True summer has finally arrived in London. Evenings are warmer this week, so I decided to take the long way home and make the best of it before it sneaks away again. The morning light made even two of the ugliest buildings I pass on my morning commute somewhat charming (first two photos below).
Earlier in the day, I spent lunch break with a colleague wandering around the Natural History Museum (which I’ve written about before, during the colder winter months).
As many times as I walk past this stunning building, I never find it any less impressive with its gargoyles perched along the front, its curlicue gates and intricate detailing. Indoors, beneath the amazing ceiling and cool tile patterns on the floor, Dippy the Diplodocus takes centre stage.
I headed down into Chelsea on my walk home, down charming Clareville Grove and past the grand white columned houses and ice cream cone chimneys of Onslow Square.
I detoured down Sydney Street where we used to live and into St. Luke’s Gardens where the roses are starting to whither and there were plenty of empty benches on which to sit and reminisce. There was always early morning tea and a book in the grass, our engagement in the rose gardens, and the spring days when the cherry blossom petals flutter through the air like pink confetti.
I could spend forever in this well-cared-for nook, tucked away from the bustle of the King’s Road, a slight breeze flowing through. It is, as I’ve said before, quite possibly my favourite place in all of London.
And what better route to head west than down along the Chelsea Embankment? Though it is traffic-filled, I love the walk along my old running walk down Oakley Street (for which our Oakley the cat is named) from Kings Road to the Thames with the brick mansions, leafy side streets and finally the boy and dolphin sculpture at the end.
The Albert Bridge was looking marvelous as always, stretching over the river to the summer green lushness of Battersea Park, with its Candy Land pastels in pink and green, framed by the trees that grow along the bank and the carved lampposts that line the walk.
I wonder how many times I’ve walked over that bridge, under bright blue skies and at night with its charming fairground lights.
On the side of the street opposite the river a little ways down is the medieval mansion of Crosby Hall. It was originally built in Bishops’s Gate in the 1400s but I believe it’s now privately owned in its current location. It has a long and interesting history, so head over to Google if you want a longer read.
Battersea Bridge came next, with its tall lamp posts, rumbling red buses and commuters heading home one way or the other, joggers dodging past. I stopped to watch the mesmerising ripples from passing boats, the reflections, not quite as colourful as they are in the inky black water at night.
Just past the bridge, a community of colourful houseboats line up, anchored in place with a long boardwalk for the residents to come and go.
Across the street, the seven hulking brown tower blocks of the World’s End Estate. I wouldn’t mind one day looking across the city from one of the “streets in the sky” that connect the buildings. It must be an amazing view.
When I used to live on Finborough Road nearby back in 2010, I would often wander the few minutes down here and sit by the river in Cremorne Gardens.
I didn’t take many photos from the rest of my walk down to Fulham, so I’ll leave you there for now!
- Just finished reading One of Us (very good) by Asne Seierstad. Putting one of her older books, The Angel of Grozny, on the wish list. Now, I’m on to good old Mrs. Dalloway. What’s on your summer reading list?
- Love this blouse for summer.
- Just bought this fun bright bag and have barely put it down. This tote might be next.
- This shop has the coolest lampshades.
- Finally made it past 200 listings in my etsy shop!
These are affiliate links (but things I love), so I get a little kickback from any purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps me pay for the hosting costs that keep Little Observationist alive (thank you!).