As we all know, London is a rich melting pot of culture and history that is so fantastically represented in its architecture and public realm. Roman ruins dating 100-200AD sit adjacent to Brutalist companions while high-tech towers soar above medieval trading squares.
Image: The Scalpel, the Cheesegrater, Lloyds of London - how many of the city's giants do you already know? The beloved Gherkin is but a stone's throw from this shot.
As an architect, I could wander for hours through London and learn something new each time but I have put together one of my favourite routes that shares some of this city's secrets. I hope you'll enjoy it.
City of London have also put together two comprehensive walks through the city on their app Exploremore. It curates two walks - one historic and one modern, and shares key interest points with some detail of each, in the app.
My route below is probably a little less efficient - especially given that I start at Caravan cafe set within Foster and Partners' Bloomberg Arcade, to take advantage of their unlimited filter coffee* for £3 first, to fuel my 2ish hours of walking. My route pursues a good mix of historic and contemporary, given I think the magic of London really is so much in how the two worlds sit side by side and tell their portion of London's ever evolving story. Each stop also includes some notes on the place.
This was a walk I was due to take the Gather community on in the summer of 2020 - it's remained postponed ever since. Perhaps it is time to get our walking shoes ready and explore together? We end at the fifteenth floor of London's latest free and public roof terrace, a spectacular view from within the skyline itself whether, rain or shine (my photos clearly exhibiting the former).
You can download the google map to your phone here or view the embedded version below. Tapping on each location in the route (in red), should bring up the notes for each spot.
*Nice little footnote to include, is Caravan's unlimited filter coffee forms part of their Female Coffee Producers programme.
It is worth noting, this walk does not pick up the Barbican, but does swing past it. I whole heartedly recommend your exploring this treasure another time too!
Have some favourite spots of your own that aren't on the map? Why don't you share them with us in the comments below.
For other great walks through London with a less architectural focus, City of London have great self-guided options here, including a London tree trail, pubs of London, merchants & migration, sculpture...and many more.
Image: a snapshot of Yinka Ilori's Let's Bring London together, an artistic response facilitated by London Mayor's 'Let’s Do London' tourism campaign to support the capital’s creative, retail and hospitality sectors which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Eighteen crossings were livened up in this manner across City of London, Tottenham Court Road and the Queen Street pedestrian plaza (pictured).