After leaving the Horse Guards Parade,
I made my way to the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace. The Mall is a road running from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch and onto the Trafalgar Square. I couldn’t help myself; I had to kick the fallen leaves like a little kid.
As I approached Buckingham Palace, the first thing that came into sight was the Queen Victoria Memorial.
This white marble monument stands right outside Buckingham Palace is commonly called ‘The Wedding Cake’. It was built in 1911 to honor Queen Victoria who died 10 years earlier. As well as the 13 feet high statue of Victoria there are figures representing Charity, Courage, Truth and Justice. The gold figure at the top of the monument represents Victory.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. When the Queen is in residence, there will be four armed guards at the Palace; two armed guards when she is not in residence. The day I was there, only two guards were stationed in front of the Palace.
Next I continued walking through the beautiful Green Park to Oxford and Regent Streets to view the famous shopping district.
I walked past Piccadilly Circus and its fountain with the statue of Eros on top and saw Carnaby Street. Since it was Christmas shopping season, it was very crowded but still quite nice.
Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London. It is Europe’s busiest shopping street. Oxford Street is home to a number of major department stores and numerous flagship stores, as well as hundreds of smaller shops. It is the biggest shopping street within Inner London, though not the most expensive or fashionable, and forms part of a larger shopping district with Regent Street, Bond Street and a number of other smaller nearby streets.
Regent Street is one of the major shopping streets in London’s West End, well-known to tourists and Londoners alike, and famous for its Christmas illuminations.
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London’s West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning “circle”, is a round open space at a street junction. Piccadilly now links directly to the theater district. Its status as a major traffic intersection has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right.
When I had experienced enough of the crowds, I rode the tubes to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Across the street from St. Paul’s, I stopped in an Italian Restaurant for very late lunch. After I ate, I decided it was too late to visit another Cathedral and again rode the tubes back to where I thought I had begun my day.
I walked across a different bridge over the Thames than I walked in the morning passing another Christmas Market. It was getting late and I was tired, so I called it a day.
Next post – Stonehenge and Salisbury