London Parks walk
30 December 2023 – our last walk before entering the new year covered six London parks. Twenty-two of us started from Lambeth North, although this number became quite fluid as we went along. Before making our way to the Archbishop’s Park, I briefly pointed out the site where William Blake once lived from 1790 to 1800. The precise address was 13 Hercules Buildings. The Hercules buildings were pulled down in 1917 and have since been replaced by a long brick building called Blake House. Off the Hercules Road there are railway underpasses where one can find mosaics based on Blake’s poems and his art work. These were made by The Southbank Mosaics*.
From the Archbishop’s Park we made our way to Lambeth Bridge, past the Garden Museum (previously St. Mary’s Church) and Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Having crossed the bridge, we weaved our way through various Westminster back streets to St James’s Park, then to Green Park and into Hyde Park. Staying along the north side of the Serpentine, we past ‘The Arch’, a sculpture by Henry Moore, before completing the morning section by the Kensington Gardens fountains, at Lancaster Gate.
View from the Embankment
St James Park residents
We stopped for lunch and liquid refreshments at the Mitre Pub in Bayswater.
The afternoon continued through Kensington Gardens past the ‘Peter Pan’ statue by Sir George Frampton and the ‘Physical Energy’ statue by George Frederic Watts.
‘Physical Energy’ and the Morley Ramblers
On to the Round Pond and through the Kensington Palace Gardens before making our way to Holland Park, our final destination. By the time we had reached the park quite a number of our walking companions had dropped out, but a good number stayed with me. There we came across a heron perched proudly on top of the fountain near the Orangery, however the colourful peacocks that usually roam around this park eluded us on this occasion. Luckily the attractive Japanese Garden was open where, in the small pond, a couple of fish posed for a photo shoot.
Heron posing by the Orangery
Carp in the Japanese Gardenc
We left Holland Park in good time before it got dark where we dispersed with good humour and our best wishes for a happy new year.
Sigrid (my thanks to Christine M for additional photos)
[*The Southbank Mosaics in Waterloo no longer exist but have re-established themselves as The London School of Mosaic, now based in Camden]