On Monday I took a stroll down the Southbank in the sunshine. After it took me 2 hours to get into London, a train journey usually lasting an hour I was pretty annoyed by the time I got there but that soon passed once I climbed onto the Hungerford Bridge for my first view of London in the sunshine.
I crossed the river and could see a lot of people milling around on the bank in front of the Southbank Centre. There was music coming from one of the gazebos lining the edge of the walkway and people were gathering around to listen to the choir singing. The banner on the Southbank Centre read Festival of Neighbourhood.
The gazebos were selling homemade foods, some hot to eat there and then and some to take home. There were a few specialist cheese stalls that I noticed with some interesting sounding cheeses!
Under the Southbank Centre there was also a Streets of Spain Festival sponsored by Campo Viejo it had been running from Friday and some of the stalls had finished by the time I went. The stalls were from the La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, a place I have passed a couple of times but never made it inside!
Behind the Southbank Centre the neighbourhood market continued with a hive of people swarming around the stalls. The Southbank is short on seating areas and people took every available wall and staircase for a seat to rest their legs after a tiring walk in the sun. I found a place to sit and rest upstairs by the white stone structures and a welcome rest it was too!
After my rest I continued along the Southbank to Waterloo Bridge, crossed the river and walked back to Embankment Station. I walked through Victoria Gardens as the flowers were so lovely I had to take a closer look.
I finished my trip to London with a short hop to Oxford Circus and a quick stop in the Food Court of Selfridges to pick up some Turkish Delight for a birthday present. Then another grueling 2 hour journey home awaited me. All in all I didn’t allow the train disruption to spoil my day but I have had a rant about it below!
As a side note: I understand the need to improve the train tracks and how this needs to be done on bank holidays but I would say this. The trains from Amersham station were going to Northwood via Watford which it did not say on the TFL website. The TFL website said the line would be closed on Saturday and Sunday which is why I chose to go on Monday. Amersham station doesn’t have trains going to Watford, (you have to change at Moor Park) it would have been quicker to shuttle the people from Moor Park to Watford as most people at Amersham were heading into London and didn’t welcome the diversion.
The buses were well organised at Northwood station but we waited a long time for the bus to leave, it would have made sense for them to leave shortly after each train arrived at the station.
I passed a few places on my rail replacement route that allowed me sight of the met line track and I could see no evidence of any work being undertaken, if the train line is out you would at least expect to see some evidence of work taking place, otherwise it becomes even more infuriating that you have had an extended journey.