|An Embankment Walk
Route & what to see
A 3¾ mile circular walk from Waterloo Station.
Use Exit 6 and take the
walkway towards the Shell building. Go down the steps and cross
Jubilee Gardens towards the London Eye.
This is one of London's most popular attractions. Glass capsules on the 450' high wheel rotate slowly to give splendid views. Tickets are bookable but you chance the weather or turn up on a clear day. Open daily but closed for maintenance in January. There is a display of photos in the ticket area. [website]
Continue past the former
County Hall building.
There are attractions and food outlets within this and sometimes temporary exhibitions.
Go up the steps to Westminster
The statue of a large white (originally red) lion made from Coade Stone used to stand on the nearby Lion Brewery.
Do not cross the bridge but go
left and cross to St Thomas' Hospital
This includes a museum to Florence Nightingale.
Go into the park area to the
right then down steps to the fountain garden (pictured in header).
The kinetic sculpture was designed by Naum Gabo. The surrounding gardens have been planted with roses from the Friends of the hospital.
Continue along the tarmac path
between the hospital and the river wall.
This section gives good views of the Palace of Westminster across the river. There is a statue to Sir Robert Clayton, a Lord Mayor and benefactor of the hospital [pix]. The hospital was originally attached to the Priory of St Mary Overie in Southwark and moved to this site in 1859-71 when London Bridge Station was constructed. The northern section was destroyed by bombing in WWII.
When the path ends go left
past the medical school. Exit into Lambeth Palace Road and go
There are views of the buildings of Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The former church of St Mary's now houses the Garden Museum.
Cross Lambeth Bridge.
Because of the curve of the river Tate Modern, Tower 42 and the Gherkin can be viewed between St Thomas' and Lambeth Palace!
Go down the steps and walk
through Victoria Tower Gardens to the right.
The colourful Buxton Memorial commemorates the anti-slavery movement and was designed by SS Teulon (see information board).
Take the path to the statue
group of the Burghers of Calais.
This is a copy of the work by Rodin.
Continue along the path.
There is a statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst with medallions to her daughter Christabel and the badge worn by WSPU prisoners.
Exit into Abingdon Street and
To the left are views of the Jewel Tower, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church.
Continue through the east side
of Parliament Square and cross Bridge Street
A plaque records the siting of the first traffic lights here.
Go right and cross Victoria
Embankment to the statue of Boudicca then go left along Victoria
To the left are views of Portcullis House and Scotland Yard (by R Norman Shaw). Further along is the Battle of Britain memorial [more info].
Cross the Embankment with care
and go through Richmond Terrace opposite into Whitehall.
This passes the buildings of the Ministry of Defence on the right and emerges opposite Downing Street. Sited in Whitehall to the left is the Cenotaph and to the right the memorial to Women of WWII [more info].
Go right along Whitehall.
There are Government buildings on the left including Horse Guards. The Banqueting House on the right is the only building remaining from the Palace of Whitehall. It was here that Charles I was executed in 1649.
Go right at Horse Guards
Avenue then through the gardens to the left.
Opposite the exit is a Cabmen's Shelter [more info].
Left along Northumberland
On the right is the Sherlock Holmes pub with his study recreated upstairs.
Go through Craven Passage
In Craven Street to the left is the Benjamin Franklin House
Cross Craven Street and
continue under the Arches.
This provides access to shops, cafes and the Players Theatre.
Go right at Villiers Street
There is a plaque on the house where Rudyard Kipling lived.
Alongside 'Treats' go down the
steps to Watergate Walk.
The York Gate (of York House) would have been an access point from the river before the embankment was built.
Go up the steps by this and
along Buckingham Street.
Two houses in which Samuel Pepys lived are marked with plaques.
Go right along John Adam
Further along are buildings of the Royal Society of Arts.
At the end go right at Adam
Street then right along Adelphi Terrace.
The Adelphi building designed by the Adam brothers was demolished and replaced with this Art Deco building in the 1930s.
At the end go down the steps
and left along Savoy Place.
In Carting Lane to the left is a 'Patent Sewer Ventilating Lamp' designed to burn off methane from the sewers that run beneath the embankment.
Opposite this go into the
gardens and walk through to the left.
The gardens have a sundial commemorating D'Oyley Carte and several memorials, including one to Sir Arthur Sullivan. By the exit is the Institute of Electrical Engineers with a statue of Michael Faraday.
Go left at Savoy Street.
To the left is the Queens Chapel of the Savoy (open 11:30-3:30 Tue - Fri and for Wednesday & Sunday services).
Continue into the Strand and
go right. Go through to Somerset House on the right.
Parts of this are open to the public with exhibitions, displays, cafes and shops.
Exit onto the terrace and go
right then cross Waterloo Bridge.
This gives access to the National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall complex.
Follow signs to Waterloo Station.
Walking London's Parks & Gardens by Geoffrey Young
London Peculiars by Peter Ashley (English Heritage publication)
© london-footprints.co.uk 2011
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