Visitors to London may go through inclined to conc

People to London may go through inclined to focus on shopping,theatres and museums, but a walk around the Town of London can be very rewarding too.

London has so much to offer the tourist that it may regularly be hard to know where to begin the experience. Popular tourist destinations must be fascinatng themselves, but can be also the starting place for other journeys of discovery. Take the Tower of London, for example.

If you head for Tower Hill around the Circle or District Lines, you’ll exit the underground behind ot the Tower based in london. If you walk downhill, skirting the right or left side from the Tower, you’ll come to the Thames. There’s much to see and explore here, either by deciding to spend a day within the Tower itself, or by exploring the riverbank, both north and south sides.

Turn North Towards the City

If, however, you turn away from the Thames and also the Tower and make your way the unmistakeable landmark from the Gherkin (No. 30 St. Mary Axe), you’ll find yourself going through the heart from the old Town of London. As you walk beneath the tall buildings and explore alleys and underpasses, you’ll find a multi faceted environment which tells a tale of many many centuries of human habitation.

The financial buildings may be tall and imposing, but hidden in it are ancient churches and market places, fortunately protected by planners and still telling their own story amidst the dealers and stock brokers of the City.

Old Churches from the Town of London

Within the City of London, there are still five churches remaining which pre-date the Great Fire based in london, two of which (St. Andrew Undershaft and St. Helen's Bishopsgate) are situated inside a stone's throw of The Gherkin. St. Helen's is literally in the backyard of the giant tower.

Further south for the Thames stands the church of St.Magnus the Martyr; the roadway approach to the old London Bridge ran with the churchyard here (see illustration below). The church bells of St. Magnus and its magnificent clock allow it to be as notable today because it continues to be for a lot of centuries. The initial church building stood only a few hundred yards from Pudding Lane and was destroyed during the Great Fire of London (1666), but was rebuilt under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren in the late seventeenth century.

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    Sometimes, when wandering through the massive commercial canyons of the City, it seems as though there’s a continuing dialogue between your small,half buried churches and the enormous buildings of commerce which populate this intriguing part of London. The idea of the medieval population governed by curfew and guarded by the city walls, north of the Thames and accessible only by crossing London Bridge seems very real to this day when going through the Town of London on foot.

    The Lloyds Building and Leadenhall Market

    Another fascinating contrast of architectural styles is to be found at 1 Lime Street EC3 and just behind it, in which the modernistic Lloyds Building backs onto Leadenhall Market. Leadenhall Market was adopted in Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone to represent the region near Diagon Alley and also the Leaky Cauldron; its warm colours, range of small inviting shops carrying fresh produce and fantastic plasterwork and ironwork turn it into a very human scale counterpoint to the inside-out space age style of the Lloyds Building.

    Saturated in History

    The area around Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge is wonderful to explore by walking. Fleet Street, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe are to be discovered by crossing and recrossing the bridges which span the river here, not to mention Borough Market, the Golden Hinde along with a host of other delights.

    Churches, old street names, alleyways, walkways and warehouses all actually emphasise the centuries of humanity whose endeavours have left their mark inside and outside the boundaries of the City's square mile, and also on either side of the river Thames and all along its shores.


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