Going from one island to the next, from Mykonos to London was something I longed for a little while. No matter how wonderful the crystal clear waters of Mykonos, London’s grey skies and unending green horizons have a special place in my heart. I know, it’s absurd but I cannot resist the charm of the light grey clouds that hung lazily overhead, even if this comes with a spot of drizzle. And there is nothing better than a walk to take it all in. So this post is not about food, but walks in London and beyond.
There are many things London means to me: from the quiet Clifton nurseries in Maida Vale with the filling soups and refreshing juices to the homely weekday brunches at the end of the DLR; lazy north London strolls through Camden town, Finsbury Park and Angel and impromptu meals at various pubs along the way; the asphyxiating shopping districts, from good old Oxford street to dazzling Westfield shopping centre [I don’t miss this part much]. I did enjoy the smells and colours of wonderful Borough market. It’s seems like a pilgrimage going back there. Go for the hog roast with apple sauce 😉
From chilled museums, from V&A to Tate Modern and the markets and restaurants to the east, at Liverpool street, all the way to Kilburn and the wonderful Mrs Marmite Lover, warm, cheerful and with a great pot of food in the making. I enjoyed a wonderful cauliflower curry and homemade peshwari naan. There are glimpses of memories of good old times, packed with a lot of excitement and good long chats.
I imagined that I would be welcomed by fallen leaves and a light chill in the air. Whilst there were quite a few yellow and orange shades around, I got a spell of really good weather. No better way to enjoy it than a long walk. As a matter of fact, I indulged myself with two walks: one right at the heart of London, from the north Highgate village all the way to Hampstead Heath. The other walk was down south, a few minutes outside London at the riverside path of river Wey.
Highgate Village to Hampstead Heath, for great views of London
This walk has been a favourite for many years. I wouldn’t always manage to complete it, but when time allowed I would go all the way from Highgate village, through the East part of Highgate cemetery, then turn through the houses and enter the Heath from the side of the ponds.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this, it depends what takes your fancy. There are great cafes and pubs to have a stop at either start or finish and you are only a stone’s throw away from central London.
Most important is that you can allow yourself sometime and chill from the frantic pace of London.
Farncombe to Guildford, along the bank of River Wey
For the other walk, I ventured a little further, at the outskirts of London, I strolled along the banks of river Wey, Surrey.
I took the path on from the little village of Farncombe, from the lock to the town of Guildford. A good two hours walk at a very easy pace. There is nothing I could recommend more as a true British experience and also the most relaxing. Regardless how close you actually are to the village of Farncombe and Guildford town, nature does its trick and you are surrounded by lush greenery, walking with the wild berry bushes to the one side and the river the other. Spotting boats as you go along and you arrive in Guildford at no time.
What to do in Guildford? Certainly have a spot of lunch at one of the many local pubs. If you are into something Greek, there is a Greek souvlaki place going really strong. You can find them here.
A quick farewell to London and Guildford. Autumn weather truly makes for the best of breaks. I will continue my little adventure in mainland Europe. You can follow my steps on Instagram, here.
From London with love,