Sunday, 9 October 2011

49. Tottenham Hale

Tottenham Hale is on the Victoria (Blue) Line. It is near to where the London Olympic Village is being built.

I was visiting Tottenham Hale today because a friend and I were going to walk a stretch of the Lea Valley River Walk, (about 7 miles) We started the walk at the beginning of 'section 3', which took us down through some marsh land, where we saw some cattle. After deciding they weren't British Longhorn (as the notice beside them said they were) or a cross between pandas and cows I think they must be Belted Galloways. I remembered the National Trust love putting this breed onto their land as they are allegedly very docile.

Further on we came to the Olympic village, and new stadium. I didn't photograph these sights (or sites) as there were large groups of guided tours along this stretch and because it is all still under construction.

The next point of interest was the old Bryant and May's Matchstick factory - it's no longer a factory but fancy residential apartments. All of this area appeared to be derelict buildings and disused factories, but I liked the graffiti.

By the last stretch we were into the Docklands and we walked through some film studios and past what looked like a graveyard of old tanks.

Finally we hit the Limehouse Docks and stopped at the Grapes for a drink and dinner.

48. Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus is in the centre of London, on the junction of the Central (Red Line), Bakerloo (Brown Line) and Victoria (Blue Line).

Oxford Circus exits onto the "world famous" Oxford Street, home of numberous department stores and designer label boutiques. It is always jam packed with tourists and a nightmare to walk around. I was there today because I wanted to buy a dress for a special occasion.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

47. Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane is on the Central (Red) Line, bang in the middle of the Inns of Court.

During the week this area is teeming with life - lots of trendy bars and restaurants, but this was a Saturday afternoon, lots of places were closed and the streets virtually empty!

I was meeting a friend for lunch, we then went along to the British Museum and then to a Literary evening at the Yorkshire Grey.

There are some lovely "squares" and gardens here, and being a lovely sunny afternoon it was very pleasant to sit and watch the world go by.

46. South Kensington

South Kensington is on the District (Green) and Circle (Yellow) Lines. It is the station serving Exhibiton Road - the street that the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum are all in.

Now I have to say that I didn't go up onto the street when I left the station because I took the underpass along to the V & A - I was going there to see an Exhibition on Chocolate. Well I thought I was going to see an Exhibition on Chocolate but it turns out it was just a small display, very disappointing. However I went to see several other exhibitons when I was there and I actualy really enjoyed it. I will have to check the write-ups properly before going back though!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

45. Bank

Bank is the junction of the Northern (Black), Central (Red), District (Green), Central (Yellow) and the DLR (the Drain).

Bank is a major destination for thousands of commuters every week day. I was there today because I was visiting our main office in Guildhall Yard.

The building is rather prestigious, we are on the 4th floor; an old fashioned lift with a sliding gate and lift operator takes us up and down.

From our office window we have a perfect view of the square, I had been planning on waitign for some grand event before adding this location to my blog - but I never seem to have my camera with me at those times!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

44. Kensal Rise

Kensal Rise is on the Bakerloo (Brown) Line.

The station is above ground and as I left I spotted these massive sunflowers nodding towards me.

I was visitng Kensal Rise today because there is a very famous cemetry there. It is the oldest cemetry in London and over 700 famous people are buried there.

I didn't find the graves of the three I was most interested in - William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollop or Winthrop Mackworth-Praed. But there were some amazing monuments there.

I loved this tree.

Friday, 5 August 2011

43. Leytonstone

Leytonstone is on the Central (Red) Line. It is on the overground part of the line.

I was out there taking part in an Orienteering event on Wanstead Flats.

The Flats are quite scrubby so there some of the areas we were running in were quite difficult, but it was quite good fun - after the event the pub we were all in (O'Neills) was holding it's weekly Quiz Night. Our team came 3rd.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

42. Aldgate East

Aldgate East is on the District (Green) Line.

Another area I am ashamed to say I have never visited but will be returning to.

I was here today to wander along Brick Lane and have lunch with a friend. The streets are full of Balti Houses and packed with sari wearing women, locals looking for a good, reasonably priced curry.

The streets here appear to have remain untouched by the Blitz, with the old Victorian Buildings (and much older) still standing, and occupied. Had an excellent afternoon exploring the old streets.

Spitalfields Market was closed (always is on a Saturday) but I will return to the area to take photographs.

41. Camden Town

Camden Town is on the Northern (Black) Line. Its the point that Bank and Charing Cross branches meet and then divide again one branch going to Edgeware the other to High Barnet.

I went to Camden Town to meet a friend, wonder around the market and then go for a walk along past Camden Lock and down the canal.

The market was a little trendy and bustling, the people visiting it were as diverse as the products for sale. I didn't take any photographs but it would have been intrusive but I know I will return to the area because the facades on the shop fronts were well worth photographing (watch this space)

The walk along the canal was relaxing, busy with walkers, cyclists, joggers and tourists on the barges travelling up and down; not a bit what you would expect in central London!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

40. Great Portland Street

Great Portland Street is on the Hammersmith (Pink), Circle (Yellow) and Metropolitan (Maroon) Lines.

I wandered down today to take a look at some of the buildings down there. The trouble with my camera is that it takes terrible photos when it is too bright (not something we complain about too often in London) and the buildings all came out bleached looking.

Its a very wealthy part of London, the buildings all rather grand. Down the centre of the road are majestic statues - I discovered today that if a statue of horse and rider has two feet in the air the rider died in battle; one foot he died of his injuries and all four feet on the ground means he died of natural causes.

A couple of the BBC buildings are located here (see the bleached effect!)

Then I walked all the way down Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square to take a couple of pictures of the Living Art piece on display.

All the plants there are real!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

39. Wood Green

Wood Green is on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line. Just down the road from a couple of my least favourite stations Turnpike Lane and Finsbury Park - the area surrounding the Wood Green station is quite similar!

I was travelling through Wood Green today so that I could visit Alexandra Park and Palace. It was a scorching hot day and I thought I would jump on a bus to the top of the steep hill ... it broke down at the bottom of the steep hill.

The long climb up was well worth the views, but if I had been under the illusion that there might be a breeze at the top I was sadly mistaken. I visited the Rose Garden, but it was a little disappointing; I suppose I have left it too late for the best blooms and todays heat had wilted most of the remaining flowers.

The paddling "Lake" (?) was full of people enjoying themselves,

and the kiddies were very excited about throwing bread to the ducklings and goslings.

I got home about seven o'clock but there was still no let up from the heat!

Friday, 24 June 2011

38. Waterloo

Waterloo station is on the Northern (Black), Bakerloo (Brown) and Jubilee (Silver) Lines. It is an interchange with the Mainline station which serves a huge portion of the South East commuter belt. The Waterloo - City (known as the Drain) Line shuttles thousands of city commuters each day between here and the Bank. I remember all too clearly standing in the queues just to get onto that platform (Heaven help the ditherer during rush hour!) Waterloo used to be where the EuroStar departed from - I wonder who decided that the link to Europe should leave from the station named after Britains greatest victory over the French?

My reason for a trip to Waterloo today was far less stressful; I was taking some Australian visitors down to the London Eye.

This huge Ferris wheel stands on the Thames Embankment (south side of the river) and takes about half an hour to do a full circle - half an hour of spectacular views over London (on a clear day) and today was just that. I didn't go up but the visitors that did enjoyed it immensely - those that didn't took a stroll a long the Embankment, admiring the views ...

... watching the street performers and traffic on the Thames.

It was a perfect afternoon and after collecting the friends from the Eye we wandered over the bridge up to Covent Garden for a nice lunch and browse through the markets.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

37. Kensington Olympia

Kensington Olympia is on a small branch off the District (Green) Line.

I was visiting Kensington tonight with a group of colleagues - one of whom had organised a private tour of Blythe House. Blythe House is where all the exhibits from the V & A, the Science and the History museums go to gather dust when they are no longer on exhibit. Actually that is a bit unkind - there are millions of items there - all being stored for future generations.

I could have happily spent the two hours just pottering around the tapestry room but the boys were keen to look at model aircraft, computers and body parts ...

After the tour, which was really interesting, we all adjourned to a gastro pub nearby - good meal and pleasant company ... what more could you ask for?

Photos to follow when I work out how to upload/download from my mobile phone!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

36. White City

White City is on the Central (Red) Line.

As you exit White City tube station almost directly ahead is the headquarters of the BBC - on the evening I was here the BBC audience queues were massive but that wasn't my reason for being here ... I was Orienteering on the common - the Scrubs as they are known.

And bordering those same Scrubs is the infamous HMP Wormwood (hence the name Wormwood Scrubs)

As we set off on the run the guy at the start warned "Beware nettles, thistles, low flying aircraft and escaped prisoners ..." I saw plenty of the first three.

A very sad thing has happened though - I lost my camera this evening so will need to go back to photograph everything!

PS My camera was found the next day in the car of the person who gave me a lift home!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

35. Manor House

Manor House is on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line. On leaving the station you come out at the edge of the infamous Finsbury Park. Finsbury Park mosque was made notorious a few years ago because a number of radical muslims preached there.

I was visiting this station because I was attending an Orienteering event at Finsbury Park. We were meeting in the Finsbury Pub to register and after the event (which was good fun and a pleasant evenings exercise) we all piled back into the pub. Unfortunately it was Open Mic Nite - big mistake! I had thought the security on the door was to keep undesirables out - too late I realised it was to keep us in ...

Apart from the 100 or so people racing around with compasses and maps, and the hardy joggers, the park seemed to be frequented by drug dealers or people looking for drug dealers. Not sure I will be going back to the area!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

34. Hampstead

Hampstead is on the Edgeware branch of the Northern (Black) Line. It is the last underground station on the line to be underground - between Hampstead and Golders Green it bursts into open ground.

Hampstead is another of those no escalator stations, and as you know I am not permitted (in the rules) to exit using the lift so up I went ...

I have been running on Hampstead Heath quite a few times lately, it was a shame that today was so overcast because this point, where we always start and finish our runs, has quite a spectacular view on a bright clear day.

Today I was completing (yet) another permanent Orienteering course - all good practise for the on-going Country Park series.