When I said I like walking, I should have said that I like walking with a purpose. So these short walks all have a purpose, they all end at a pub.
When I was working, Tom and I got into the habit of going for a beer or two at the Stratford Whetherspoon's pub 'The Golden Grove' after my 'work based learning' team meeting on Wednesday afternoons. Over the years, this became a well ingrained habit and others from the college and beyond would often join us including my two nephews Mike and Jason.
When I retired, it seemed like a good idea to keep up our 'meetings' though making them weekly we recognised would be a bit ambitious. Also as I had moved the boat to North West London, the venue wasn't very easy for me. So we settled on a 'mutially inconvenient' location in central London, 'The Cheshire Cheese' on Fleet Street.
We like the Cheshire Cheese, it serves good beer, Sam Smiths , has a good ambiance and its prices match Whetherspoons.
This is its downfall for the present project though as Sam Smith has other pubs in London [I'm told that there may be as many as 32!] and the PLAN is to hold our meetings at a different one each time during the summer. The short walks, with a purpose, then start at a 'sensible' starting point ending at different Sam Smith's pubs.
The purpose of the first walk is 'The Captain Kidd' and the walk will start in the City of London, relating The Shard walk and my earlier periginations with Sam Pepys.
Links to bits about: The City , Wapping .
Captain Kidd is the Easternmost of Sam Smiths central London pubs so this seemed like a good place to start. The only problem with it, and I realise this will be even more so with the central London ones, is that it is quite difficult to plan a reasonable length walk to it without pounding through the boring and smelly suburbs which I dislike. I had also left a bit earlier than planned as well so decided, whilst on the tube, that I would get off at Holborn and not Chancery Lane just to add a bit more of central London to the walk.
I hadn't really decided what to do once I reached the City either, I had a vague idea that I might follow the Thames path back the way I went last time but this had two drawbacks: It followed a well known route and it would have me arriving at the pub far too soon for comfort.
In the end, I decided that I would follow the Central Line again but this time in the opposite direction to Liverpool Street and then head north and pick up the Regents Canal just past the Geffrye museum .
Emerged from Holborn station into a cold and murky day and started off at about 1400. The first photo stop was Chancery Lane and it was strange to see it in daylight, this being my usual station for our meetings at The Cheshire Cheese.
Wanted to get some pics of the City, 'close up' but this not very practical as the towers can hardly be seen from the ground. Not only that but was busy muttering to myself that they were too tall to be photographed in landscape mode which I prefer for the website.
This area was quite familiar to me as Zoe and Peter used to live next door to the museum and before that just one lock down the cut on the canalside.
What was new though was the London Overground bridge, re-built as part of the upgrade work. This replaces an older structure but I was pleased to see that the indent and shallow exit place for barge horses was still there. These were constructed by the side of most railway bridges and provided a way for horses that jumped into the cut when frightened by trains going over the canal, to escape back onto the bank.
There were other users to-day though.
The building immediately to the right of Canary Wharf Tower [1 Canada Square] is the Citigroup building up for sale this week for one billion GBpounds, I would call that a snip.
Leaving the basin soon approached the first of the riverside pubs, The Prospect of Whitby , another popular watering hole, but 'NOT to-day' said Susan.
Past Wapping Station and our afternoon's goal.
Was rather pleased to be able to get a window seat overlooking the river, downstream the vista of Canary Wharf.
Upstream the water police dock and just visible, the bow of the black semi-inflatable that appears mysteriously and threateningly when you stray too close to the Palace of Westminster when your engine breaks down.