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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

From Panama To Piccadilly With No Jet-Lag

My four mile walk across London does the trick

Crossing the Panama Canal 1 January 2012

I crossed the Panama Canal on New Year's Day in 30 degrees. It is a sight to behold and a marvel of human endeavour. So too is aeroplane travel, for within a few days I was back in London - in 5 degrees! The change of temperature and time zone was a shock to my system, but I do have one remedy which does the trick for me and makes me feel a lot better very quickly, and that is walking.

On Friday 6th January, only two days after arriving back in London I went to meet some students at the Royal College of Music. As I finished at 6pm it was already dark. It was cold and the air was quite still – good for walking. Here is the route of the walk I took, which I recommend whether you are a Londoner or a visitor, jet-lagged or not jet-lagged. It is about 4 miles long and takes in some of the finest parts of the city. You can do it during the day or at night. It will take you 1 hour 45 minutes at normal walking pace.

In London 6 January 2012

Go to the Royal Albert Hall, walk around it and down the steps which lead to the Royal College of Music. Already you have taken in two great Victorian buildings. Turn right at the bottom of the steps and walk down Prince Consort Road, left into Queen's Gate, and take a right at any of the next three turnings which lead into Gloucester Road, where you turn left. Admire the great Victorian residences on the way, many of them no longer private addresses.

Keep going along Gloucester Road, cross over the busy Cromwell Road, and proceed straight into Cranley Gardens until you meet Fulham Road where you turn left. A few minutes down Fulham Road you will see the Art-Deco style Michelin House from 1909, now converted into a restaurant by Sir Terence Conran. At the end of Fulham Road just as you turn right into Brompton Road don't miss the imposing Victoria and Albert Museum. You don't have to wait long before you see the pretty lights of the Harrods store on the right hand side just before you join Knightsbridge. Not even the thundering traffic put me off admiring the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and other buildings on the way to Hyde Park Corner, where I turned left into Park Lane. Just past the Hilton Hotel I turned right into Curzon Street, where is situated one of the most beautiful cinemas in London. At the end is a huge 18th century palace-like building which is now the Saudi Arabian Embassy.

I turned left at this point in Charles Street and then took a right into South Audley Street walking all the way to Grosvenor Square and the US Embassy. This part of the walk reminded me most of an older aristocratic London, with its 18th and 19th century façades, apartment blocks and houses. At Grosvenor Square I turned right and then left until I found myself in Duke Street. For those of you who can take no more walking remember the London Guitar Studio beckons at the end of the street. Here you can admire quality guitars, flamenco costumes and shoes, and all sorts of other delights. Time your walk to arrive before the shop closes. Otherwise keep going and turn right into Oxford Street. Within a few minutes you will be at Oxford Circus, the cross-roads of the more elegant Regent Street and Oxford Street.

At this point, I for one had had enough for one day. You may decide to press on. Russell Square and the British Museum lie to the north-east, while Soho restaurants and other pleasures to the south-east.

I bet that by the time you have finished this walk you the visitor will love London, and you the Londoner will be reminded of the city's beauty.

By the way, after all that walking, and the next day’s too, my jet-lag disappeared. Already the Panama Canal of six days before had become an almost unreal memory.

In Duke Street visit The London Guitar Studio:

January 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=955 .
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