A Day Walking Over London Bridges
It was a crisp Sunny Autumn day, when a group of friends from the local walking group and I walked over 12 London bridges.
As soon as I heard of the trip a few months previous I knew that I wanted to go on this walk, as having lived only 30 miles from London all my life I had never done it, and it proved to be an unforgettable experience.
There were 8 of us in the group and we met at Finsbury Park Station and we were in high spirits in anticipation of the day ahead, we were very grateful too that the weather was shining upon us.
Paul was our leader, who was originally a Londoner and had worked on many of the London bridges and buildings in his career as a surveyor, and had a vast amount of knowledge of the area, and we felt priveleged to have him show us the many sights and tell us stories of the buildings and bridges that we crossed and saw en route.
We eagerly set off from Finsbury Park and headed towards bus stop G to catch the 170 bus, the bus came immediately, my friend Marilyn and I joked that whenever we go on any adventures and escapades everything always runs smoothly, and today was going to be no exception.
We then headed towards Victoria underground station and walked briskly towards our first bridge which was Albert Bridge.
Albert Bridge was spectacular and ornate, with pink circular wheel like decorations on the outside. Paul gave us some history of the bridge, that being that in 1887 the bridge was reinforced with design elements of a suspension bridge because it was unsound, in 1973 it was made into a toll bridge, but was commercially unsuccessful. It’s the only remaining toll bridge in London although no longer used as that. It’s nicknamed “The Trembling Lady” because of it’s tendency to vibrate when large numbers of people walk over it. This bridge was my favourite, see picture below.
We walked over 11 more bridges and learnt many more facts that were very interesting, there was Chelsea bridge that used to be called Victoria bridge, but the name was changed to avoid embarrassment to the Royal Family because it was unstable.
We crossed Lambeth bridge which is situated to the South of the Houses of Parliament and is red in colour same as the benches of the House of Lords.
The next bridge Westminster was painted green the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons.
We passed buskers playing guitars, joggers with head phones, the busy River Thames with the many boats of all different varieties. Yes it was London at it’s most vibrant.
We crossed The Millenium Bridge, which Paul had fond memories and commented on how this bridge was his bread and butter whilst bringing up his family. He pointed out areas that he had worked on, I wanted to tell random strangers that the bridge that they were walking on, this man, Paul, built it, but refrained as I didn’t want to embarrass him.
On the other side of the bridge was a house with an alley way next to it where Christopher Wren had lived back in the 15th century, and Paul told us that whilst building St. Paul’s cathedral across the river Thames, he would stand in the alley way and weigh up the size and structure. Every day he was taken across the river to work on the cathedral. I had visions of him making sandwiches and taking his packed lunch to the boat to cross the river for a days work on St Paul’s cathedral.
We had lunch sat on benches overlooking the river.
Later on we had a meal, we chatted and laughed about our eventual day. I told Paul that I intend to write a guide book about today, as I felt it was a unique experience, enhanced by his knowledge and expertise, we thanked him.
The perfect end to a perfect day.
Have a great day too.
Love Loraine x