Sunday 19th December Vauxhall to Kings Cross

Ten Poly Ramblers met at Vauxhall Station on a cold day for the last walk of the year. We started in Vauxhall Pleasure gardens where, with the opening of Westminster Bridge in 1750, the aristocracy delighted in the musical temple orchestra and lamplit walks. We continued to the end of the gardens, continuing on the Vauxhall Walk turning into Lambeth High Street and crossing over the Lambeth Road to the Garden Museum housed in the former St Mary’s church. The museum has an abundance of garden memorabilia and a café which sadly was closed owing to staff sickness. The secretive ancient building next door is Lambeth Palace. We crossed Lambeth Bridge to turn into Victoria Tower Gardens alongside the Thames. At the end of the gardens, we paused to admire Rodans statue The Burghers of Calais before a café stop at the Jewel Tower at Danny’s suggestion. Geoffrey and I made use of our English Heritage membership with a visit to the top of the tower. We continued along Parliament Street to reach Trafalgar Square where we managed to lose four of our number when they deviated to admire the slightly bare Christmas Tree.  We continued going forward along St Martins Lane towards Seven dials with its colourful Christmas Decorations to cross High Holborn an area which was a poverty-stricken slum area in Dickens time. We passed the British museum to head towards Russell Square. Unfortunately, the proposed café stop in Russell Square was closed however we ate at a Pret A Manger conveniently close by. Gini pointed out a Horse Hospital near by now an Art Gallery. The Hospital was used by Hansom cab men to take their horses to when they became ill. We continued through the Brunswick shopping Centre now led by Pam. We continued our walk through the back streets towards St Pancras passing along a street where there was a proliferation of Blue Plaques. We arrived at Kings Cross in time to walk to Granary Square along the wild life garden walk, to Gas Light Park. We then admired the recently built bridge over the Regents Canal as we walked over it to arrive at St Pancras Cemetery and a visit to the small but beautifully decorated church before returning to the station.