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Get ready to see London in all its wonderful glory, because there is nowhere quite like London in the summer, it is pure vibes and good times. We are traversing across boroughs to see some of my very favourite spots in the capital.
START at 1. South Kensington Tube station and prepare to head towards Exhibition Road, the wide boulevard flanked by some beautiful red brick buildings. But before you head that way, take a moment to look at the façade of both the 2. Victoria & Albert Museum and 3. the Natural History Museum two of the most beautiful buildings in the UK. In the winter the front of the Natural History Museum is transformed into an ice rink for a truly magical moment. The V&A is my favourite museum in the UK, because it has some of the most fantastic works of art, some problematic too like the Asante bronze and some quite mysterious like the Hereford Screen.
Step back onto 4. Exhibition Road for one of the most satisfying walks of London, the road itself is wide and paved rather beautifully. Just before you hit the traffic lights at the end of the road, there is a road to your left for 5. Albert Hall Mansion, you’ll see the triangular shaped tall red brick building curving into the road, take it and follow the distinct curve that mimics the round of The 6. Royal Albert Hall. This road should bring you out to the back of the hall. If you are so inclined, there is a little quadrangle behind the hall where you can sit for a spell, but we have only just begun you can come back here another time. But there is a monument to Prince Albert here also, which I find problematic, but nonsensical allegorical figures that depict stupid stereotypes of Africans and pushes the narrative of empire, aside, this area is where you can sit for a spell if you’d like.
Continue to the front of the Hall and you will come out at the front Royal Albert Hall right across the road from its namesake, and another monument to 7. Prince Albert in Hyde Park. Sit on the steps and watch the world slowly slip by. By the time you should have worked up an appetite something light so nip behind the memorial for the 8. Albert Memorial Kiosk.
Continue back on yourself, left, towards 9. Kensington Palace and the 10. Round Pond, DO NOT FEED THE DUCKS they are just fine thanks. If you are so inclined you can visit the palace exhibitions, look at the statue of Queen Victoria or walk around to the secret garden to see the memorial of Princess Diana. Make a note here because this is also the 11. Kensington Palace Pavilion where you can have afternoon tea, in the summer months, opt to sit outside. There is also the Orangery for lunch if you’d like but we’ve had better, besides at the end of this walk is a food mecca with a few of my suggestions.
Walk around the pond towards the centre of the park where you will see the 12. Horse Statue (Physical Energy). NOTE: if you are going for a run in the early hours before sunrise, and you are hung over, this statue moves… don’t ask me how I know. Continue towards Hyde Park past the 13. Peter Pan statue, stop and stare if you must, but here is also where the 14. Italian Gardens Cafe is, where we are going to stop for coffee and croissant, a breakfast of champions. Step into the 15. Italian Gardens, sit, stay a while its beautiful here. Fed. Watered.
Walk along the 16. Long Water – on right side for some seriously charming views of the Park and beyond. I know this is a summer newsletter, but in the Autumn, as the leaves begin to turn, with the fog rolling in, it is majestic. See the 17. Diana Memorial water treatment. 18. The Hyde Park Rose Garden. Check. Check.
Continue through to 19. The Wellington Arch and do not forget to look up to see the Angel of peace overlooking London, descending his chariot. Continue through to 20. Green Park, you may be tempted to step outside the Park, this is a lovely place to see both within and without the Park; The Ritz for afternoon tea, Fortnum & Mason simply because its my favourite store and you can round the back for St James Palace. But, stick within the Park because all roads leads to 21. Buckingham Palace; if Palaces are your thing. The most impressive thing about the Palace I find is the roundabout that holds 22. Queen Victoria’s memorial. Had your fill of the palace, step into 23. St James Park. You may choose to walk up to hopefully see the 24. Horse Guards on Parade then back down to 25. Churchill War rooms, then up through Whitehall to 26. 10 Downing Street… you may see the prime minister making the short drive to 27. The Palace of Westminster and then head back to see the 28. Westminster Abbey you get the gist now? We are in tourist land proper so zig zag as you will because this part of London hits different, the roads are wider, buildings grander and ensconced in history and power.
Here you will also see 29. Big Ben, and my all time favourite statue of Boadicea riding in battle with her daughters located opposite on the west end of 30. Westminster Bridge. You have a choice now; cross Westminster Bridge and continue up Thames on the Southbank on Foot or take the Tube (the Jubilee line) to London Bridge and Borough market or the Uber boat. I say we walk to 31. Borough Market. And whilst you are at it, stop off at the 32. Southwark Cathedral. Here ends the walk.