“Hildreth Street Market – M1LK”, I had written in my “London List” notes I keep in my phone. Whenever I have a free few hours stretching ahead of me, I try to do something I’ve written on this list. Ideas come from everywhere – photos I’ve seen, snippets from blogs and magazines, suggestions from friends, looking at maps for places I haven’t explored yet.
Anything under three hours, I consider walking distance when I have a day free to wander around with my camera. Citymapper clocked the route at a mere 67 minute walk. And so I set out on the nearly straight path from Chelsea to Balham to see what this “Hildreth Street Market – M1LK” was all about.
After winding through Chelsea to take a few photos, I headed toward my favourite Albert Bridge.
I’d never walked these specific streets before so that made it all the more interesting. It’s amazing how, when you cross the river and skip past the edge of Battersea Park everything starts to become more and more residential.
I came across a faded, peeling mural that was really interesting. I looked it up later and found out it was painted by Christine Thomas (who has also done some work in Brixton) back in 1983 (the year I was born!) and it took her six months to paint. It’s a shame it’s in such a state right now, and it’s unlikely to be repaired.
(In the etsy shop)
There’s some buzz around Battersea Rise on the north edge of Clapham Common (which was full of children screaming and running around the playground and lycra-clad runners plugged into their iPhones) but I carried on straight – perhaps somewhere to explore on the next adventure.
Pass the common and it’s like proper suburbia out there. I followed Grandison Road, Wroughton Road and Ramsden Road, past some pretty grand houses with flowering gardens and tricycles parked at the front. It was, in a way, refreshing. It was a pocket away from the bustle, but still super close to all of it. Balham High Road came into view before I knew it and I crossed over to Hildreth Street Market.
I made it! And it was all of about three stalls. One full of flowers, one full of veggies and then a really random street cart that was completely dedicated to toast, where you could see a colour chart to show exactly how brown you like your toast when you order. Along the edges were what looked like a string of independent shops which was nice to see.
And then I looked further on and saw a huge queue. Yup, that was M1LK. So it much have been worth the trip, right? Only I decided I didn’t want to wait, especially not on my own. It wasn’t a completely wasted walk though. I got some fun photos and discovered a new area of the city where I hadn’t been before.
(In the etsy shop)
I took a slightly different route home crossing Chelsea Bridge instead – altogether some 7 miles round trip.
I was ready to sit down with a cup of tea!