I might live in London, but that doesn’t mean I’m out every day exploring new places, hanging out in trendy coffee shops by day and bars dripping in cool by night. In fact though I may actually live in London I don’t often see that much of the city outside of my little corner of West London. I guess it is because I am a creature of habit which means if I find something I like, then I tend to stick to it, in the end I’m probably just getting a bit older!
So to shake myself up a little before I start to merge into a single being with the sofa I have been getting out and about the past couple of weeks, exploring a little of what London has to offer. I’ve had some nice meals out, visited new parts of the city and even been back to my old uni stomping grounds of South London to show Hana where I lived back in the dark ages when I was a student. So come join me as I take a look around London!
Crystal Palace, Park and town
The first place I took a look at was Crystal Palace, home to something called a Football team (not sure what that is?) and at the top of its park, the eponymous Crystal Palace which gave the area its name. Or at least you would see the Palace if it hadn’t burnt down in 1936. Today the area is a huge park, one of the largest in London, and one which is really lovely to walk through. I found it handily placed next to the station (great when they do things like that). If you make it to the top of the hill you’ll see two things. Firstly the stonkingly huge Crystal Palace transmitting station with its 719ft (219 metre) transmission tower which was is still among the tallest structures in London and was in fact the tallest till One Canada square (Canary Wharf Tower to you and me) was completed in 1991.
Just down the road in the town, the second thing you should look out for is the brilliant views out towards central London. The city is blessed with several parks which offer fantastic panorama’s but this was one I hadn’t checked out before and I really glad I did. It just sucks that my camera phone couldn’t really pick anything out.
South East London, its actually not that bad!
When I told my brother I had been exploring London’s South side he said “why, that’s really crap isn’t it?” followed swiftly by “well that’s how it looked in Lock stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. A couple of small points here. Firstly I’m pretty sure that Lock Stock, the quintessential British Gangsta flick, was sent north of the river. Second there are some very fancy areas in South London. Check out Balham and Clapham and see if you can afford a coffee let alone rent there! We went last Sunday and had a proper Sunday afternoon walk around ending up in Eltham, famous for its Palace and where I lived when at uni.
After getting a nice bit to eat I took Hana for a tour of my old campus and even showed her the outside of the flat I once lived in. It was really strange to go back there after 10 years, yep graduated back in 2003! It had changed a bit, as you’d expect in 10 years – shiny new classroom blocks and a new sports hall and gym, but overall it still felt earily like it did all those years ago and certainly brought up some memories!
Sometimes it’s nice to get out and about, specially when you had almost forgotten you live in a pretty huge city with lots to see and do!
Text and photos By Russell Bowes