Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Walks in London

Everyone will have their favourite walk round London, and this is but one suggestion that takes in one of the best Royal Parks, stunning panoramic views, fantastic market stalls and pretty boutiques. It will take about 2 hours depending on how much time is spent admiring the views or browsing the stalls.

The walk starts at Great Portland Sreet tube from where it is a short distance to formal, laid out Avenue Gardens part of Regents Park. After this you can either continue up through the northern end of the park or make a (probably not quick) detour left to the Queen Mary Rose Gardens.

At the top of the par we pass by London Zoo and then cross the Regents Canal and along Prince Albert Road to Primrose Hill. For those inclined, it is a short, but steep, walk to the top for stunning panoramic views over the city. Exit at the north-east corner onto Regents Park Road and continue north along a pretty row of boutique shops and cafes - a good place to grab a slice of cake and drink.

Panorama of Primrose Hill supplied by Panoramic Earth

Continue across the railway bridge and then head right down to Chalk Farm tube where there is a fantastically painted building. At this point you begin the return trip turning south and heading back to Camden Market. This is where you can loose a lot of time browsing the various stalls selling almost anything you could imagine, including a lot of local arts and crafts.

Panorama of Camden Lock Market supplied by Panoramic Earth

The weary can opt to end their walk here or finish it by either wandering up Parkway past the Jazz Cafe and a fantastic health food shop or along Regents Canal. Both routes end up near the north end of Regents Park and from there you head south to end up back at Great Portland Street.

Monday, December 12, 2011

London at Christmas

Once again London has geared up for the run up to Christmas. Once again the lights are on in Oxford Street and ice skating rings have opened up at the Natural History Museum, Somerset House and other venues. The Winter Wonderland has arrived in Hyde Park and thousands of people our out to find various Christmas shopping bargains, enjoy the rides or relax at the Bavarian Village (shown below).

Every year just before Christmas Oxford Street and Regent Street are closed to traffic, and them promptly fill with tens of thousands of people who descend on the shops. One of the busiest shopping days of the year, it is accompanied by various street entertainment, rides and music, making for a festive atmosphere.

And yet in the midst of it all on wonders if the Christian meaning behind Christmas has somehow been lost.

New Panoramas on Panoramic Earth