For the first time since I first started working in the UK, I spent last week’s 4-day-long Easter weekend in London. This was due to a number of reasons, but mostly because I had just returned from a skiing trip in Zermatt not so long ago, and needed to switch to savings mode.
It turned out to be a great decision, as I got the chance to relax at home, rather than rushing around on planes, trains, buses, cabs etc. as I inevitably would have done had I decided to take a short trip somewhere. The other good thing about a staycation in London is that it allowed me to explore my own city, something I don’t get to do often enough.
And so it was on Easter Monday that I decided to take a long walk from the London Bridge area to Camden. I had visited Camden in the past (maybe 6-8 years ago?) when it was pretty grungy to say the least. Despite still being famous for its “alternative” culture scene, the area has changed a fair bit since then, so it was a good chance to go check it out, exploring some of London’s landmarks along the way. It was a lovely sunny day, but a little windy and cold, so I wrapped up warm and headed off towards the South Bank.
Walking across the Millennium Bridge, I could hear St. Pauls Cathedral‘s church bells toiling for Easter Monday’s mass.
I walked further in to the City, away from the tourist bustle towards Farringdon and Clerkenwell, passing by the famous Smithfield Market (the largest wholesale meat market in the UK).
Having had no breakfast that morning, I started making my way towards King’s Cross as there are a number of good restaurants there that I’ve been meaning to try. Unfortunately, Itadaki Zen, my first choice, located fairly close to King’s Cross St. Pancras, was closed (boo!).
Seeing the station buildings in today’s bright sunshine was really a treat though, as I only ever seem to be in this area in the evening, or early morning when I’m rushing for a Eurostar train.
From the ever busy station junction, I made my way past the British Library, away from the cars and noise, into Granary Square. This was a new part of town that I’ve never set foot on before, and is part of the larger King’s Cross Central development. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Granary Square is actually comparable in size to Trafalgar Square and contains 1,000 individually controlled fountain jets that come to life at certain times!
There are some lovely modern restaurants dotted around the large open area, but the one I was most interested in was Grain Store. Unsurprisingly, it was fully booked out on this bank holiday, so I had to be content with just grabbing a coffee to tide me over until I could find a proper meal elsewhere.
Granary Square is located on the banks of the Regent’s Canal, so I decided to walk along the path by the water towards Camden Town.
It wasn’t too long of a walk and I soon reached Camden. After grabbing some food, I had a little wander through the street markets, taking in the sights, smells and sounds.
After walking off my lunch, I ended the day by visiting Cookies & Scream, a well known vegan desserts stall in Camden market. I tried their famous doughnuts with “ice-cream” and took away a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie (good thing I had no more cash on me as I could’ve walked away with a lot more).
By this time, the storm clouds had rolled in and a light drizzle was starting to fall. I legged my way past the shops selling trainers, e-cigarettes and music merchandise to the Camden tube station, feeling a little tired but extremely pleased to have reconnected with a part of London from my past.