Monday, 4 February 2013

London Mystery Walk

Saturday I was supposed to attend the Exploriens Lewes Castle & South Downs walk but I overslept (I blame the jaunt to the Mile End Climbing Wall the night before) so rather than do no walking at all I joined Anna B and Magda H at the London Hikers Westminster Mystery Walk which was meeting at 3pm (far more civilised) by Covent Garden tube.

It was a good sized group at about 35 (plus the odd party crasher like myself) a few of whom I of course already know from other walks/hikes. We headed off from M&S, with the first stop at Bow Street Magistrates Court.

Bow Street Magistrates Court is famous in particular for the Bow Street Runners but I leave it to the reader to click through for further info. Our guide explained to us that the reason the lights outside of this police station are white instead of the usual blue dates back to Queen Victoria finding the blue light upsetting because her Prince Albert died in a blue room. ::shrug:: I'm dubious.

Anyway, the Magistrates Court is across from the Royal Opera House and there is a lovely statue dedicated to all of the ballerinas.

We then went west to Lazenby something or other. Alley I suppose. It was interesting because there were original gas lamps there which are run off of the methane that is bled form the sewer system.

We then went down past the English National Opera toward Trafalgar Square, passing London's narrowest Alley along the way.

Thence to Trafalgar Square where we heard a bit about the history of the square and Nelson's Column. I had had no idea how recent all of it was/is!

We then went up Pall Mall a trifle, passing the British Council and the touring statue of Yuri Gagarin (with a very strange Moebius orbit thingie).

We then walked up by the Royal Society to hear the story of the statue to the Duke of York as well as the statue of Florence Nightingale. And some mulled wine.

Then it was across the Mall to Horse Guards.

At which point the battery on my camera died so I had to resort to using my iPhone. :-(

So a quick wizz past Downing Street to the Cenotaph.

Down past the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Past the memorial to the Terrorist Attack in Bali and across the road to the Duck Pond House

Then down to Westminster Abbey

Through the Dean's Yard, the around the back to the Houses of Parliament.

Then off to the Silver Cross Pub for drinks and a pub quiz. Not the lengthiest of walks but it was ruddy cold and I was aching from climbing the night before so probably just as well, eh? I'd also say this walk was more touristy/history than mystery but hey-ho. Still good to be off the sofa and out with mates.

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