Beautiful Palms

Cynical, alarming and brilliant.
Enjoys complaining about the weather.
Thinks travelling is the only worthwile activity in life.

The Greenwich Park is well known, but what is not well known is that there is more than one hill there, and these other hills afford far better views of the city. This is the view from one of them. We can see the Old Royal Naval College and the Isle of Dogs with its towers in the background.

The Old Royal Naval College can be seen in the foreground - designed by Wren and built between 1696 - 1712. It was described by UNESCO as - “finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles”. 

The light has been fantastic lately. All that unsettled weather and showers can, sometimes, be a good thing. In the background we can see City skyscrapers.

It was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon in 1952-61, they then went on to build the nearby Barbican Estate. The yellow tower block is Great Arthur House - one of the tallest buildings in the UK when completed. That curious thing on its roof is a roof garden, but its been long closed because of health and safety reasons.

Otherwise known as Shard London Bridge, designed by Renzo Piano and standing at 310 metres tall it is the latest addition to London’s growing skyline. It is also one of the tallest buildings in Europe.

Same street as before. I guess I should explain the curious name of Cheapside - well “cheap” means “market” in Medieval English and this area was one big market with all kinds of stuff being sold in the surrounding streets. Nowdays its all dull offices, although theres a collection of narrow streets next to the Bow Church. The street in the background is Leadenhall Street where East India Company once had its headquarters, Lloyds building now stands in its place. A very nice and diverse collection of architecture.

Cheapside is the name of the street below, which once upon a time was described as “the busiest thoroughfare in the world”, nowdays its lined by pretty dull offices, although theres still some gems to be found there. Like, for instance, St Mary-le-Bow church, in the foreground, designed by Wren and built in 1671-1673, with the spire added in 1680. Beyond we can see the City towers - Heron, T42, Swiss-Re, Leadenhall, Lloyds, Willis, and 20 Fenchurch. Still further we can see Isle of Dogs.

The river is somewhat crowded, on both banks, by buildings these days. This was taken from The Paramount Bar at the top of Centre Point on Tottenham Court Road. The views are fantastic there. Here we can see Covent Garden in the foreground, The City, Southwark with The Shard and Isle of Dogs in the background.

The Tower Of London built by William The Conqueror in 1078 and considerably expanded over proceeding centuries. Its original purpose was that of a Royal Palace, but it also served as a prison, armoury, treasury and menagerie. Despite its reputation as a place of torture and death only 19 people were ever executed within its walls.

The view of South Kensington from the Westminster Cathedral. That curious looking tower in the middle is The Queens Tower and forms part of the Imperial College. Victoria and Albert and Natural History museums are visible to the left.

The view from the roof of One New Change. In the distance we can see Tate Modern, to the left of it is the spire of St Nicholas Cole Abbey, rebuilt in 1672-78 by Wren, after the fire of 1666. On the extreme right side we can just about make out the tower of St Benet Pauls Wharf, also built by Wren in 1677-83. The elegant church in the foreground is, of course, St Augustine. It was destroyed during WWII and today only the tower remains. There is a curious tale about the church cat - “The church cat, named Faith, became quite well known after the air raid which destroyed St Augustine’s. Days before she was seen moving her kitten, Panda, to a basement area. Despite being brought back several times, Faith insisted on returning Panda to her refuge. On the morning after the air raid the rector searched through the dangerous ruins for the missing animals, and eventually found Faith, frightened but safe, surrounded by smouldering rubble and debris but still guarding the kitten in the spot she had selected three days earlier.”