Discovering London

One of the things I’m planning on doing before I turn 50 is to explore 10 UK cities. So far, I’ve discovered Exeter, Salisbury, Bath and Canterbury. However, I’m determined to find parts of London that you wouldn’t usually get on a normal tour… not the obvious things like the London Eye, St. Paul’s, etc. I worked in Westminster for 2 years but I want to go to 7 new places in London to tick off this city.

First, St. Dunstan’s in the East. Goodness, I’m so excited about going here! It’s a grade 2-listed medieval church close to The Tower of London that was bombed during the Blitz and has become a public garden. It provides a tranquil place with benches and a fountain.

Next, it’ll be up to Leadenhall Market, a shopping centre in a beautiful Victorian setting with bars, restaurants, etc. I can’t remember what the event was but I came across this stunning place a couple of years ago when a cycling or running event was being televised and the participants made their way through Leadenhall….I just thought that I have to go there!

Neales yard

Third is Neale’s Yard. I’ve been to Covent Gardens several times over the years but Neale’s Yard is tucked away nearby and is apparently easy to walk past and miss! it’s common to go there and not see many people! But I can see online that I’ll be greeted by an array of colourful buildings, many of which are health food shops, etc.

Little Venice Little Venice 2

I plan to go to Venice, Italy in the next few years but I’ve also discovered ‘Little Venice’,,,,one in Colmar, France and one in London… I’m going to go to all 3 eventually. The one in London has canal-side cafes and is just a stone’s throw away from Paddington Station.

Fifth, sixth and seventh, I’m going up the The Shard which was built since I last really went up to London (which was clearly a while ago!). Okay, this is quite touristy but I hope to go to the top. I’ve a feeling that they also do afternoon tea there (which is another of my 50 experiences to tick off) so perhaps I can tick that one off too. And then the entrance to Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform at Kings’ Cross and the pagoda at Battersea Park.

I’m a few days off next week so I might see what I can do then.

If I can do the above, I can say that I’ve explored London. But I’ll be up there again for some of my other experiences/challenges as I plan to walk the London Marathon route (I’m exceptionally unfit so 26 miles is something to aim for!) and I want to go to an event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium—perhaps a para-athletics event.

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