A Wander Around a Little Bit of London

When we go to London we’ve normally got a plan – going here to see this, then there to see that etc. But last Thursday we left ourselves some time just to wander about a bit, taking photos of the things that caught our eyes. This post consists of a selection of those photos – J took the ones with me in fairly obviously!) and they’re from a variety of cameras (both phones, the Lumix but not my DSLR as I didn’t have it with me). As always, click on a photo to see the larger version on flickr 🙂

The main point of the trip was to see the Cheapside Hoard Exhibition (post) so we started at the Museum of London:

Salamander on the Museum of LondonMuseum of LondonMe as Anne of DenmarkMuseum of LondonMe in Museum of London Cafe

Afterwards we walked back down to St Paul’s before having a drink in The Old Bell at the start of Fleet Street – built by Christopher Wren to house his masons before it became a pub. J had a pint of stout from a northeastern brewery we hadn’t run across before!

The Old Bell"The Northeast Brewers"Pints

We then strolled along Fleet Street towards the Strand looking at the buildings. I wasn’t quite sure what Mary Queen of Scots was doing on the facade of one of the buildings (tho she was near the building for the Dundee Courier etc, so there was a Scottish theme).

Fleet StreetFleet StreetFleet StreetYe Olde Cock TavernPub Window DecorationTwinings Tea

We saw a sign pointing through a gate and followed it to discover Temple Church (famous for being round, and for being for the Templars) – not open but we had a look around the outside, including a sneaky snap of a ceiling in one of the buildings near the gate! (And one of the buildings was called Goldsmith Building, which seemed thematically appropriate for the day!).

Gate between Temple Church and Fleet StreetTemple ChurchTemple ChurchTemple ChurchGoldsmith BuildingTombOutside Temple ChurchCrusader ColumnCeiling

As we approached the Temple Bar Marker (there used to be a gate here between the City of London and Westminster) the Royal Courts of Justice were very definitely what caught the eye – quite the impressive building. And the marker itself is rather fine – quite Victorian in style, with a dragon on top.

Fleet StreetThe Royal Courts of JusticeTemple Bar MarkerDragonDragon!Dragon!Temple Bar Marker

The banks round here have a bit more history than you usually think of when you think of the big name banks. The Barclays branch used to be Goslings Bank, with a sign of three squirrels. And the Law Courts branch of Lloyds has a rather fine building and quite the spectacular cash machine lobby!

Goslings BankGoslings BankLloyds Bank, StrandLloyds Bank (with Beehive)Outer Temple (with Fish)Holding up the BalconyLion!Lloyds Bank Cash Machines, the Strand

By this point it was time for dinner. We caught sight of a pub that was offering pie & ale and decided that hit the spot. This wasn’t just in the Old Bank of England (the Law Courts branch rather than the HQ) but also in a spot between where Sweeny Todd butcheredbarbered and the associated pie shop. The food was pleasant, but rather small portions and I felt the price was down to the location & decor not the meal itself – it was very nice inside tho:

Old Bank of England PubJ in the Old Bank of England PubMe in Old Bank of England PubOld Bank of England Pub

After dinner we walked back to the train station, past St Paul’s again (which looked rather fine all lit up) and along Cheapside. A good day out 🙂

St Pauls at Night