Tuesday 23rd July – 24th meeting of 2013
Summer really had arrived when six of us met up at Waterloo this week as the sun was still shining and it was very warm! We had planned to do a walk around Lambeth, from the London Walks book. We decided to carry on with this the plan with the thought that we could cut it short if necessary.
We came out of Waterloo station onto Mepham Street and along onto Waterloo Road. It was very busy but our first stop was opposite The Old Vic. Here our guide gave us some information about the theatre. Built 1818 and and named The Royal Victoria it was used by local people with no particular theme of production but in 1900 Lilian Baylis became Acting Manager and decided to bring opera and Shakespeare to the ‘common people’. Her plans were very successful. The nickname for the theatre was ‘The Old Vic’ and in 1925 Lilian adopted it as the official title. We then turned into Baylis Road showing the great influence Lilian had on the area. Then into Frazier Street a lovely old street housing market stalls with a variety of goods and the surrounding shops including cafes, food and nick-nack shops. Old London as I know it! We then walked through The Archbishops Garden a fabulous local park. It had swings, picnic area, flowers and was a lovely area so peaceful even though it had the trains going into Warterloo on one side and the busy main road on the other. How lucky we are to have such green quiet areas in the middle of London!
We then walked alongside Lambeth Palace grounds passing the school house that was built in 1800’s by a generous benefactor for the poor children of the area. We walked to the entrance to Lambeth Palace and went into the Garden Cafe for a well deserved tea as it was still very hot. The Palace and Museum are undergoing major changes but the garden cafe is a lovely little oasis of peace and tranquility in a very busy part of London. The cafe itself is in the church but has access to the beautiful gardens and that is where we opted to sit. It was lovely in the shade surrounded by superb greenery!
From here we walked along the embankment passing St Thomas’ Hospital and we stopped many times to admire Houses of Parliament opposite. We think maybe that we heard the guns that were fired to welcome the new son of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who was born the day before! The sun was still shining and the Thames was looking it’s best! When we got to County Hall the whole area was awash with tourists visiting The Aquarium, The London Dungeons and The London Eye. We sat watching for a while and then decided to cut the walk short. We had completed most of it but decided to go to Waterloo and our trains home.
Unfortunately one of our ladies tripped on the stairs as we went to the station but was ok. No major damage. We took a slow walk to the station and trains home.
A fabulous day. We saw parts of London not visited before as well as parts we were very familiar with. Just one more week before we take our break for Summer and unfortunately I will not be able to meet with the ladies so this will be my last report for a few weeks. But don’t worry I’ll be back!!