It takes about 35 minutes to walk from Shoreditch High Street to Southbank, the Waterloo Bridge bit. You need a late Sunday evening and good tailwind. Brisk walk and a few stops for pictures. With freezing hands and an amateur camera this won’t take too long. What can I say, I couldn’t help it.
About half of the walk is through the City, which is serenely deserted, troubled only by occasional taxis, empty double-deckers and lost tourists scrutinising the skyline for St Paul’s dome. The church bells are ringing through the dimly lit lanes and the steel skyscrapers crumble. They melt away, leaving behind the venerable walls and their blue plaques. “Site of the first Bethlehem Hospital 1247 – 1676”. “Site of the Priory of the Blackfriars founded 1278”. “In a house in this Court Alexander Pope poet was born 1688″….
Then you cross Millennium Bridge and walk by the river. Count the bridges and listen to Stairway to Heaven played by a freezing but focused guy with glasses. Blue and white lights wink in the trees near Gabriel’s Wharf. The river sounds like the sea here.
There’s Waterloo Bridge. You’re allowed to take the bus now. The Big Ban chimes. And I agree.