Peace In The City
The City of London has wonderfully relaxing places that are free and easily accessible. If you want an oasis of peace in your lunch hour or a place to escape from the pressures of work, there’s somewhere just on your doorstep.
Postmans’ Park opened, in 1880, is made up of bits of land from adjoining churchyards. In 1887 the wall of plaques was begun; to remember people who died saving others.
Years ago the park would be full of postmen from London’s biggest post office in St. Martin’s-le-Grand.
Now the Posties are gone but the plaques remain under the beautiful canopy.
Hundreds of them recall Londoners who died saving people from fire, drowning, trains, ice, falling and many other fates. It’s a beautiful place, dedicated to a beautiful cause. Nearest tube is St. Paul’s, head towards the Museum of London and it’s on the left just before Little Britain.
The Barbican Lake
At the Barbican Arts Centre the lake is a gem. You will find fish, ducks, geese, coots and sometimes herons – all to the sound of running water.
Built on the site of a Victorian debtors prison and an old goods yard it is enclosed on all sides so no city noise intrudes.
On a pleasant day you can sit by the lake to enjoy its gentle, relaxing atmosphere or have a coffee at the lakeside café.
If you’re lucky you’ll hear arias from the sopranos practicing in the Guildhall School of Music & Drama drifting across as fish lazily plop in and out of the water.
Bunhill Fields Cemetery
William Blake (1757-1827)
Although one of England’s greatest poets lived mostly in Soho and Lambeth, he ended up in the Dissenters Cemetery at Bunhill Fields along with his adored wife.
Although he died so long ago, people still put flowers beside the stone which is more or less in the middle of the cemetery underneath a huge fig tree.
Bunhill Fields is a wonderful place to stroll through or sit in. In April and May you can enjoy the daffodils and bluebells. As well as William Blake, there are many other famous people buried here such as Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan.
Bunhill fields can be reached at the northern end of Moorgate near Old Street roundabout.
The River Thames
Do you ever go down to the river? Just strolling along either side of the Thames or crisscrossing the bridges can blow away the stresses of the day and leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.
Here you will be surprised to find a delightful mini Versailles with rose bowers urns, vistas and fountains. Beneath a sizeable chunk of the Roman London Wall, this garden is a gem, where you can sit between the beech hedges a few steps below road level, buffered from the traffic noise of London Wall.
You can find this garden by turning into Wood Street, off London Wall and following the road round as it changes its name to Fore Street. Salters’ Hall is at No. 4 Fore Street.