A few minutes from the start in Clerkenwell I visited the beautiful St. Peter's Italian Church and saw a clock on the side of a building that I hadn't seen before.
|St Peter's Italian Church|
I realised at this point that my walk would take a bit longer than I'd planned as I was seeing so many interesting things along the way. After Clerkenwell Road came Theobalds Road where the Holborn Library and Local Studies and Archive are situated and then on to New Oxford Street.
|Kingsway tram tunnel|
I decided not to follow the route the app was showing as I really do not like walking down Oxford Street. The crowds can be avoided though by walking along the streets to the back of the shops where it feels as if you are in a different place.
This entranceway intrigued me as it had the most beautiful green tiling. It was Rathbone Square a newish (2015) public space which if you look at the linked web page should be bustling with people on a lovely Friday afternoon. The reality was slightly different as aside from the security guard and a few people walking through the garden was empty and the promised shops, restaurants and bars are sadly not there.
I glimpsed the Sanderson Hotel, formerly Sanderson House on Berner Street and remembered seeing some pictures of beautiful John Piper stained glass on a stairwell. I've not been in the Sanderson before but managed to find the glass behind a curtain in the lobby. It is absolutely gorgeous although I would have preferred seeing it in 1960 when it was on more prominent display in the wallpaper showroom.
The architectural history of Britain is depicted in 15 Portland stone sculptures on the side of Henrietta House in Henrietta Place. Designed by Christopher Haddon in 1990 the offices are now occupied by CBRE.
A gorgeous but rather sad sight was the Welbeck Street car park which is likely to be demolished to make way for a 10-storey hotel. There has been an online petition and alternative plans submitted to adapt the car park to use as a hotel but sadly it looks like this brutalist gem will be lost.
Just along the way in Edwards Mews there were some more Selfridges buildings which looked like they had been built in the 1960s. The tiling was lovely and I am pretty sure that I remember the logo that you can see on the wall from their carrier bags.
After Marble Arch I began walking along Bayswater Road which was the busiest and noisiest stretch of road that I walked along - I looked at a few things on the side roads as well. There were some blocks of flats that caught my eye, a convent, a synagogue, a sculpture or two as well as some delightful houses.
On the final leg from Notting Hill Gate to Holland Park I saw a ghost sign and a crest and Ruth Rendell's house in Holland Park. Three hours and almost 8 miles of walking later I arrived at Holland Park station. It was a lovely walk no doubt helped by the mild weather we had but it does make you realise how small London really is. From Farringdon in the east to Holland Park in the west could be walked in just over an hour and a half if I'd stuck to the route but with sightseeing it obviously took a little longer. Next time I'll finish in Ealing.