Strand – a short distance from Trafalgar Square

The crypt of St Martins-in-the-Fields is our favorite place to eat. You get traditional English dishes in a healthier edition and always plenty so that you can go on for hours. Many concerts are held in the church, mostly baroque and we were lucky to arrive at the last day of Easter to hear Handel’s Messiah.

Around the corner is Charing Cross Station and from there you take a bus a few stops to Strand. Before the Embankment was made the river Thames was  running at the Strand. The French Impressionist Monet stayed at The Savoy Hotel from where he painted dawn over Waterloo Bridge pictures in thick fog. He liked the fog or the smog but today he wouldn’t recognize London because the pollution have gone away!

Monet's Waterloo Bridge at the Ordrupgaard Museum in Denmark

Monet’s Waterloo Bridge at the Ordrupgaard Museum in Denmark

 

You pass a church in the middle of the road St Mary-Le-Strand by James Gibbs who was inspired from Sir Christopher Wren, who created the famous St Paul’s Cathedral. James Gibbs also later did the St Martins-in-the-Fields that I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

 

Another church is placed in the middle of the Strand, Christopher Wren’s St Clement Danes. He had rebuilt it after the great fire of London in 1666. In May 1941 it was severely damaged by the German Blitz but completely restored by the RAF in 1958.

In front of it is a sculpture of the politician from Victorian and four times Prime minister Gladstone and the statues of two RAF men who were responsible for the bombings of Dresden and therefore controversial when unveiled in 1992.

Somerset House was built in the 1600s and has different art exhibitions. The most famous is “The Courtauld Gallery” The impressionist painters get most of the attention. This museum is not free, but really worth seeing. The London university Kings College is situated here too.

The impressive yard is open for people to enjoy and a passage to the embankment leads to a pedestrian walk over the Waterloo Bridge to South Bank Centre at the other side of the Thames. The photo is from a former journey.

The Royal Festival Hall seen from Waterloo Bridge

A little further down the road opposite The Royal Court of Justice is one of the world’s oldest firm Twining from 1706. The shop is also a museum on their long history.

Strand Twining Tea

The entrance to the Twining shop and museum at Strand

Very close to this area is Covent Garden with all the theatres, shops, markets, restaurants and of course the Royal Opera House.

11 Comments »

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my London posts Stevie. Having visited many times it’s like you want to see if the buildings and museums and cafés are still there.

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      • I am always tempted to visit the East End where I grew up, but it’s changed out of all recognition and I’d rather keep my memories intact, and so usually stay in the West End when we go. However, in a fortnight we’ll be in South London to watch the marathon. Looking forward to it.

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      • Greenwich maybe? It’s a lovely place. I have only been once. I once stood at the Westminster bridge to see the race. I could only see balloons. Twice I have taken part in the Royal Parks Foundation half marathons and that is fun

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    • That would be wonderful to meet and thank you for the follow and reading this post. My favourite is the memorial for queen Alexandra at St James. If you haven’t seen it I write about it in a post called looking for “Art Nouveau while travelling”. I also like the Bomber Command Memorial at Green Park and I did a post on that as well

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