In past blogs, I have spoken about slowing the pace of life. Putting to one side the trinkets of modern life i.e. the mobile phone or laptops and taking time to observe. This blog, entitled ‘Crossing London’, continues this thought process.

Places to be, people to see

More times than I care to remember have I had to travel across London from one station to another. At first I was proud at the speed that I could make the journey. My destination and timetable all encompassing.

As the number of trips I undertake dwindles, to be replaced by leisure trips, my attitude has changed. I now make this journey in a very leisurely fashion.

Discovery

The change first happened when I found myself with time to spare and I chose the number 73 bus to travel from Victoria to St Pancras in place of the over crowded Victoria line tube. This was a revelation.

Rather than dark tunnels, uniform corridors and crowds, I was treated to the wonderful sites of London. Monuments, parks, churches and architecture. I witnessed locals and visitors alike going about the business of the day. In place of the uniformity of the tube corridors, I relished the apparent randomness of life above ground.

Regular route

One of my regular cross London journeys is from Paddington station to St Pancras station. Whenever time and weather permit I elect to walk.

The most direct route for this would see you turn left out of Paddington and head towards Edgware road tube station. A gentle right onto Marylebone road. Then straight onto Euston Road until St Pancras.

Sights to see

As you walk you will see many sights. Westminster Magistrates court, Marylebone station. Baker street, Madame Tussauds, The Royal academy of music, Regents park, Great Portland street, Euston station, and the British library to name but a few. All that in just 45 minutes!

Introduce ‘Random’ to your life

I rarely walk that route! Infact, I rarely walk the same route twice.

I love nothing more than exploring en-route. Whilst keeping the tall landmarks in mind, it is easy to navigate a general direction without becoming lost.

The streets, shops, and pubs of Fitzrovia, Marylebone, and Bloomsbury. These are sites that you won’t see on the bus or any tour. You most certainly won’t see them on the tube.

The journey not only gives me exercise, it also gives me variety and interest. In my view, that is an unbeatable combination.

You can always stand under someone’s armpit staring through the windows onto the dark walls of the underground, or you can walk or use the bus. As you may determine, you know my preference.

Not Just in London – everywhere

I speak here of London, but the same can be said of very many cities. You rarely have to go far from your normal route to find a very different scene. In my local neighbourhood, there is a road into the city centre. It is long and straight. Boring almost. Just a few yards to one side, a canal runs in parallel. This is a far more attractive and interesting walk.

My plea

This weeks plea is therefore one of the simplest and cheapest that I have ever made.

Be aware of your surroundings. Give yourself time to walk and explore. As I explain in the above text, you need not wander too far off route.

Not only will you get exercise but you will see and experience more than you would if you follow the same old routes and routines.

It doesn’t just have to be Crossing London!

Reference

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