into surgery and medicine back in the olden days

Jerwood Space
Arts rehearsal space in a former school, fabulous, enthusiastic tour with Jerwood Space director Richard Lee and child historian Imogen Lee


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