We love a walk along the South Bank in London. It reminds us of happier times, when during the 2012 Olympic Games, London was for a time the capital of the world: inclusive, happy, welcoming, proud. The South Bank was full of festivity, fun, food, friendliness and foreigners – all welcome.
For a bleaker view of the legacy of that time, turn to Stuart Heritage in Boxing Day’s Guardian:‘ … a moment of optimism that destroyed the decade’.
But it’s still Christmas-tide. Let’s stay happy.
We’ll begin our ‘walk’ on the train into town. Now then. Baffled by the window, it’s hard to pick out which are the city-centre monoliths, and which their reflections.
We arrive at London Bridge. Here’s street art under the bridge by Nathan Bowen.
Long-established buildings reflected on new facades.
Borough Market. Is it too early for lunch? Sadly, yes. Just looking, then.
And all those buildings, new and old juxtaposed, on the opposite side of the Thames.
Ah! This is fun. This is Zoë’s moment. A Bubble Man, providing unalloyed joy to dozens of children. And to Zoë.
Time for a coffee-stop (no cake, Jo). We dive into a narrow alley, which opens up to this: we’re not so far from Shakespeare’s Globe here.
But just as we’re getting a little tired of walking, the rain starts. The team divides. The younger members head off for a spot of retail therapy at South Bank’s Winter Market. The oldest and the youngest join forces and return to London Bridge on the river bus. For us, our winter walk of sights is at an end.
Not quite. Back at Hither Green, this is what awaited us just outside the station.