London Neighbourhoods Calling – Part 2

Many of my travels are not grand adventures. In fact, much of the time it is simply about walking about and seeing new-to-me places. Nothing exciting yet still enjoyable for me. In some cases, I wander around one small area or neighbourhood taking it all in. Other times, I cover as much ground as I can, going from place to place, ending my sojourns with a “reward” of a decent pint of beer. That is what I did on this day. It was several neighbourhoods I found myself in on this particular day. Here is where I wandered.

I had hoped to spend a good chunk of time checking out the lesser known areas that are listed in my book “Secret London” however I was only able to visit one new spot as that is the way it went (I suppose future visits are needed). What did I end up seeing? It was the rather interesting Hardy Tree at St Pancras Old Church (near St Pancras Station). There this much history in this place yet I was there for one reason – The Hardy Tree. To see gravestones arranged about an ash tree that were placed there by author Thomas Hardy when he worked there. Today the tree and the headstones have grown into one. I enjoyed seeing this unique blend in a lovely green space in the city.

The Hardy Tree, Old St Pancras Church, London

The next stop was to go to Covent Garden for a short look around. I wandered and wandered. Okay, I actually got turned around and lost – d’oh! Even though I had no idea what was where, it was nice to stroll around. Then I came across Neal’s Yard – an Instagram darling location. This colourful little court is tucked off the side with a pedestrian walkway leading to coffee shops and curios. And many a camera-phone-toting-Instagram-posting folks. Yes, myself included. I was one of several who just had to snap the colourful shots. Sadly, with my time getting lost I was unable to wander the is cheerful area of Covent Garden any longer. Now it was time for lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in years.

The Instagram hotspot of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, London
Neal’s Yard
Meeting my friend for lunch

We were to meet at her office which is near the Tower Bridge (in More London/London Bridge City , where office buildings abound). We had a short but sweet visit with the Thames River, the Tower Bridge, and the Shard as the backdrop. After we said good-bye I wandered about the area and then headed to the Tower Bridge Experience. It was a neat too to learn about the bridge’s design and construction. Walking across the glass insert was a bit trippy too.

London’s Tower Bridge
In the Tower Bridge’s Engine Room exhibit.
Walking along the Thames

After this educational break I decided to walk along the Thames, passing by the Tower of London. I realized then that I was close to St-Dunstan-in-the-East. I came across this garden space during my previous trip to London in 2015. It was love a first sight. Originally constructed in the 1100s it was greatly damaged in 1666 during the Great Fire of London. Repair work and additions were made to it by Sir Christopher Wren. It served there for years until severely damaged during the London Blitz in WW II. It remained in a state of disrepair until 1967 when the city decided to make it a public garden. Today it is a tranquil spot in the city. It is my favourite spot that I have seen in London. I would have stayed there much longer had it not been for the rain that was starting. So what does a beer lovin’ girl do when it rains in London? Head to a pub or two, of course. Which is what I did and then headed back to my hostel. It was a good day.

St Dunstan-in-the-east
So beautiful
Another beauty

All photos taken & owned by Wanders the World / Eeva Valiharju

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