Friday, 4 November 2011
I've always preferred to use my own legs for transport whenever possible, especially when trying to get around London. I'm not one for hopping on buses and I hate the hustle and bustle of the tube only marginally more than the mindless boredom of the vista (or rather, lack of it). Asides from those reasons, taking the 'Shank's Pony' method gives you a great chance to experience our great city in a manor that public transport just wouldn't allow. I love plugging in the headphones and getting lost in my own little world whilst people watching and exploring new sights.
I had a couple of meetings yesterday afternoon which meant I didn't need to rush into town, and as I'd planned to meet a mate for a cheeky after-work beer, I had no reason to rush straight home after. Taking advantage of my leisurely day, I kicked things off with a 4 mile run in the morning before deciding upon a brisk walk to the train station soon after.
With plenty of time to kill I took a route down from Liverpool Street Station via Moorgate and Poultry to St. Paul's so I could take a look at how the Occupy London protests were progressing, before heading south over the Millennium Bridge and back along Bankside to a building just off Southwark Bridge, the destination of my first meeting. From there, I ambled east through Borough Market before following the Thames past HMS Belfast and returned north over Tower Bridge. The destination of my next meeting was Thomas More Square, near St. Katherine's Dock: a 5 min walk from The Tower of London.
Finishing up there around 3pm, I then decided that as I had a couple hours to kill I may as well walk to Euston Station, where I was due to meet my mate for a beer in the craft beer venue, The Euston Tap (a drinking spot I can highly recommend, by the way). Despite the pouring rain my legs kept on walking...via Cannon Street, back up past St. Paul's, past Holborn Viaduct (where I followed a chap for 10 mins who was having an almighty row with someone who I assume may have been his wife), turning right at High Holborn, up Southampton Row and past Tavistock Square before finally arriving on Euston Rd almost dead on our meet time.
After a few drinks, I compromised my principles with a tube ride to Tottenham Hale where I caught the train back to Bishop's Stortford. I was briefly tempted to jump in a cab, but decided I'd walk home instead. The rain had stopped by then and I fancied a stroll.
I never really gave it much thought throughout the day, but I become curious on the walk from the station of just how far I'd travelled using only the power of 'Shank's Pony'. I was sad enough to track my route via View Ranger Maps this morning and if I include my run at the start of the day, I'd done just shy of 17 miles!
I was pretty pleased with that.