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Tuesday 30 August 2011

Tuesday Travel: Green London

There are millions of people residing in the Greater London area. It’s a busy, noisy and often crowded city. But there are, even in the centre of that city, green and open spaces that make for ideal walking territory. Here is one relatively easy stroll through some of those green spaces.

The starting point is the Albert Memorial, which can be reached by bus, or by tube to South Kensington, then through the covered way to Exhibition Road, and heading north. From here, you head into Hyde Park, along The Ring, which cuts between the park and Kensington Gardens.

At the south side of the Serpentine is the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, much derided, but also much liked by families taking a break from the tourist trail.

Then there is the Serpentine itself, where you can walk the perimeter or hire a boat. From here, it’s a short walk to the July 7 Memorial, which I covered the other day. And nearby is Hyde Park Corner.

Surprisingly, given that it lies in the middle of a huge gyratory, the Wellington Arch enjoys a green and almost tranquil setting. You head on through and across onto Constitution Hill, maybe taking a detour into Green Park.

And so Buckingham Palace is reached, with the Queen Victoria Memorial at front.

St James’ Park lies beyond as you head towards Westminster. It’s not a bad recreation area for Parliamentarians, Civil Servants, lobbyists and other hangers-on.

Then, at the very edge of Whitehall – the securely guarded rear entrance to Downing Street is close to where the photo was taken – is the open space of Horse Guards’ Parade. From here, the Tube at Westminster, and a number of watering holes, are not much further to walk.

Something to enjoy next time you’re in town. And it’s free.

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