Monday, 2 January 2023

Walking in Marden Park, near Woldingham, Surrey


Just south of Woldingham Station, a number of scenic circular walks climb up into the North Downs overlooking Woldingham School. You pass through patches of woodland that were once part of Marden Park Manor. William Wilberforce, campaigner for the abolition of slavery, lived here towards the end of the 18th century.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

St Mary Le Strand Church, The Strand, Central London


The completion of the pedestrianised precinct around the handsome St Mary Le Strand church has transformed this neighbourhood from a car-choked thoroughfare into an alluring public space. Together with the neoclassical grandeur of Somerset House, and the monumental Bush House from the 1930s, the baroque church is a treat for fans of historic architecture. 

Friday, 18 November 2022

Albert Square, Stockwell, South London


Dating from the late 1840s, Albert Square retains much of its original grandeur. It has 36 imposing five-storey houses (including basements and attics) embellished with elaborate cornicing and stucco dressings. They overlook a neat communal garden shaded by towering plane trees.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, South London


Awash with exotic street trees and shrubs, Bonnington Square has both a bohemian and a tropical vibe. The greenery dates from the early 1990s, when the Bonnington Square Garden Association began planting street trees, vines and creating small community gardens, according to the Conservation Area report. Dating from the 1880s, the three-storey Italian Gothic style terraces are packed in, creating a sense of seclusion, even in the heart of London. The square only has one exit, meaning there is virtually no traffic. A vegetarian cafe sits opposite a small, but characterful communal garden, which was planted on a former bomb site. 

Stockwell Terrace, South London

Although it overlooks a busy road junction, Stockwell Terrace retains its Regency elegance, thanks in part to a hint of a crescent, some well-preserved wrought iron balconies and old school street lamps.

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Blythe Hill Fields, South London


About 70 metres above sea level, Blythe Hill Fields is one of the highest of the many green parks dotted around south east London. 

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Portobello Road, Notting Hill, West London

One of the most colourful streets in London, Portobello Road is famous for its market, its quirky antique and bric-a-brac shops and its vibrant early Victorian houses with their wrought iron railings. It is more than a mile long, with both residential and retail stretches. The antique traders first moved in 1948, supplanting the original fruit and veg market.

Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, West London


Although it is slightly dilapidated. the east end of Elgin Crescent still has an air of grandeur. The tall stucco style houses have been embellished with all sorts of Victorian flourishes and period features.