Walk 2: Buckingham Palace and Westminster Cathedral

This is the second in my series of walks out of my 1980s AA guidebook to London.

I did the second walk on 19 January 2018, a cold but sunny winter day in London. The theme for this walk is Monarch and Religion.

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This walk commenced the Queens inner city residence, Buckingham Palace. Neither she nor Phil invited in for a cuppa (very rude). I was able to walk past and see the Royal Mews where the queens carriage and horses are kept.

Above: The Royal Mews

Next to this was the Queens Gallery. I had a quick look in the gift shop

Above: Items in the gift shop at the Queens Gallery. The style didn’t quite fit the decor of my London place. 

After walking down the Birdcage Walk, leading me to the Wellington Barracks. The Chapel and museum were closed to the public that day, so I took a photo and moved along.

Above: Wellington Barracks

After this my 1980s guide book sent me to Queen Anne’s Gate, a ‘quite close built in 1704. Lord Palmerston used to live at number 20, and Lord Haldane at number 28. Queen Anne has a statue outside number 13.

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Above: Anne outside number 13.

After this we head to Broadway. Not quite the glitz and glamour of the New York version, somewhat more utilitarian and functional. The main site here is the 1920s built London Transport Headquarters.

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Above: London Transport HQ. In 2015 London Underground were due to vacate the building and move the Headquarters to the Olympic Park in Stratford. The building was to be converted into city apartments, but Transport for London still occupy the space and the planning permission to convert to housing expires this year. Watch this space. 

The next stop on walk 2 was Caxton Hall, a former registry office, and was once the most fashionable venue for out of church weddings.

Above: Caxton Hall – fancy registry office.

Further down Caxton Road is the former site of he Blewcoat school. Since 1987 when the guide book was published, the building was refurbished and is now a clothing store.

Above: Blewcoat School

After this, the 1987 guide book suggested I stop at the Albert Tavern. Well its still there so who was I to argue…

Above: The Albert Tavern had their own Bitter, pretty nice drop too. 

Then I realised I had skipped a bit. Grey Coat Hospital, a charity school founded in 1698

Above: Grey Coat Hospital 

The final leg of the tour took me through the inner London streets on the way to the final stop.

Above: The streets of London

Final stop, Westminster Cathedral. Catholic Church built between 1895 and 1903 in the Byzantine-style. It certainly stands out, and is very different to other Cathedrals you see in the British Isles.

Above: Westminster Cathedral. Also me inside a church, a very rare occurrence.

Walk number 2 started with monarch and finished with religion. Neither have changed much since the 1980s guide book was published. I guess both are conservative institutions that rarely change, even if they should.

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