Monday, July 25, 2022

Sunday 24th July London Walk led by Tony P

This 5 mile walk had 14 walkers and was arranged by Tony P as an extra walk for many of the people who were unable to attend the previous London Walk. Tony P provided a brilliant commentary at many points of interest. We left Harlington station at 9.35 on a bus as there were no early trains due to engineering work on the line. The bus took us to Luton station where we caught a London train disembarking at Farringdon station. We left Farringdon and walked to Smithfield where we learned about the history of its market.

Sue, Val, Christine, Hilda, Annie, Rosemary & Linda listening to Tony P

We then walked to the church of St Bartholomew the Great which, unfortunately, we could not enter as a service was underway.

St Bartholomew the Great

After traversing many narrow alleys we passed some fountains & then found ourselves outside the Central Criminal Court, otherwise known as the Old Bailey which is actually the name of it's street.

Cathy, Hilda, Graeme & Sue think about cooling off.

The Old Bailey
Soon we arrived at St Paul's Cathedral & then walked through Temple Bar gate into Paternoster Square where we had a short comfort stop.

Listening to Tony P after passing through Temple Bar gate
On leaving the square we had a group photo showing St Paul's in the background

The group less me
We passed the old General Post Office building, now sadly Bank of America, with its statue of Roland Hill, founder of the penny post outside.

Roland Hill
We saw several sections of the old Roman City walls before arriving at the Guildhall.

The Guildhall with the Art Gallery on the right

We went inside the Guildhall Art Galley & Museum where our bags had to be scanned.

The Mansion house
We then passed the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London before arriving at the Sky Garden which Tony had arranged for us to visit. This had airport style security which involved putting all our loose items into a tray which passed through a scanner & then we walked through a scanner. The views from the 46th floor were amazing. Graeme was especially happy as he could see his beloved Arsenal Stadium in the distance.

View from Sky Garden showing Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast

After almost a couple of hours taking in the view & chatting we descended to ground floor & walked up to The Monument.

The monument
We did not bother to ascend its many steps & simply made our way to Blackfriars Station to catch the train back to Harlington where we climbed the steps to the footbridge.

Tony P & others on the last climb
Finally a round of applause was given to Tony P for organising a wonderful day out.

Track of walk, generally walked clockwise

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