Kick start the year with a new exercise regime… Walk London
Well 2013 is upon us, a time of resolutions, decisions, throwing away the old, and perhaps (if you’re like me) having no money left after the festivities to do anything.
Fear not all is not lost… London offers plenty to do at a very little cost.
Walk the Thames Part 1
OK, stop complaining, it’s not that cold out there, we are being blessed with a ‘warm’ winter. So how about a walk (didn’t you have more ‘more exercise’ on your new year’s resolutions list?).
One of my favourite walks is from Westminster to Tower Bridge. It’s beautiful and covers a lot of classic London tourist attractions en route.
From the stunning Houses of Parliament you wander under the magnificent London Eye, and the beautiful County Hall.
I have always loved County Hall, once the home of the Saatchi gallery and now housing among other things a hotel and film museum, and soon to become home to the spectres & spooks of the London Dungeons in 2013.
From this side of the river you can catch some great views of the Houses of Parliament and the back end of Whtiehall . You may also spy on e of the boats moored on the side , it’s likely to be the Tattesall Castle a definite topsecretlondon secret. From the outside it looks likes a cranky old boat, but its quirky and quaint and affords priceless views of London town over a pint.
Further along the route you can usually catch the sculptures on the mini central London beach just before South, just opposite Jubilee Gardens.
Then we come by the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre, London’s waterside theatre heart. This place has been really spruced up in the last few years and now offers a great array of restaurants and eateries, making eating with a river view a perfect scenario… but as tempting as it is don’t stop for food, well ok you can have a coffee but that is all.
As you pass by, cast your eye up to the strange boat like structure on top of the National Theatre. What you see is actually one of the best hotel rooms in London, it’s literally one hotel room, with the best view in town. Originally only opened for a year it’s now staying for 2013! So if you’re looking for the perfect romantic London break, this could be a secret she would never expect!
Gaze across the river for a moment, you’re now looking out at the impressive Victoria Gardens, it deserves a leisurely stroll through in the summer time. These gardens are a tribute to those mighty Victorian engineers, Bazalgette, and Brunel etc, that most of us have never heard of who transformed London into the dazzeling metropolis we know and love today. As well as bringing us London Underground, improved sewage systems, they also built this part of the embankment (used be be all river) and provided London’s first electrically lit walk way along the Thames. At this point you are looking at the backside of some very notable buildings including the London Savoy and the beautiful Somerset House.
Move along now…
Pretty soon you reach The Oxo Tower, probably more impressive from the other side of the river. Originally a power station for the Post Office built in the late 1800s. It was later bought for Oxo, and it’s neat art deco features added. It’s been renovated a lot in recent years and become a much loved feature on the river landscape (it was almost demolished rather than face the costs of renovation. On the ground floor there are some cute artsie stores, but if you happen to have any money left after Christmas, I give you permission to make a pit stop here for food at the impressive, and famous Oxo Tower Restaurant. Actually part of the Harvey Nichols brand, it offers flash food and a stunning view over the Thames.
Just next door is another building that looks much better from the north side of the river, but its still very impressive. Sea Containers House should be a reminder of the Thames Sea baring past as docks and the home to the imperial industries, however it is not such an old building, and named after a relativity young company (60’s children are still young right?) that used it for offices. Unsurprisingly its in the process of being refurbed into a hotel.
Look across to the North side of the river and you will see an other famous building which again reminds us of our nation’s great industries, Unilever House
Cross under Blackfriars bridge just to your right is London bridge station and the amazing lovelable Borough Market… ok you have permission to eat now… Make sure you check the opening times and you can feast on the amazing array of delicacies it offers… definitely worth a visit.