Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

A "Stroll" Through London Town

August 23rd, 2009 · No Comments


Apparently, Sarah and I had not walked enough the past few days and decided to go on an exploration of the Tower Hill section of London yesterday. We arrived at the Tower Hill station, appropriately named, and wanted to walk towards the section labeled “Beheadings”, but decided not to. After walking around the outside of the Tower of London, we decided to head over to the War  Monument for the Merchant Navy. It was a beautiful garden/memorial area that had a few people strolling about.


After that, we decided to go whereever the streets led us. We stubbled upon St. Olave’s Church, where Samuel Pepy’s, Mother Goose (apparently) and 365 people from the 1665 plague are burried. Upon more walking, we discovered a church (that I cannot recall the name of) that was left in ruins after the war. There was a quaint garden and small fountain where a few people were sitting around. The ruins were also open to elements and the public and it was interesting to see once stained glass church windows now covered in vines and vegatation. Sarah and I noticed while walking around that there were very few people on the streets once we got away from the more “touristy” areas. I guess it is strange to me that not all of London is bustling along the streets all the time, because it is such a big city, but I am finding that this is not always the case!

Turning a corner, we noticed a sign for Pudding Lane and, thinking that the name was adorable, decided to walk down the lane. Little did we know the significance of this lane! We saw people at the end of it, standing around something and taking pictures. As we walked past a building we were both stunned by a large monument. Appropriately, the monument we stubbled upon is called “The Monument” because it was built to commemorate the start of the Fire of 1666 in Pudding Lane. Now Pudding Lane did not seem so “adorable” anymore. The Monument, I learned, was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1671 and 1677 and was built to be 61 metres high, the exactly distance between the Monument and the start of the fire in Pudding Lane. Sarah and I, for whatever reason, decided to walk up the 311 steps of the Monument as if we had not walked enough already! The climb though proved itself worth it because we had a marvelous view of London. Then we had to walk back down.


To continue our “stroll” we decided to head towards the “London Bridge” (which is actually called Tower Bridge). After crossing the real London Bridge, we found Southwark Church at the base of it. Southwark Church was a beautiful on the inside, and we managed to step in as a traditional Latin service was going on. We then left the church and headed in the general direction of the Tower (or “London”) Bridge. After about 20 minutes or so of walking, we finally rounded a corner and found ourselves face to face with the Bridge. Even for it being such a commecial site, it is still breathtaking. We noticed there was an exhibit going on in the bridge towers themselves (if anybody would like to do that in their freetime, make note of this!) but we both decided we did not want to do anymore walking up stairs that day!

Even though we did not go into any museums or see many “touristy” sites, Sarah and I still had a fabulous time exploring. Somedays I love going into museums, but I also love just discovering London through randomness and stumbling upon sites that a tourbook would not usually point you towards, those are always the most interesting discoveries to me. So my advice to all of you is to take some free time and go out and just explore! (With another person of course…)

Tags: Alli · Churches and Cathedrals

Tower Hill Tube Activity

August 21st, 2009 · No Comments

Soldier MemorialOn Aug. 20, 2009 we got on the Tube at the Goodge St. station. We took the Northern line to Embankment where we switched lines and headed toward District. We got off at Tower Hill. In total this trip took about 30 minutes.
The moment we exited the station we saw the Tower of London across the street. Before heading over to the Tower of London we explored a Memorial to the sailors who died in WWI and WWII. Then we wandered across the street to the Tower. The fist thing we noticed was that it was a very touristy area that drew in people from all over the world. After walking around a bit we saw the Tower bridge and decided to cross it. As we did this we noticed the juxtaposition between the very old bridge and the surrounding modern structure. We also noticed that both the Tower of London and the Tower bridge were covered in scaffolding.
After that we spent an hour trying negotiate a way back to the hotel by bus. Three hours later we arrived back at the Arran House, after being very lost and separated.

Tags: Uncategorized