City of London, have I missed you?

In Cities, City of London, London, Our Journeys, UK Travelby JanisLeave a Comment

Where did that year go…?

You wouldn’t be surprised to know that after leaving my job in the City of London in 2016, following 24 years of working for a Japanese bank, it certainly isn’t the commuting I miss.

Sharing banter with my colleagues was always good fun, and I enjoyed the lunchtime strolls along the Thames, dodging oncoming power joggers, who were taking no hostages in their wake.

City of London Lion, London, England, UK

However, there is something about the City of London that will always remain with me.

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Two faces of the city

Some may see it just as an anonymous corporate treadmill, and from the outside, it often looks like that. From early Monday morning until late Friday evening the city is alive. But come back at the weekend, and you have walked into a completely different world.

Not a suit & tie to be seen, just eerily silent lanes, the odd black cab & shift workers passing through.

Deserted streets, City of London, London, England, UK

This is a great time of the week to discover those otherwise unnoticed little snippets of history and a fantastic time for photography.

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Square Mile

But there are so many things about this square mile that make it so fascinating, and will continually bring back lasting memories for me. Of course, there are always embarrassing tales that people love to remind you of, but it also the history that can be found within such a tiny area of London.

Fond Memories, City of London, London, England, UK

So “City of London”

What is it that makes me miss you?

Tiny Lanes

The intriguing network of lanes that weave their way through the city. After working there so long I was still surprised with this, so many shortcuts through courtyards, alleys, churchyards & passageways.

Quiet Lanes, City of London, London, England, UK
To the Church, City of London, London, England, UK
Historic Lanes, City of London, London, England, UK

Where are the roads?

A fascinating fact about this ‘square mile’, is that you will not come across a single ‘Road’, everything is named, Lane, Street, Hill, Court, Yard, Alley, Passage (I could go on) and more unusual titles like ‘Poultry and Princes’ or ‘Puddle Dock’.

Passages, City of London, London, England, UKPudding Lane, City of London, London, England, UK

St Paul’s Cathedral

I’m actually quite ashamed here, as I passed this magnificent site most days and more often than not just took it for granted. Many times, I have stood on the famous steps watching parades or remembrances, but not once ventured inside. (Now I have long since lost count, how many cathedrals and churches I have visited around the world).

St Paul's and the telephone booth, City of London, London, England, UK

A few years ago, the lengthy project to clean the Cathedral was completed, and it now looks stunning.

St Pauls from the Roof, City of London, London, England, UK

Did you know?

You can catch a lift free of charge to the top of No.1 New Change, and have a stunning unobscured view across St Paul’s Cathedral?

River Thames

As I touched on above, I love the River Thames. My Dad used to work on the tugs & barges along the river when I was a kid, so it holds deep-rooted feelings & memories for me.

The River at dusk, City of London, London, England, UK

Obviously, it’s not quite the bustling workhorse it used to be, but there is always something going on to entertain you.

What better way to spend your lunch break, than taking a stroll along the riverside in the sunshine, crisscrossing the bridges.

Skyline

The mixture of old and new is making the City of London quite an iconic skyline. Although the likes of the Gherkin, Heron Tower, Walkie Talkie, Lloyds building & Tower 42 are quite dominant, the historical buildings & monuments are my favourite and the ones I will always be drawn to.

City Skyline, City of London, London, England, UK

Also, there is the Shard of course, but not strictly in the city.

Every step

The extraordinary amount history that can be found in the ‘square mile’ is unbelievable. Buildings such as the Royal Exchange, Bank of England, Guildhall and even Knights Templar presence can be located nearby the law courts.

Temple Church, City of London, London, England, UK

In 1666, The Great Fire of London started here in Pudding Lane; unfortunately, this devastated quite a bit of the city, however, when you stroll around keep your eyes open for all the blue plaques commemorating this history.

The old Stocks Market, City of London, London, England, UK
Barnard's Castle Plaque, City of London, London, England, UK
Blue Plaque, City of London, London, England, UK

Something to make your travels easier?

Churchyards

A fascination of mine are churchyards, a bit weird I know but interesting nonetheless, and the city has some lovely tranquil hideaways. It is amazing that in such a bustling city there are still places to escape to, my favourites are Postman’s Park in St Martin’s Le-Grand, and St Dunstan’s in the East.

St Dunstans in the East, City of London, UK
Never forgotton, St Dunstan’s in the East, City of London, UK

Its Markets – No not its trading markets

Although the City of London is not renowned for its fashion shopping, in recent years No.1 New Change has sprung up with its stylish stores. However, it’s the old traditional markets that I love.

St Pauls from One New Change, City of London, London, England, UK

Leadenhall Market historically sold meat, game & poultry, but now this elegant parade has been revamped and has since been frequented by Harry Potter.

Leadenhall Market, City of London, London, England, UK

Additionally, there’s Old Billingsgate Fish Market, down by the River Thames, a newer one has since been relocated to Canary Wharf, but Smithfield’s Meat Market is still in full swing, during the early hours of the morning in the heart of the city, this market comes alive.

Oh, those blurred memories

Now the City of London wouldn’t be the same without its ‘spit and sawdust’ bars, I know they are few and far between now, (those pesky ‘Yuppies’) but I’ve had some interesting evenings over the years.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City of London, London, England, UK
Old Haunts, City of London, London, England, UK

Fond Farewell

I certainly don’t regret making the career change that I did, it’s just sometimes there are those little things in life you miss & I wish I hadn’t taken it too much for granted.

Old London, City of London, London, England, UK

Have You

Visited the City of London at the weekend? did you make any fascinating discoveries?

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit The City of London?

Take to the lanes of the Knights Templar or rub shoulders with the Gherkin?

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

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City of London, have I missed you?

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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