This a great ‘all day walk’ with lots of stop offs along the way and taking in some of London’s finest parks.
Exiting Waterloo station I headed west along the Thames and crossed the Westminster Bridge, I had to dodge tourists, street sellers and photographers but I promise you this that soon I left the crowds behind and could breathe some emission free fresh air! (Or at least it felt like it was!). Before reaching the bridge I passed the London Eye and the Aquarium and caught some great views both east and west along the Thames.
Once across the bridge I was up close and personal with Big Ben and Parliament Square. On many of the lampposts there are convenient and much needed at times ‘You are Here‘ maps. Heading for Birdcage Walk which I found as a left hand turn I walked through St James Park. On exiting I found myself saluting the Queen at Buck House before entering Green Park (I sliced through the park diagonally westwards and headed towards Wellington Arch and the entrance to Hyde Park, now here it got tricky as I was sidetracked with the gardens but again I took a slightly diagonal route north and found myself leaving the greenery and stepping on to the Baywater Road.
Taking the Bayswater Road westwards I crossed over to Westbourne Terrace. There is convenient cafe just on the corner of Bathhurst Square called the Bathurst Deli Diner, where I can recommend the platters and the decor!
So I was now on the very fine streets of Paddington, white terraces of several ‘storeyed’ plush residential blocks. I caught glimpses of chandeliers hanging from high ceilings, sleek black cars in the permit holders only street parking and most of the time I was walking with mouth open looking upwards, not a good look and slightly risky given the uneven pavements!
Westbourne terrace takes you neatly to Little Venice basin. Colourful canal boats are tied up, there is a tow path to explore and great views along the canal from both sides of the bridge.
Of course you can return the same way as you came but that would be boring! I headed north along Maida Ave, past Lords Cricket Ground ………………
to Abbey Road
caught a glimpse of the iconic zebra crossing and then started the trail back to Waterloo Station via Regents Park. On entering by the Islamic Cultural Centre the sun was beginning to drop and made for some great shiny photos of the golden dome of the mosque. Great stop here in the The Boat House Cafe where you can watch the birds on the water and kick back or at least kick off your shoes for a while!
Great views of the Postoffice Tower too!
And then heading south easterly to Waterloo Bridge, I walked down part of Regents Street, cut through Carnaby to Theatreland.
Once over the river I had the entirety of Southbank to find dinner but my little hot spot has to be Le Pain Quotidien by the Festival Hall where the service was great, quick and they serve a nice Sauvignon Blanc much loved by The Grey Traveller