Sunday 28th July 2013
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Today, as has been the norm on most of my weekend visits to London recently, the Northern line was closed for maintenance between Golders Green and Charing Cross. This makes access to Camden Market by tube impossible. TFL do provide replacement buses, but I’m a huge fan of the London Underground and for me its the only way (apart from on foot) to travel around the city.
So – todays trip into the City began at Neasden, on the Jubilee line. A fairly bog standard, surface station, but I really like it.
The train runs overground as far as Finchley Road, where it hurtles into the darkness. Today we alighted at Baker Street and made our way to Regents Park, past the long queue of tourists waiting to see the residence of the most famous (but fictional) inhabitant of the street, at 221b . . . . .
Picking our way through the tourists, cyclists, pigeons and geese . . . .. . . . we followed the path to Hanover gate, then gained access to Regents canal. Heading northeast along the canal towpath London Zoo can be seen beyond the opposite bank. I’ve never visited the zoo, but the glimpses I got were of tired looking, run down buildings. A quick downpour sent us scuttling for shelter under the foliage of a sycamore tree, where I spotted a sign reminding cyclists of towpath etiquette, complete with a humorous postscript . . .
Pretty soon Camden Lock was reached and today the towpath was lined with people eating lunch, chatting and even swimming in the canal – rather them than me, especially with the amount of boat traffic.
Camden Market was bustling with people, as ever. I love this place. The sights, sounds and aromas here are an assault on the senses. After wolfing down a huge Polish hotdog (delicious ! !). . . . . . . . we took a stroll around the market stalls. It seems that no matter what you want to buy theres a stall somewhere that sells it. I could happily wander around the place all day. After a swift pint of refreshing San Miguel in the Hawley Arms we made our way back to the towpath and continued eastwards, heading for Kings Cross tube station, all the time keeping our ears open for the “ting-tings” of cyclists. The old gasholders that used to sit to the south of the canal have been dismantled, refurbished and are currently being rebuilt on the opposite bank, where they’ll form part of the structure of apartment blocks – interesting . . . .
At Granary Square we got a pleasant surprise – the old warehouse buildings are being renovated and the whole area, once very rundown so I believe, is starting to look great, with a plaza featuring bars, fountains etc …….
Then it was a quick trip from Kings Cross to Green Park, on the Victoria Line, where we changed onto the Jubilee line for the short journey back to Neasden . . . .