Walk 7: The Strand and Covent Garden

Walk number 7 in the 1980s AA guide book took me to Covent Garden and the Strand. I did this walk on the afternoon of Sunday 13 May, 2018.

1980's AA Guide
The Strand and Covent Garden

The walk commences at Embankment Underground Station. From there I walked up VIlliers Street names after George Villeiers the Duke of Buckingham. From here I turned right into the Victoria Embankment Gardens.

This garden located on the north bank of the Thames is a great place for a stroll on a warm spring afternoon. Full of old statues and well arranged gardens, lots of people come here to sit outside and enjoy the sun (tis a rear thing in London, especially during those winter months.

After a wander through the house the walk took me past the Shell-Mex House. From here we headed past the Savoy Hotel, famous as the home for Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas.

The Savoy Hotel
And its elegant surroundings

From here the walk took me past the Chapel of Savoy, the site of the ancient Savoy Palace. Rebuilt by Henry VII in 1510-16 as a hospital, now the only part that survives is the Queens Chapel.

Queens Chapel of the Savoy.

From here I walked up to the Roman Baths, which according to the book more likely date from the early 17th century. Unfortunately they were closed at the time I walked past.

Roman Bath on Surrey Street. Unfortunately the National Trust locked the gate.

From here the walk took me to The Strand and then past St Clement Dames Church.

St Clement Danes Church

The next landmark on the walk is the Old Curiosity Shop, immortalised by the Charles Dickens Novel of the same name.

From here I proceeded to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, laid out in the 17th century and according to the guide book a famous haunt for duellists (I saw none during my walk). This is also the spot where Lord William Russell was executed in 1683.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

After this the walk took me to Covent Garden. According to the 80s guide book, until 1974 this had been a famous fruit and vegetable market for over 300 years. The book talked about how the old buildings had been renovated and were then filled with craft shops and restaurants. In 2018 it is one of the main tourist craft markets and restaurant areas in London.

After stopping for a coffee and a bite to eat, I headed down St Martin’s Lane. This took my past the National Opera and the London Coliseum with the globe on top.

London Coliseum with the globe on top

The walk then took me down St Martins Lane and past the famous St Martins in the Fields opposite Trafalgar Square. St Martins is now no longer near any fields, but when first build in the 13th century it was in open country surrounds.

The walk then took me to Charring Cross, and this is where walk 7 ended.

Above: statue for Nurse Edith Cavell in St Martin’s Place. Cavell in during the First World War for helping prisoners of war escape. Bottom right: a child attempting planking.


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