Walking along the Thames

 London has been one of the most famous metropolitans for travellers around the world and is making alterations in its physical and psychological style which may be appealing to them. Since I came to London as an international student, I have explored several famous places which are highly likely the destinations of travellers from all over the world. The exploration has provided me with the theme of my walk. The route connecting two famous places might offer the fresh perspective of a visitor and support to concentrate on London’s history while waking between them because London is known as the collaboration of modernity and tradition, which visitors are highly likely to expect to see. It was probably the best idea to begin my walk on the north side of Tower Bridge which was the closest attractive place to where I live and end at the Trafalgar Square which was also set as a historical place to look at. Coincidentally, there places were able to be connected by one road quite along the river, although I had some turns on the journey to proceed properly. I also chose not to cross the river because as mentioned before going strait forward in merely one way was of the cruciality.
 First I started my walk heading off towards the Temple station from the Tower of London at 10:30 am. The weather did not look alright to conduct a walk for academic research however, there were few changes in the weather so my walk was not disturbed by rain so much. On the way from the starting point to the area where people purchase tickets to take a cruise, a tunnel connecting the narrow path alongside the castle to the main road just in front of it suddenly made an appearance. There were plenty of historical drawings attached on the both side of the wall of the tunnel describing and revealing the reality of what occurred to the people who were related the Tower of London. One of them named ‘Scavenger’s Daughter’ explained that a large amount of the prisoners were cruelly tortured and even a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More was included due to his refusal to accept the King’s claim. They seemed worth being surprised because the provision of negative feelings of those drawings with tourists were apparent. The implication may be that those were aimed at reminding as many people as possible of the harsh history of the Tower of London.


 From the tunnel, I started walking again towards the Temple station following the road which was one road north from the one closest to the Thames. As Gilbert and Henderson (2002) have stated ‘Tower Bridge ‘became an essential sight in tourist itineraries’ the diversity of the people who visited there was easily identifiable even in a Thursday morning, Furthermore, a large number of English school children with yellow jackets led by adults were discovered there, which implies that this place is a crucial place to local people to obtain the initial sense of the history of London. Then I decided to focus in detail on the area by going further closer to the Thames to see its surface. The river was demonstrating a completely brown colour and streaming comparably quickly due probably to the slightly rainy weather. 

 Walking around the boat station, one little red stuff attached to the metal railing attracted my eyes, a life buoy. It appeared clear that once a person, regardless of whether an adult or not, fall to the river from the path, it is quite difficult to climb the high bank to return to the ground without any help especially in a quick stream when raining. I immediately came up with the idea that the river had absorbed a lot of lives. In the sixteenth century, rivers were so dangerous due to the crowded water transport of boats (Hope, 2015). In the Victorian period, the river was often exploited by prostitutes as a place to commit suicide (Fox, 2011). Even modern London has seen an improvement in solving the problem, the BBC news unveils that the Thames took 34 lives, with 21% of them caused by falling and slipping ‘by the side of the river’ in the period between 2011 and 2014 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-28456639). Considering these facts that any accidents could be fatal, the rationality of the installation of life buoys can be historically understood.

 Then I continued to walk heading towards west. However, just soon after leaving Tower Bridge, I was forced to make a stop at a pub called Hung, Drawn and Quatrered. There was the sting likelihood that Samuel Pepy had visited this place to watch the public execution of Major General Harrison. The reason why the name of the pub was attributed to him was fairly predictable; he observed the execution from the pub because the pub was not far from Tower Bridge.

 Having spent more than fourty minutes in the area, I was slightly hurrying about the journey because staying too long in the extremely cold temperature would definitely kill me. Away from Tower Bridge near City of London School, I discovered a building which was the signification of the connection between modernity and tradition. The frames of the half left side of the building was made of bricks while modern substances formed the opposite side. It was absolutely interesting that the old fashioned architecture had been preserved right next to a new generation. 

 Finally reaching the Temple station, I started to explore the Strand area.The political importance of the area was clearly visiblised by national flags up from buildings. Fouthermore, according to Letters 70 (cited in Sipe, 2002), the Strand was more surrounded by nature (trees, fountains). These figures were not identifiable in the current time. The transport was very crowded with cars, buses, taxies and so on. It can be said that the centrality of Strand had given the inspiration for visitors therefore it had developed as the bond between political influences and entertainments. There were lots of food shops ranging from cheap chains to expensive restraurants and also some big hotels there seemed to be the respresentatin of the increase of visitors.

 My walk was finished by reaching Trafalgar Square where numerous people were gathered even at the time (nearly 1:00 pm). I was very much familiar with the place due to countless times of visiting there but I had never endeaver to unveil contexts hidden in the history. One of sculptures demonstrated the protection of marines (perhaps only generals or more) by four lions. 


 Looking at historically important and therefore famous places in the route, the idea that they had been turned into ebtertainments was made certain. The economic influences of visitors and workers from other countries seem to be immerse. It can be said that London should no longer be classified as a city of white Anglo-Saxons.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-28456639 (accessed on 10/11/2016)

http://m.historyextra.com/article/social-history/drowning-tudor-england-why-was-water-so-dangerous (accessed on 10/11/2016)

http://virtualvictorian.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/found-drownedon-suicides-of-prostitutes.html?m=1 (accessed on 10/11/2016)

Gilbert, K. P. (ed) (2002). ‘Imagined Londons’. New York: State University of New York Press.


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