Posts Tagged ‘walks’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on December 24, 2009 at 7:11 am
Filed under: christmas, featuredarticle, walks

Christmas Day in London

I love Christmas Day in London. Everything’s closed; everybody is at home. The capital is deserted, and if it’s a frosty or snowy morning, it’s virgin white, untouched by footprints. (Though alas, it looks as if the snow is all gone now.) If you like solitude and moody atmosphere, it’s the one day of the year you can get that in the middle of London.

Quintessential London Christmas; dark brick, tall windows, railings, bare trees, snow.

Quintessential London Christmas; dark brick, tall windows, railings, bare trees, snow.

Some of my favourite places will be closed; the garden squares won’t be open, the Inns of Court will probably have their gates locked. But I might wander along the South Bank – I could go to the eleven o’clock service at St Paul’s [map], take the Millennium Bridge, past Cardinal’s Wharf and Bankside and the South Bank Centre, and then take Westminster Bridge back over the Thames in time for Evensong at Westminster Abbey[map] at three o’clock. That would make quite a special Christmas Day with the chance to hear two really marvellous choirs singing plenty of carols and other great music.

Or I could wander through the deserted City; the atmospheric Castle Court [map]tucked away behind the Royal Exchange, with its ancient Jamaica Wine House; the even more atmospheric churchyard of St Olaves Hart Street [map], with the skulls above the gateway; St Mary at Hill[map]  on its cobbled sloping street leading down to the Thames. Between the glassy skyscrapers and the 1960s concrete office blocks, these hidden, narrow alleyways with their Georgian houses and Wren churches, ancient pubs and tiny gardens, seem to come straight from Dickens’s time.

Feeling more sociable? Head for Hyde Park[map] or Hampstead Heath[map]. If the snow’s gone,  you won’t get the chance to go tobogganining, but you’ll be able to witness one of those mad sporting events we Brits are famous for – the Christmas morning swimming race in the Serpentine. It kicks off at nine o’clock sharp.  And if the Serpentine is iced over, don’t worry – they’ll break the ice.

There are a few restaurants open for Christmas lunch, but most of them are serving rather expensive lunches (quite a few at £200 upwards!) though many branches of Bella Italia and Strada will be open offering more modestly priced lunches.  I suspect you’ll probably need to book, though, so if you do want to go hiking around deserted London, pack a thermos flask of soup and some sarnies, or put your roast in the oven to have a nice hot meal waiting when you get home.


Photo by Paolo Camera on flickr


No Comments


Permalink |


Recent Articles in this category

A Sunday Walk around Trout Lake

SUNDAY WALKS WITH RUTHAKI TROUT LAKE/JOHN HENDRY PARK 3350 Victoria Drive @ #. 15th Ave. Bus #20/Skytrain Troadway then 20 minutes walk. The weather has been hot and sunny again this weekend. I decided to go on a short local walk.  In the heart of a residential neighbourhood in Vancouver’s...
September 13th, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: Attractions, cycle, Family Friendly, market, Outdoors & Recreation, parks, swim, walks

A Nostalgic Walk on the Kitsilano Foreshore.

SUNDAY WALKS WITH RUTHAKI A few years ago, when I lived in Kitsilano, I used to take my dog on Sunday walks down to the beach.  So this Sunday walk, following those little paw-prints, was very much a nostalgic walk. I started at Maple and Fourth Ave. and walked down through Kits’ lovely residential...
September 1st, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: beach, boats, Family Friendly, festival, kites, Outdoors & Recreation, walks

A Walk Through Auckland’s Waterfront

Are you looking for a leisurely walk that virtually costs nothing but is culturally enriching?  Auckland has the Waterfront Sculpture Walk that you can try. Start at the Britomart transport centre where you will find art works by the architect Mario Madayag and artist Michael Parekowhai. Wander around...
August 4th, 2009 | theaucklandguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: artworks, Attractions, auckland waterfront, sculptures, The Arts, walks

Eagle Spotting

SUNDAY WALKS WITH RUTHAKI The eagles have landed!  I went for a walk Sunday to see how many I could spot.  There are hundreds at various locations around the city and in other parts of B.C.  I started out from Howe and Pender and walked down to Canada Place Convention Centre.  There were hordes...
May 19th, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: Attractions, convention centre, cruise ships, eagles, Family Friendly, orcas, spirit bears, The Arts, walks

The Rhododenron Festival and a walk in Deer Lake Park

SUNDAY WALKS WITH RUTHAKI It was a lovely day on Sunday and I headed out to Burnaby to take a stroll around Deer Lake and visit the 21st annual Burnaby Rhododendron festival at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts There were horticultural exhibits, sales, art activities, artisan stales, entertainment and...
May 6th, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: Attractions, boats, crafts, Family Friendly, flowers, gardens, History & Information, lake, Outdoors & Recreation, parks, The Arts, walks

Stroll the Cobbled Streets of Gastown

Sunday Walks with Ruthaki #3 Gastown is the historic centre of Vancouver where the first settlement began back in 1870.  As you stroll along the cobbled streets you’ll see various plaques marking historic buildings or events.  Gastown got it’s name from a feisty old character named John...
April 5th, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 0
Filed under: Attractions, conventions, Family Friendly, heritage buildings, historic, History & Information, Outdoors & Recreation, Shopping, Tours, walks

Spend a pleasant day or weekend in Victoria, B.C.

Because it’s so easy to get to, Victoria makes a perfect place for a day or weekend getaway.  One of the prettiest cities, surrounded by spectacular scenery and historic sites, it’s one of B.C. main attractions as well as being the Provincial Capital. You can get to Victoria easily from...
March 23rd, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 7
Filed under: Attractions, Family Friendly, harbour, History & Information, marina, museums, Outdoors & Recreation, parks, Restaurants & Bars, Shopping, shops, The Arts, Tours, walks

Scenic Sidney by the Sea

Whenever I’m over on Vancouver Island I like to spend a bit of time browsing the little seaside community of Sidney. And each time I go there I see how the small retirement community is growing, with lovely condos and more boutiques and tourist attractions. I enjoy browsing Sidney’s main...
March 23rd, 2009 | thevancouverguide | Read More | Comments: 1
Filed under: Attractions, boat, boutiques, Family Friendly, kayaks, marinas, Outdoors & Recreation, Shopping, shops, walks