Sunday, 7 November 2010

17. Embankment

Embankment Underground Station is the last station on the North side of the river on the Northern Line (black line) - Charing Cross branch, and Bakerloo Line (brown line) it also intersects with the District Line (green line), Circle Line (yellow line). As the name suggests you exit onto the Embankment, running alongside the Thames.

I had come down today to take a few photos that I missed out on Thursday evening, it's always odd coming into central London at the weekend - it is so deserted compared to the hustle and bustle of the weekday traffic.

The first landmark I saw was the London Eye.

Just a few minutes walk away is Cleopatras Needle.

The Needle was made in Egypt for the Pharaoh Thotmes III in 1460 BC, so it is almost 3,500 years old. It is known as Cleopatra's Needle because it was brought to London from Alexandria, the royal city of Cleopatra. Britain wanted something big and noticeable to commemorate the British victory over Napoleon! Two Sphinx guard the Obelisk but they face inwards (which according to my trusted source - Kiera Healy) is the wrong way to face if they are guarding something.

I left the Embankment and walked up the Strand. Along the Strand is a memorial to Gladstone. Gladstone was a great social reformer, with particular interests in rescuing "Fallen Women".

The Royal Courts of Justice are almost opposite. Its a massive building that looks a little like a fairy-tale castle. For those that followed the Heather and Paul McCartney divorce this is where the battles took place.

In the centre of the road is this column - indicating that you are now leaving the City of Westminster and entering the City of London. Carved into the stone are the symbols of all the Crafts and Guilds of the City of London.

Walking into Fleet Street now I came to the Old Bank of England Pub - I couldn't photograph this the other night because it was too dark when I arrived. The upper floors of the pub are now function rooms and the vaults below are storage cellars.

There are a number of old buildings here including the narrowest in Fleet Street - Ye Old Cock Tavern, it's not clear in the photo but under the sign is a plaque indicating that it opened in 1549. This old tavern survived the Great Fire and was a great haunt of Samuel Pepys and Charles II. It was actually originally on the other side of the road but the Bank of England replaced it - it was moved, with care being taken to keep it as similar as possible, along with most of the original furnishings.

It was starting to get a bit cold so I nipped inside for something to warm me up.


  1. Looks like you had a lovely day for it. Does the pub go back a long way to make up for its narrowness?

  2. Yes - it's rather nice in there. The Old Bank of England is nice too - but not open on Sundays. Amazing ceilings etc.

  3. If I ever get far enough away from Abergele, I shall be delighted to visit some of these landmarks! I had to come and thank you personally for you kind thoughts expressed in you comment on the blog of my Dearly Beloved.


Thanks for showing an interest - please feel free to comment on my unofficial tour of the tube stations