Sunday, January 14, 2007

Euston to Camden - 14 January 2007

The British LibraryThe British Library has a fascinating exhibition on at present called ‘London: A Life in Maps’ so we began today’s walk at Euston Station and made the British Library our first stop.

The map from 1726 was the first example, on display, that covered the area out as far as where we live and the main road near our place, East Lane, was clearly labelled.

We could have spent much more time there but the weather was far too good to spend inside so we wandered past the St Pancras Station St Pancras Old Churchwhere all the re-development for the new Channel Rail Tunnel terminus is happening and came across St Pancras Old Church which stands on one of the most ancient sites of Christian worship in Europe, possibly dating back to the 4th Century. The current building, dating from the 11th or 12th Century, has had a chequered history: ruinous in the 13th Century; Camley St Natural Parkre-built in the 14th; half abandoned in the 16th; restored in the 17th; and substantially re-built in the 19th Century.

The next surprise was the London Wildlife Trust’s 2-acre Camley St Natural Park. It is on the banks of the Regent’s Canal and has meadow, marsh, woodland and pond habitats and runs educational programmes for local schools as well as providing a haven for wildlife and people escaping the bustle of the city.

Crossing the canal we joined the towpath for the section up to Camden Lock and Camden Market: Canal tunnelalways a bustling place with its Goth, Punk and Heavy Metal focus providing plenty of visual interest.

One tends to experience London in ‘sight-bites’ as you pop-up from the Underground to see this place or that and in so doing miss the bigger picture of what is near to what. We were surprised to realise that it was not far to walk from Camden back to our starting point at Euston Station.

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