Just Off the Beaten Track

Gaynor, my wife, and I spend time most weekends walking around London. We try to find hidden places that are actually in public view, if you look, but also just off the beaten track and, therefore, often not noticed. We can be out 4 or 5 hours with Gaynor taking photos along the way. In the process, in addition to the usual places of interest, such as the foot tunnel under the river at Greenwich and Browne’s Gardens, just off Oxford Street, we have visited Postman’s Park, not far from St Paul’s, Paradise Yard, near St Thomas’ Hospital, Wapping Pier Head, a group of Georgian house built, for officials of the dock company, around a central garden, Dalston Curve Garden and St Mary’s Secret Garden in Hackney, Somehow, we can’t resist looking down that little alley or into that mews that many seem to walk straight past. It is seldom unrewarding in its discovery of hidden gems and little bits of Wonderland.

Yesterday for me, however, was different. In plain view was an area of London, just beyond the view of the thousands of tourists at Tower Bridge,  that I never knew about. Having recently walked the canal from Limehouse back to Camden, we decided to do something similar, only this time, along the river instead. So, how come a “died in the wool” Londoner, born in Surrey Docks, like myself has missed Shadwell Basin and Spirit and Tobacco Quays with their empty basins and little bits of blocked off canal and social housing, all creating a wonderful walk back to the wealth of St Katherine’s Dock? I felt as if we were in a strange film, one that, this morning, I don’t want to get out of.

So, for those who find things like this of interest, I’m posting some of Gaynor’s photos. Enjoy and then go and find your own hidden gems and little bits of Wonderland. It’s a lovely way to spend a day and I doubt whether you’ll be disappointed with the results.

The last one is for dog lovers!

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