Dave Sergeant

The Jubilee Walkway was set up in 2007 to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. It is based round central London passing many of the capital's well known buildings

Jubilee Walkway Section 1 - Royal Festival Hall to Leicester Square - January 25th 2020

OK, today's fun. As someone who does the Telegraph crossword (online) every day I have found the Big Dave Crossword Blog of great use when I am struggling. I noticed that they were having a get together today up in London so thought 'why not'. To make the trip up to town worthwhile I decided to do one of my round about walks to pass a couple of hours in the morning.

The Jubilee Walkway is another of the TFL walks but far more in Central London and as I found from the Jubilee Greenway intersects the main Loop and Ring walks so again tried (unsuccessfully) to look for new bits. So today along the south bank to the Millennium Bridge, past St Pauls and looping back to the west end. Much of it very familiar ground of course. Marked as always with plaques in the pavement, but a mixture of Silver Jubilee from when it was first launched for the Queen's Silver Jubilee and without the Silver bit when the routing was later changed.

The official start and finish of section 1 of the walkway is Leicester Square but of course starting from Waterloo it was more convenient to join it part way along on the south bank. A somewhat cloudy and dull day but after passing Tate Modern and across the Millennium Bridge soon reached St Pauls. I assumed when it first opened it didn't cross the not yet dreamt of bridge and a plaque off Fleet Street soon showed me the old route.

The old route crossed at Tower Bridge. They have now split it into central and eastern sections using the Millennium. I must admit the longer original route would have been more satisfying.

This is the only real bit of greenery along the route, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Navigation instructions a bit confusing when you had to go diagonally across it when all the paths ran parallel with the edges.

Then I headed as directed around, but not through, Covent Garden and into the west end proper. Busy with Saturday morning tourists as expected. Although most of this was familiar there were some unexpected new bits like the narrow alley Goodwins Court shown on the left. Then into Leicester Square, the official end, with William Shakespeare proudly on his pedestal

The idea was to continue to Charing Cross to pick up the tube there to the crossword bash. But the instructions let me down. I was supposed to proceed from the Walkway plaque in the centre of Leicester Square (presumably right under the bard's nose) to the Odeon cinema in the SW corner of the square. But there was neither plaque nor Odeon Cinema and with Leicester Square clearly having been developed somewhat over the years from how I recognised it I got confused. But I recognised the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus and headed there where I caught the Bakerloo Line to the bash.

Since this is the start of the Jubilee Walkway the instructions could have been just a bit clearer..

Big Dave has been holding the annual birthday part at the same hostelry for some years and it is right by the bridge at Little Venice which I passed a couple of months ago on the Jubilee Greenway. Sort of familiar ground. When I arrived there were quite a few there and we exchanged names and chatted away. A bit of it crossword based (there were some crossword setters there along with those who produce the daily blogs on the crosswords) but a lot of general discussion, even about the trains. Lunch ordered and we all settled in.


And there was cake, a special one for the 11th anniversary. Very nice it was too. So after a couple of hours of very pleasant company I said my farewells and made my way back to Waterloo on the tube. Trains running bang on time, arrived home just after 5 after another very enjoyable day out.

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