1 April 2011

A day in London

I've been burning the remains of my holiday entitlement for 2010 by taking a few odd days off in March, one of which was a reasonably aimless stroll around London.

And, like several such strolls, it featured the walkway along the South Bank of the Thames and a visit to the Tate Modern which lives there.




But the first port of call was Somerset House on the North Bank.

In the dim and distant part I stayed for a few months in the incredibly cheap, and justifiably so, Hotel Strand Continental that back on to Somerset House so its a part of London that I know, or knew, fairly well.

Somerset House has been done up since then and now boasts a courtyard flush with fountains that vary their height as the mood takes them which makes it a place that you can just sit for a while and watch them play. Luckily there is a cafe there too so the watching can be enhanced with a Latte.




Crossing the Waterloo Bridge to the South Bank takes you past the iconic National Theatre.

Its a building that attracts a wide range of reactions and comparisons to concrete boxes but I love it. One of the great strengths of concrete is that you can make any shape that you like with it and the architects of the National Theatre have done just that in a marvellous way.



The walk to the Tate Modern is a treat, the outside of it is a delight and the interior is joy.

There is much to enjoy here but my favourite gallery is this one, Red Star Over Russia, in Room 11 on the fifth floor. Wonderful stuff.



The other reason for going to the Tate Modern is to savour the view from the top floor where they have conveniently placed a (very expensive) bar.

I walk though London regularly, both for work and for fun, and it still stimulates me every time that I do so. It's a city that can be old and young, quiet and lively, brash and squalid, provocative and secretive, and all sorts of other things too. None of these aspects is any more natural or important than the others, it's the mix that makes London a great city.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic pic from the Tate Modern! I'm not a huge fan of the museum itself (preferring to stay up river with the Tate Britain) but for a view like that, I may just add it to my visit list. Thanks for the inspiration.

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