I met Carol at Paddington Station and we take the Underground to Victoria Station. These large London stations connect London to the rest of Britain and Europe. Always lots of people milling and walking about. We walk down to the Royal Mews to have a look at the Queens horses and Stables. One of the finest working stables in existence, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace displays details about the department of the Royal Household that provides transport by road for The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
We have lunch at Carriages, a wine bistro where, we were able to sample some Elderflower Wine with the food. This is an English country wine which has a pleasantly delicate flavour; a good thing for a country not known for its wines.
We next followed a section of the Jubilee Walk over Lambeth Bridge and along the South Bank of the Thames. The Silver Jubilee Walkway, as it was known then, was originally laid down in 1977 as the main feature by the London Celebrations for The Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Her Majesty The Queen opened it by unveiling a plaque on the South Bank Lion, on the night of the Thames fireworks celebrations on 9 June 1977. In the year of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Jubilee Walkway was completely refurbished.
It was atmospheric, walking along the banks of the Thames on a late afternoon in Autumn with the street lamps just coming on, lights reflecting on the wide waterway, the Houses of Parliament visible. It reminded me of Victorian times – the Sherlock Holmes period.
We crossed the Thames over Blackfriar’s Bridge. Walking along the Embankment we came upon a griffin-like statue perched on a plinth heralding the precincts of the City of London. It looked like something out of a Harry Potter movie.
We passed by the original New Scotland Yard (the new headquarters of the Metropolitan Police had been shifted a few kilometres down the road to Broadway). The name of the headquarters is derived from its original location on Great Scotland Yard, a street within Whitehall. No-one seems to know the origin of the name, but it has been suggested that it was an embassy used by the kings of Scotland, or that stagecoaches bound for Scotland once departed from the street.
We later caught an 88 bus from the Strand – Trafalgar Square to Notting Hill Gate and the local supermarket, bought some great food and champers and walked back to Rick’s (our host) where the three of us had a good London dinner.
London deserves to be walked.