A wonderful way to see and experience London: walking. Come and join in!
Begin London's urban hike at the Lancaster Gate entrance to Hyde Park, just off Bayswater Road. Reach Lancaster Gate by underground via the Lancaster Gate tube station. Start the hike sufficiently early in the morning to be able to visit Hyde Park at a pleasant time.
Discover Hyde Park by walking through the park to the Marble Arch. Until late 19th century, Marble Arch was the site of public hangings. From Marble Arch continue east along Oxford Street. This street is London's most important and crowded shopping district. Major department stores are found here. Selfridges, Debenhams, C and A's, and Liberty's are all located on in the area. Do some browsing, but try not to buy anything on the walk, as whatever you buy, you have to carry! Hikers carry water and plasters only! ;)
Where Oxford intersects Regent Street, turn right and continue down this stunning street until you reach Piccadilly Circus. Hamley's is a favourite stop ~ 6 stories of delight for all ages!
(this first photo was taken with my camera phone, so is poor quality unfortunately)
Okay, and then?
This is where I work! I really enjoy my lunch hours, where I amble around to the art galleries, squares and sights all around me. I feel very spoilt sometimes to be working in such a beautiful and historic place. Anyway, that aside, you are on a hike and must try and savour the sights around you, but not be distracted! lol
From Piccadilly Circus, follow Piccadilly to Leicester Square. Leicester Square is where all the movie premiers take place, and where stars turn up in the freezing cold weather of winter in skimpy dresses, pretending not to feel the cold :)
From Leicester Square, walk along Charing Cross Road to Trafalgar Square.
From stars to columns to squares...
From Trafalgar Square, continue up the Strand. This is London's theatrical district. The Strand becomes Fleet Street in several blocks. Fleet Street is the legendary home of the British press.
Wedding bells, something smells ;)
One can walk up some stairs, all the way up to the cathedral's rotunda. It is a spectacular view :) St Paul's floor plan is a lateran cross. The rotunda is located directly above the center of the cross.
From the dome to the tower to the crown...
William the Conqueror began the Tower in about 1078. In subsequent years, much English history has involved the Tower. Imprisonment, torture, murder, and execution have all contributed to establishing the Bloody Tower's reputation. The famous have been housed here awaiting their fate. Henry the VIII imprisoned and then executed his wives Ann Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and Margaret Vicountessa of Salisbury within the Tower. Elizabeth I was, herself, kept a prisoner at the Tower for some time before becoming queen.
The modern Tower is associated with the Beefeaters or Yeoman Warders who wear the distinctive Tudor style uniforms. The Crown Jewels of England are kept here. White's Chapel within the Tower contains a superb museum, including a well displayed armour collection. One could spend an entire day here... But YOU cannot! You have a hike to complete... move on now!
Bridging the water... not swimming it!
Bloomsbury's fame is often linked to two reasons, the British Museum and the economist John Maynard Keynes. The British Museum is only one block to the west of Tottenham Court Road Station. The British Museum is a favorite of Londoners. The museum's large collection includes exhibits of things from classical times to the present. A half day or more can be effortlessly spent exploring the British Museum.
Meet up with Ben and Abbey!
Westminster Abbey is next to Westminster. Since 1050 AD, all but two of England's kings and queens have been crowned at Westminster Abbey. Many of England's monarches are also buried here. Brass rubbings from Westminster Abbey are familiar decor. These brass rubbings can be made from cathedral artifacts. Purchase paper and ink and try a brass rubbing.
After leaving Westminster Abbey, walk across Parliament Square and north on Whitehall. Downing Street is a few blocks up Whitehall on the left hand side. While visitors are no longer allowed outside 10 Downing Street, the famous residence can still be seen from Whitehall.
...end it off with tea with Lizzy :)After leaving 10 Downing Street, return to Parliament Square and walk up Birdcage Walk to St. James Park. Walk through St. James Park to the Mall.
Buckingham Palace is at the opposite end of the mall. If the Queen is in residence, one can see her distinctive flag with the three lions of England above the palace. The changing of the guard takes place at Buckingham Palace at 11:30 am every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Buckingham Palace completes the London urban hike!
We hope your enjoyed your virtual hike with us... now why not do it for REAL? The London experience will be substantially better for first having got out and found the city on foot, this we can guarentee!