A rainy day in the City and the Docklands

JUN 20,2013 - JUN 20,2013 (1 DAYS)

United Kingdom

1 DAYS

Citywalk

One more full rainy day walk in the City (incl. part of the Docklands):

Start: Tower Hill Station.

End:   Wapping DLR Station.

From Tower Hill Station head west on Tower toward Trinity Square. Here watch the Trinity Square Gardens and the Memorial Pavilion (WW1 and WW2) to the Navy Fleet: 2400 soldiers "who have no grave but the sea":

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Continue westward to follow Tower Hill Rd. Turn right (in the corner where Pret A Manger restaurant) onto Seething Ln. Turn left onto Hart St and Saint Olave Church of England is in the intersection of these two couple of roads. One of the few surviving mediaeval buildings in The City of London and the burial place of Samuel Pepys. St Olave’s survives as a rare example of the mediaeval churches that existed before the Great Fire of London in 1666. The church is open every weekday from 9.00 to 17.00.

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From Saint Olave Church (8 Hart St.) continue east on Hart St toward New London St. Turn left to New London St and turn right onto Fenchurch St. Pass Fenchurch Lane on your right and the second road to the right is the Lloyds Avenue. In the the corner you see the Lloyds Register of Shipping (no access inside the building):

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Continue a bit on Fenchurch St. and you see the famously bizarre looking Lloyds building designed to be maintained from the outside and keep business running smoothly inside. In the past it was East India company so the building's parts are modeled on the size of the tea chests that the early brokers and underwriters did business with. An exceptional site built on 100s of years of tradition and colonialism...

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Continue along Fenchurch Street. A pure typical urban landsacpe. The high building in the picture is the Leadenhale Bldg.:

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Take the Lloyds Avenue and continue until its end. Turn right to the Crutched Friars Rd.  and walk until its end (it continues as the Hart Lane). Turn left to Mark Lane. We continue with our urban landscaping... You'll see at least two exceptional buildings:

The Minster Court building (a complex of three office buildings, completed between 1991 and 1992. The style is described as "postmodern-gothic"):

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

and the magnificient Dunster Court building :

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From Dunster Court we head to the Leadenhall Market. We return part of Mark Lane. Head north on Mark Ln toward Hart St. Turn right onto Fenchurch St. Turn left onto Billiter St. Turn left onto Fenchurch Ave. Turn left onto Lime St. On your right you see again another side of the Lloyds headquarters complex:

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Continue onto Leadenhall Market. I personally loved this place. It is a paradise for photographers.  A little historical market, beautifully preserved. Many pubs,cafes & restaurants. Surrounded by modern high-rises. charming ! Well worth a visit !

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Return to Lime steet and watch another part of the Lloyds monster:

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Do not miss the inspiring display of Robert Indiana "Phe through Zero" in Lime St. just opposite the Lloyds building:

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Opposite, you see these porticos:

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Continue along Lime St. to its end. Cross Leadenhall Street into St. Mary Axe Rd. The St. Andrew Undershaft church is on your right. This square is the "heart" of the City of London. On your left are the Leadenhall and Arriva Towers:

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Continue along St. Mary Axe and on your right is one of the most famous icons of the City of London - the Gherkin. Designed by Norman Foster for the Swiss Re corporate. The security entering this building is understandably annoying. Sometimes, there is a bit of a queue at the entrance reception (you'll need a passport as ID). There are two lifts to take. The view from the bar at the top is simply amazing.

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Iron Dinosaurs opposite the Gherkin entrance:

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Continue along the St. Mary Axe Rd. passing Bury Rd. on your right to arrive to the Baltic Exchange Building. The historic building was designed by Smith and Wimble and completed in 1903.
In 1992 an Irish Republican Army bomb attack destroyed the façade of the Exchange's offices at 30 St Mary Axe and the rest of the building was extensively damaged in. It killed three people. The bomb also caused damage to surrounding buildings, many of which were also badly damaged. The Baltic today focuses on providing freight market information, dispute resolution and a light regulatory framework for the shipping market. 

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We return back in St. Mary Axe toward St. Andrew Undershaft church and turn left at Undershaft. Turn left onto Leadenhall St passing the St. Katharine Cree church on our left. Slight right to stay on Leadenhall St and continue onto Aldgate. Turn your head to see striking view of the Gherkin and other icons of the City:

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On the far side of the square stands St. Botholp Without Aldgate church. The first written record of this church appears in 1115. The church was rebuilt in the 16th century and then again between 1741-1744:

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Continue along Aldgate High Street. Cros Mansell St and walk along Whirechapel High Street. Note the building in No. 88:

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Later, along this road, again on your left - you arrive to the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Modern Art. Most of the items are dull and not inspiring. Free admission to the permanent exhibition. Photos are not allowed.

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The exterior is more interesting:

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Continue along Whitechapel Road (continuation of Whitechapel High Street) crossing White Church lane (on the right side) and Adler St (right). On the right side of the WC Road (No. 32-34) you find the splendid Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Just pop into the Bell Foundry. The whole visit (free) takes 5-10 minutes. A trip in the time machine. Amazing friendly staff. So many bells. Techniques and pictures with a deep smell of history.

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

In case you are not exhausted and still in fit - take a 20-30 minutes walk to the Docklands area of London. It is a rewarding visit in a part which is, suprisingly, quite close to this part of the City of London...

Continue a bit in Whitechapel Road and head northeast toward Fieldgate St. Turn right onto Fieldgate St. Turn right onto Greenfield Rd. Turn left onto Commercial Rd. Turn right onto Cannon St. Turn left onto The Highway (yes, this is name of the road....). Turn right onto Chigwell Hill.

Turn right onto Pennington St and the Tobacco Dock is on your left. Mysterious. Refurbished. Probably you'll be the sole tourist there. It is a grandiose project of renovation and the result will be admirable:

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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The future of this district is guranteed. Modern (and expensive) housing projects are mushrooming around:

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Walk east to the Wapping Lane. On your left you'll see the St. Peter Docks:

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Walk until the end of Wapping Lane. On your right and left sides rests Wapping High Street. A bit on the right see the Gun House, Gun Wharf:

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Among the houses you'll see a signpost pointing to the Thames Path. Walk between the block to the Thames Path to gain a wonderful view of the Thames and the northern bank of the river:

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Citywalk in , United Kingdom, visiting things to do in United Kingdom, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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