17 June: A Walk in Bankside

After meeting outside a very noisy Borough tube station on a warm evening, 15 Polyramblers soon found themselves in the quiet street of Southwark.  We went around parks, garden squares, churchyards, community gardens and other green spaces, most of them maintained by Bankside Open Space Trust (BOST), and which are oases of calm in a busy London.  We started with the cottage-style front garden of Drapers’ Almshouses, then followed a mangy fox to All Hallows Church Garden where we were welcomed by a tortoiseshell cat.  After crossing Mins Street Park, we went to my favourite garden: Red Cross Garden.  

It is full of flowers and has a pond with lots of newts and beautiful waterlilies.  Before passing Crossbone Gardens, we did a detour to a building site on Borough High Street.  A team from Pre-construct Archaeology is carrying out an excavation before a Premier Inn and a Tesco Express are built.  They have found evidence of late to post-medieval buildings which are related to the Nag’s Head Inn and a sealed-up World War II-era access tunnel which runs to the former City and South London Railway tunnels which was converted into an air raid shelter.

We went through a very busy Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral where we met Danny then the grounds of Guy’s Hospital where we stopped at the war memorial.  Then followed more gardens before we ended the evening in the Royal Oak pub for a well deserved meal and a few pickled eggs.


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