Dave Sergeant

The Jubilee Walkway was set up in 1977 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 4 - Camden Loop - March 2nd 2020

Yesterday's trip up to London. As with a couple of my earlier walks this one was combined with another visit, in this case Daffodil Day at Methodist Central Hall. This is the final leg of the Jubilee Walkway, called the Camden Loop. Well it is technically in Camden but not the bit most people know. It would be more strictly the Holborn and Bloomsbury Loop. It seems a bit of an oddity, if the idea of this particular walk is to introduce you to London sights with a bit of the prettier side as well it seems to have failed. 100% on paved central London streets, passes by a few parks but apart from London Fields already done on leg 1 enters none of them, not even Russell Square. Similarly passes by a few grand churches but says nothing about them. Well it does go through the British Museum so guess that is something.

So after alighting from the No 88 bus at Holborn Tube Station I followed the route into and across Lincoln Inn Fields which I had done on leg 1. A rather ornate archway marks the exit, the area and nearby museum related to the architect John Soane. Passing the Walkway sign at Kings College then up Chancery Lane for a while and more residential streets to reach Great Ormond Street. The famous hospital is a bit further down but Great Ormond Street itself is pretty unimpressive.

After passing the large hospital buildings the route goes by but not through Coram's Fields, commemorating Captain Thomas Coram who founded the hospital in 1739. Then we reach the first 'highlight', the Brunswick centre, a shopping centre opened in 1972, which the route takes us through. Architecturally attractive but just an assortment of the usual shops.

After the Brunswick and a few back streets the route emerges on the busy Euston Road and London in all its busyness. Kings Cross station and the adjacent impressive St Pancras Hotel. The walkway dives back off Euston Road again just before the excellent British Library into more side streets and passing the small Cartwright Gardens before entering Euston Road again by Euston station. It leaves again just before the Wellcombe Centre. Now we pass the campus of University College Hospital. There seemed to be various strikes going on there, with people sat by placards on various topics, the joys of student life.

Russell Square is passed but not entered, then the route diverts right through the British Museum. There was a huge party of school children heading to the entrance ahead of me so thought it might be packed out, but not too bad. I decided to have a quick lunch stop here so had a baguette and cuppa at their cafe. No time to stay and look around so after putting a small donation in the pot exited as instructed at the south entrance.

So out of the impressive south entrance then across the road into Museum Street. Down here is a little camera museum which may be worth its £1 entry charge on another trip. No doubt the street was named after the big one down the road and not this one. Through the little pedestrianised Sicilian Avenue with its columns and very Italian theme back into Southampton Row and the end of the walk. Now just a walk down here, round Kingsway and down to the river where I followed the embankment along to Westminster Bridge and headed off to Methodist Central Hall next to Westminster Abbey. Just after 1pm so about right for the 1.30 start.

Daffodil Day, sponsored by Marie Curie, is an annual event in the large hall of Methodist Central Hall. Although it has bible readings and prayers it would be wrong to call it a church service. Met up here with a few others from my church who had travelled up by coach. Some lovely singing of hymns with the big organ, Charles Wesley at its best. Soloists Anando Mukerjee and Lola Brown (I hadn't heard of them either), Revd Steve Wild with his animated puppets and humorous comments (you have to see Steve to know what I mean) and all led by Pam Rhodes (not Pam Ayres she says) who you probably know from the telly. The Lord Mayor of Westminster was also in attendance. A most enjoyable afternoon as usual.

Thought my electronic skills might have been needed. There was a nasty feedback on their sound system and the chaps involved with that were running round trying to find the cause, which delayed the first part of the programme. Officially it was stated to be some interference with their alarm system. But I did see them turning down the sound on a couple of large screen monitors they had, obviously an unintentional feedback path there.

After the event finished at 4pm I wandered back down to Waterloo and had an early evening meal at Carluccio's inside the station. Then a slightly later train back home arriving around 7pm, even the trains running on time. Another very enjoyable day.

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