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Chelsea Flower Show Pics

Trip Over to London

Long Walk Through London’s History

The South West East End Area!

As London is a fantastic city for walking, and the weather in early October was quite pleasant, I seemed to quite unintentionally find myself walking and exploring all day. Exploring one area then coming across something else, which led to something else, until I found myself in in 500 year old pub down by The Thames eating fish and chips.

It developed into a day of history and art, as there were many sculptures along the way mixed in with all the historic buildings. The map of my walk is here.

I started off catching the tube to St Paul’s Station, as I came out of the station looking up Newgate St, on the corner of King Edward St I caught a glimpse of a bombed out ruined church. Greyfriars Church was originally built in 1225, destroyed in 1666 in the Great Fire of London, rebuilt by 1704 and was left in its current state after a WWll bombing raid in 1940. Now a beautiful garden with flower beds laid out in the floorplan of the church. Surrounded by modern buildings and the extraordinary amount construction work going on all over London at the moment, I’m sure it is a well used sanctuary for the workers in the area.

Now, to get back on track for my loose plans for the day, I walked back down Newgate St and turned left up St Martin’s Le Grand and I discovered Postman’s Park on the left. This little park, on the grounds of the original London General Post Office HQ, houses the ‘Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice Wall’, after reading some of the tiles, they were from much simpler times before political correctness ruled the world!!

After walking through the park I turned right on to King Edward St, continued up here on to Little Britain – yes, that is the name of the street, and there I was thinking it was just a TV show of ‘Computer says no….’ fame! Apparently named as the Duke of Brittany lived here in the 1500s. I continued along Little Britain as it veered to the left and led up to St Bartholomew the Great, and its historic Gate House.

St Bartholomew’s Gatehouse was built in the 1500s above the archway that dates back to the 1300s. A fairly small Tudor style place at the entrance to the church, it was saved from the Great Fire of London by the Priory walls. Then for some unknown reason, in the 1700s is was covered over with a Georgian façade and everyone forgot about the little Tudor building – until a bombing raid in 1917 crumbled the Georgian façade away leaving the Tudor building intact as it stands today.




Just past Bartholomew’s Gate I turned right on to Cloth Fair, London’s oldest House is at #42, opposite St Bartholomew’s Church. It too survived the Great Fire which was blocked by the Priory walls and it also survived both World Wars. Built in the late 1500s, it has been a house, a warehouse, a factory, an abandoned health hazard that was saved from being demolished in the early 1900s when it was bought and extensively restored. The restoration continued turning it into the 4 bedroom house with roof top terrace, worth millions, that stands there today.

I am sure London’s oldest house is not older than the place next door, which has the same brickwork, but who am I to decide these things? The Blue Plaque on the place next door says it was the home of writer and broadcaster, Sir John Betjeman.

Back up Cloth Fair to West Smithfield I turned right and crossed over Long Lane, walked through Smithfield Market, which seemed to be closed, I then crossed Charterhouse St and walked up St John’s Lane to St John’s Gate. Built in 1504 as the entrance to Clerkenwell Priory, the HQ of the Knights of the Order of St John.

Then turning right on to Clerkenwell Rd I walked down here until I reached Goswell Rd and turned right, I walked all the way down Goswell Rd, past the Barbican, where Goswell Rd becomes Aldersgate St. I came across a beautiful old building called Ironmongers Hall, which I believe is a private club with history dating back to when Ironmongers traded in this area. I did go up to the door to find out about the building, but the doorman treated me like I wasn’t worth speaking to – maybe he was right!! But I doubt it!!! I continued on to the London Museum, only to find out it was closed, (note to self:- stuff might be closed on Tuesdays!) I just noticed as I was creating a map of my walk, it says on Google Maps that London Museum is Temporarily Closed!?!

Turning left on to London Wall and crossing the road, there is an amazing area of Roman Ruins, a few 2000 year old structures that were the original settlement of Londinium. Today really was becoming a lesson in London’s history – love it.

I continued down London Wall, crossing back to the north side of the street I came across the old entrance to Elsyng Spital, a hospital built in 1330. Now just the entrance remains after fires, a couple of world wars and the ravages of time. Continuing down London Wall, I turned left in to Circus Pl, right on Finsbury Circus and through Liverpool St Station to Bishopsgate. I crossed over into Brushfield St to Spitalfields Markets – mostly closed, must be that Tuesday thing again!

I loved all the sculptures at Spitalfields, I found another Rabbitwoman and Dogman Gillie and Marc Sculpture, along with a herd of elephants, The Herd of Hope. A series of 20 orphaned elephants and one mother, all created in bronze by Gillie and Marc, to help raise awareness of poaching and the habitat destruction they are falling victim to. Each one has a plaque telling you about their rescue.

On Commercial St I was hoping to see the Van Gogh Exhibition – but, you guessed it – not open on Tuesdays.

I walked through to Brick Lane as I had heard it is interesting – it isn’t……

I went back to Commercial St, recalibrated, and decided to head south to see what I could find. As I crossed Aldgate and continued down Leman St, I decided St Katherine Docks area would be my next destination.

On the left just past Alie St I came across The Goodman’s Field Horse sculptures made to commemorate the historic link to the Goodman family’s horse grazing land that was once here.

Lenan St eventually became Dock St, then further down it became Vaughan Way and suddenly I was at Hermitage Bay and the Ornamental Canal at St Katherine Docks, I walked along Spirit Quay next to the Canal with a couple of swans for company, then wound my way through a few lanes and right on to Reardon St, then left on to Tench St, the right on to Wapping Lane and followed that down to Wapping High St, turned left and walked along here until I came to Wapping Wall, I was deep in old London now, on narrow cobbled streets, then the Prospect of Whitby came into view, arguably the oldest pub on the Thames, built in 1520 – that’s 500 years ago!!! I had a late lunch/early dinner here, delicious fish and chips and a glass or 2 of Rosé. I deserved that after the miles I had walked to get here!

When I arrived at the top of Pelican Stairs next to the pub, the tide was so high it was lapping at the top step, by the time I had finished eating the tide was so low, I could walk down on to the ‘beach’. The stairs are named after the original name of the pub, The Prospect of Whitby as it was later named, was after a ship that was moored on The Thames out the front.

The pub is an amazing building filled with signs listing all the reigning monarchs, from Henry Vlll to Charles lll, who have reigned during the pubs long history, and signs telling stories of the pub. This all adds to the historic atmosphere. Not sure about the noose hanging out over the river……..

From outside the pub, fortunately, I was able to catch the #100 bus back to St Pauls Cathedral and make my way back to my hotel to get ready for my next big day out in London Town.

While in London you might like to visit the beautiful Kew Gardens, take a walk from Camden Town along Regent’s Canal, or be part of London’s amazing history at the Tower of London or for a leisurely day out, catch a boat up the Thames to Hampton Court

If you’re in London in Spring, visiting the Chelsea Flower Show is a must.

Read the PostCards I wrote on my recent Trip Over to London, shorter stories and pictures of places I visited.

Book a tour on your Trip Over to London

Itinerary for my Trip Over to London

Flew from Sydney to London Heathrow via Singapore, with Qantas on QF1, then QF2 to come home.

Stayed at the Royal Overseas League in St James’s.

Caught the Underground Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to Green Park.

Travelled around London using a Visitor Oyster Card.

Looking over Piazza dei Miracoli at Pisa Duomo, from the upper level of the Baptistery, with the Leaning Tower peaking out behind it. The Cathedral was completed in 1092!! Then it took a further 300 years to complete the bell tower, that became more famous because of it's lean. . . #pisaduomo #pisaitaly #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #pisatower #leaningtowerofpisa #torredelpendente #piazzadeimiracoli #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #italytrip #madeinitaly #neverstopexploring #neverstoptravelling #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
The Fallen Angel lying in Piazza dei Miracoli near the Leaning Tower of Pisa. No he didn't fall and hit his head, he was created this way, representing the fragility of life. Who knew angels were so buff?? . . . #fallenangel #fallenangelpisa #piazzadeimiracoli #pisaitaly #pisatrip #pisa #pisafieldofmiracles #fieldofmiracles #italytravel #italianart #italiantrip #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #seekandyoushallfind #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
The black and white marble bell tower at Siena Duomo stands at 77mtrs, the bells can be heard all over the town, the oldest of the 6 bells was cast in 1149. You can't climb the bell tower, thankfully (because I would have!!) But you can go up to the balcony around the Cathedral dome next to it, which I did.....the views over Tuscany are spectacular! . . #siena #sienaduomo #sienaduomobellissimagiornata #belltower #sienahistory #sienatravel #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seekandyoushallfind #seeeverythingdoeverything #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #sienatrip #sienaitalia #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstopexploring
Manly Beach, on the in Harbour side just near where the ferry comes in. . . #manlybeachaustralia #manlybeach #sydneybeaches #sydneyharbour #sydneyharbourwalks #sailingboats #sydneylocal #sydneyweekend #sydneybythesea #sydneylife #sunshine #sydneyaustralia #seetheworldthroughmylens #neverstopexploring
One of the loveliest medieval Italian cities, exploring centuries of tradition. The people are all so nice, and all helped by the beautiful boutique hotel I stayed in @relaisdegliangeli my beautiful home for not long enough 🥺 I will have to go back one day. . . #siena #sienaitaly #sienahistory #italytravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #medievalitaly
Like most Italian cities, Siena has many churches. This is Basilica Cateriniana San Domenico, still going strong after opening it's doors in 1226!!! . . . #siena #sienatrip #sienahistory #sienaitaly #sienatravel #sienaitalia #basilicacaterinianadisandomenico #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #neverstopexporing #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #travelinitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #medievalitaly #medievalitaliancity #historicitaly #madeinitaly
Siena is one of the lovliest medieval Italian cities, this is the town hall, Palazzo Pubblico with it's 14th century tower, Torre del Mangia sitting on the edge of the main square Piazza del Campo. I recently spent 3 nights in Siena, and really wish I had stayed a bit longer. I'm sure I'll go back one day to continue exploring this historic Tuscan city. . . #siena #sienaitaly #palazzopubblico #torredelmangia #piazzadelcampo #medievalitaliancity #historicitaly #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip #italianhistory #italytravel #italytrip #italy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstopexploring #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
The very detailed front of Siena Duomo, built between 1215 and 1264, in the beautiful medieval Tuscan city of Siena. The Duomo is quite the feature of Siena, both inside and out, you can't get enough of it. The tour into the upper levels really accentuates how enormous it is. If you're thinking of a trip over to Italy, Siena is a must. . #siena #sienaduomo #sienatrip #sienaitaly #sienahistory #sienatravel #sienaduomobellissimagiornata #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #historicitaly #italytrip #traveltheworldwithme
Bronze sculpture of Maktao, an orphaned elephant, by Gillie and Marc. He's playing with the rest of his herd at Spitalfields Market in London. Click on my website link in the bio to find out about all my finds on my long walk in London. . . . #maktao #theherdofhope #herdofhope #herdofhopelondon #londonwalks #spitalfields #spitalfieldsmarket #london #londonlife #ifoundparadise #londontravel #londontrip #londonhistory #londoncalling #londonisalwaysagoodidea #londonstreets #londonsbest #seekandyoushallfind #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme
Inside Siena Duomo, the black and white marble soaring up to the ceiling, I can't imagine how they built this way back in the 1200s. You can go up to the upper level and look down into the Cathedral from the little windows in the top right of my photo. . . #siena #sienaitalia #sienaduomobellissimagiornata #sienaduomo #sienatravel #sienatrip #sienatrip #sienahistory #blackandwitemarble #medievalitaliancity #gothicitaly #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seekandyoushallfind
Ponte Vecchio, crossing River Arno, the top level is the Vasari Passage coming from Uffuzi Gallery. Ponte Vecchio started off as butcher shops, the waste product being thrown into the river, the stench was said to be unbearable. Now mainly jewellery shops, not smelly at all!!! . . #florence #florenceitaly #florencetrip #florencewalk #florencetravel #italytrip #solotravel #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seekandyoushallfind #pontevecchio #pontevecchiofirenze #riverarno #reflectiononwaterisbeautiful #traveltheworldworldwithme #traveladdict
It was really hard taking photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the temptation to line it up straight in the lens is something I struggled with, having it next to a straight building helps!!! . . . #leaningtower #leaningtowerofpisa #torredelpendente #pisaitaly #piazzadelmiracoli #pisaduomo #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #pisaitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #medievalitaliancity #historicitaly #italytrip #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
Siena's Torre del Mangia as seen from the dome of Siena Duomo, with the beautiful Tuscan countryside rolling out past the Siena city walls. . . #siena #sienatravel #sienaitaly #sienaduomo #sienatrip #sienaitalia #torredelmangia #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #madeinitaly #viewfromthedome
Castello San Giorgio in La Spezia has been protecting this part of Italy since 1262, it now houses a museum and a fabulous view from the top. There is a lift up from the town area, then cross the road and jump on to the funicular to get up to the castle, or if you're feel fit, there are steps, many, many of them!! La Spezia is just south of Cinque Terre, therefore an excellent base to see this area from. . . #laspezia #laspeziaitaly #castellosangiorgio #castellosangiorgiolaspezia #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #italianhistory #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveladdict #travelinitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravel #neverstopexploring #medievalitaly
La Spezia, taken from the foot bridge out on the Marina. The ferries are waiting to head up the coast to the villages of Cinque Terre, and the palm trees along the water front providing shade for the park. Lovely place 🥂!! . . #laspeziaitaly #laspeziaharbourside #laspezia #italianferries #italianferries #italytrip #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #solotravel #solotravelingisfun #traveladdict #travelinitaly #neverstopexporing #neverstoptravelling #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #seeeverythingdoeverything #madeinitaly #boatsboatsboats #myitalianadventure
The statue standing in Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, is rather unfortunately named The Rape of the Sabine Women, or The Abduction of the Sabine Women, both equally bad, depicting the way women were treated in Roman times. Made from marble in the 1500s by Giambologna for Cosimo Medici. . . . #rapeofsabinewomen #abductionofsabinewomen #loggiadeilanzi #loggiadeilanziinthepiazzadellasignoria #marblestatue #giambolognasculpture #italianart #artinpublicplaces #florence #florenceitaly #florencetrip #florencewalk #florencetravel #solotravelinitaly #solotravelingisfun #traveladdict #solotravel #neverstopexploring #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
The bronze sculpture of il Porcellino at Mercato Nuovo in Florence, rubbing the boars snout ensures you will return to Florence - it works!! This was my second visit, I rubbed his snout again......so looks like I'll be back again 🥰🥂!! . . #ilporcellino #ilporcellinofirenze #florencewalk #mercatonuovofirenze #florencetrip #florencetravel #florence #florenceitaly #italianhistory #italytravel #italytrip #italy #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #neverstoptravelling #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #solotravel #solotravelingisfun #traveladdict
The Florence Cathedral, Duomo di Firenze, was built between 1296 and 1436, the last 16 years of that time spent building the dome, that can be seen from all around Florence. (There has been a church on this site since 393!) The building is enormous, then add the Baptistry and the bell tower it really is the centre of Florence. . #florence #florencetrip #florenceitaly #florencecathedral #firenzeduomo #duomodifirenze #italytravel #italytrip #italianhistory #solotravelinitaly #solotrip #solotravel #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #blackandwhitemarble #florenceduomobelltower #traveltheworldwithme #italianarchitecture
My first sighting of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!! It does have quite a lean to it!! Built in the 12th century, it leaned immediately, but then leaned more......by 1990 it was leaning 5.5 degrees, it was then stabilised back to just under 4 degrees after under going some remedial work. . . #leaningtowerofpisa #leaningtower #pisa #torredelpisa #torredelpendente #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #traveltheworldwithme #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #historygeek #historicitaly #pisaitaly #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #seekandyoushallfind #traveladdict
The very ornate doors to Florence Cathedral, imagine the number of hours it took to carve these, and this is not the only set of doors, there are many, all equally detailed - it's a lost art, or is just too expensive to have beautiful things these days?? . . #florence #florenceitaly #florenceduomo #firenzecityitaly #firenzeduomo #florencecathedral #duomodifirenze #italytravel #italytrip #italianhistory #madeinitaly #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #carveddoors #duomodoors #italianarchitecture #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #seekandyoushallfind
Views over Florence from the roof top terrace at my hotel, the closest dome is Basilica di San Lorenzo and the far one is Firenze Duomo. . . . #florence #florenceitaly #firenzeduomo #florencecathedral #basilicadisanlorenzo #basilicadisanlorenzofirenze #florencerooftops #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravel #solotravelinitaly #florencetrip #florencetravel #italytrip #italytravel #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstoptravelling
Look at all those steps!! Fortunately, just down the road there is a lift and funicular to get you up to where the castle is. But I suppose if you live half way up, you wouldn't want to forget the milk!! . . #laspeziaitaly #laspezia #laspeziacentro #solotravelinitaly #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #traveltheworldwithme #neverstoptravelling #solotrip #steps #manymanysteps #manymanystepstoclimb #solotravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #exploringlaspezia
The foot bridge to the Marina in La Spezia makes for a lovely walk in the afternoon, there are a few bars and restaurants out there too 🥂!! I am so pleased I chose to stay in La Spezia and visit Cinque Terre, and other towns in the area, from there, it's a lovely town and my hotel @hotelfirenzelaspezia up near the station, was fantastic. . . #laspeziaitaly #pontethaondirevel #laspeziaharbourside #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #neverstopexploring #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #laspezia #reflectiononwaterisbeautiful #yachts #outonthewater #beautifullaspezia #italytravel #madeinitaly
Siena's Torre del Mangia can be seen between buildings all over this magnificent medieval city. . . . #siena #sienatravel #solotravelinitaly #sienatravel #seekandyoushallfind #sienaitalia #seeeverythingdoeverything #sienaitaly #sienahistory #sienatrip #torredelmangia #medievalitaliancity #medievalitaly #italianarchitecture #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravel #neverstopexporing
This is Musiara, an orphaned elephant rescued after poachers attacked her mum. There are 21 bronze sculptures created by Gillie and Marc now located in Spitalfields, London. I have a new post about them that you can read by clicking the link to my website, in the bio. . . #musiara #herdofhope #herdofhopelondon #bronzeelephants #londontravel #londonwalks #seekandyoushallfind #spitalfields #spitalfieldsmarket #london #gillieandmarcart #artinpublicplaces #bronzeelephantsculptures #sculptureoftheday #sculptureinthecity #londontrip #londonlife #solotravelerstories #solotravelinlondon #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict
Inside the 1000 year old Pisa Duomo, they knew how to create beautiful buildings back then, and they last forever!!! Similar black and white marble to that used in the much bigger Siena Duomo some 150 years later. . . #pisaitaly #pisaduomo #pisatrip #pisaduomopiazzadeimiracoli #pisa #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #blackandwhitemarble #insidetheduomo #italianarchitecture #italianhistory #italytravel #italytrip #madeinitaly #medievalitaly #traveltheworldwithme #traveladdict #neverstopexploring #seeeverythingdoeverything #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #solotrip
Inside the Baptistery next to Pisa Duomo in Piazza dei Miracoli, it seems black and white marble was all the go 1000 years ago, one of my favourites now!! . . #pisaitaly #pisafieldofmiracles #pisabaptisteryofstjohn #pisatrip #pisabaptistery #battisterodisangiovanni #pulpit #pisafieldofmiracles #italianhistory #madeinitaly #medievalitaly #oldbuildingsmakemehappy #blackandwhitemarble #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #solotravelinitaly #solotravel #italytrip #seetheworldthroughmyeyes

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