My neighbourhood in London

In preparation for my walk across England, I finally bought a camera: a Nikon Coolpix L120. Henceforth you will be able to read more blog posts with my own photographs.

Not very creatively, I start with a walk around my neighbourhood in London for prospective visitors to look forward to their stay and for my family in Germany to understand why I left that small village in Bavaria to move to beautiful London.

So this is where I live, in one of the red brick houses in the back. Although it is quite central, in the borough of Southwark, you can already see that it is a green area. Bermondsey Spa Gardens Park is just outside my house and a perfect place for a quick run, to eat dinner outside or to enjoy the sun.

London is generally much greener than people (who haven’t visited yet) think. The following are a few images from Southwark Park, the largest park (25 hectares) in my vicinity. It would be a great place to go running if it wasn’t for the many dogs there.

By now you must think that I live in the countryside and not in a city of 8 million people. So we’ll leave the park and walk back home. This short walk leads past St James Church.

From another perspective, St James Church offers a striking contrast to the modern buildings recently built around it.

This effect of old versus new, and unfortunately too often: old dwarfed by new, can be seen at a few other locations as well. Another example is the church of St George the Martyr in Borough which is now overshadowed by the skeleton of the Shard Tower being built:

The Shard Tower being built in the background will be a glass-clad skyscraper with 72 floors. It will be the tallest building in Europe. residents argue whether it is ugly or beautiful, I just find it convenient because wherever in London I am, it shows me the direction I have to walk to reach home.

But it is certainly a dominating structure, especially at night when it is lit.

But at night, there are more beautiful sights. Just a few minutes north from where I live, I can enjoy this view on my evening walks: the famous Tower Bridge.

Walking westwards along the Thames, you will see more monuments that you easily recognise, like St Paul’s Cathedral, photographed here from under the bridge that leads to it from the Tate Modern Gallery.

But one of the better things in London is that you are always surprised by unexpected attractions, such as this man with an invisible head. (Note that he has the box for the money chained to his leg for fear of thieves.)

Continuing westwards, we reach the Palace of Westminster, the seat of Parliament since 1295 and a beautiful complex of buildings.

When you’ve had enough of old buildings, history and the political system of a country that survives without a written constitution, I recommend a rest in nearby St James’s Park which provides you with a place to rest and beautiful views.

As the sun begins to set, it’s time to head back to the Thames to have another look at Westminster Palace, this time at dusk.

Walking back home, I should be honest and lay open that not all spots in London are as beautiful as the ones that you have seen. As any large city, London has striking contrasts between beautiful and ugly, well-maintained and forgotten, rich and poor parts.

One neighbour in Mandela Way apparently thinks that the area is even dangerous enough to warrant putting a T-34 tank into his yard:

I hope that this doesn’t scare you off and that I will see you in London soon.

(All photos (C) by Andreas Moser)
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About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
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19 Responses to My neighbourhood in London

  1. Pingback: Mandela deserves better | Publish or Perish – Andreas Moser's Blog

  2. John Erickson says:

    Great set of photos. I just love the T-34! Yes, I knew several people in the Chicago area that owned WW2 armour, but they lived well outside the city or its’ immediate suburbs.
    There is one blessing to Chicago. Most of the downtown buildings are less than 100 years old. So you don’t have massive beasts like the Shard building looming over the church of St. George. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern modern skyscrapers. I think both Sears Tower and the Hancock building are outstanding designs. I’d just hate to see some multi-story monster built right on top of, say, Holy Name Cathedral. (If you haven’t seen any of those, they’re easy to find online. :) )
    If you ever get the chance, maybe I could cajole you into shooting some of the war memorials around London? :D I would love to see them in person, but I doubt my finances will ever recover sufficiently.

  3. Great shoots, baby. Well done!

  4. Pingback: Tottenham Riots August 2011 | Publish or Perish – Andreas Moser's Blog

  5. Pingback: Leaving London, Moving to Malta | Publish or Perish – Andreas Moser's Blog

  6. Irena says:

    love your pics:)

  7. Pingback: Moving to Lithuania | The Happy Hermit

  8. Janus says:

    Yeah I didn’t think of the city as green…and love the faceless man!! I definitely have to go visit London before I die.

    • It’s greener than some other cities, but it’s not real nature or countryside of course.
      The best thing about London is how international it is. If you are on a bus with 50 people, you can bet that at least 30 countries are represented.

  9. Daniel says:

    Yes, not that many old-style Londoners left here! But this probaly happens in all the world’s major capitals now. A nicely written post.

  10. Jenny says:

    I love this area of London (I’m in Rotherhithe, near Canada Water so not far from you). Apparently 20 years ago it was a rough area and you wouldn’t feel safe going out late at night. I adore our walks beside the Thames and through the Russia Dock Woodland at weird hours of the night/early morning so I’m pleased that it has become safer and friendlier over the years!

    Loved seeing your photos, thanks for sharing :)

    • Have you been to the new library at Canada Water?
      I no longer live in London, but went there during my last visit to London in June 2012 and was impressed.

    • Jenny says:

      I haven’t been inside yet. I walk by it all the time on the way to Tesco or the tube station but haven’t gotten around to it (I’ve become too enthralled in reading on my Kindle I think!).. My kids go there with school so I’m off the hook with them but will hopefully take the kids to Canada Water library over the summer holidays for their “Summer Reading Challenge”!

      Thanks for the recommendation, it might kick my butt into gear ;)

  11. This is absolutely awesome :) Thanks for making this available.

  12. I’m overjoyed to see a new update, I was going through irrational distress! I delight in reading your work, I can’t get enough
    of it!

  13. Pingback: “How do you finance your travels?” | The Happy Hermit

  14. Pingback: An envelope in an envelope in an envelope | The Happy Hermit

  15. Heisenberg says:

    Where are those broken windows??? I would love to find it! (seriously)

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