As January 2nd dawned I reviewed my plans for the day, which, in addition to adding to my new year step total, featured book shops, The Beatles and Agatha Christie!
My first point of call was Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street – it has some good reviews and a great reputation for travel books. I took the tube to Bond Street, then got to work on my steps by marching the half mile up Marylebone High Street, on what was a very damp morning.
Although I didn’t buy anything at Daunt, I really enjoyed perusing their excellent stock – definitely a place to return to.
My next destination was somewhere that I have wanted to visit for many years, but had never managed to get to – the world’s most famous zebra crossing! This of course is the one featured on the cover of The Beatles album, Abbey Road. Retracing my steps to Bond Street station, I travelled to nearby St. John’s Wood – but by the time I got there, the rain had become close to torrential, so I waited at the the tube station for a while in the hope that it would ease – sadly this didn’t happen.
After watching numourous American and Japanese tourists heading out into the rain, clearly destined for the same place as myself, I decided to brave the elements. It’s about a 5 minute walk to Abbey Road, and I must admit to feeling really excited as I neared this place of legends.
Being alone, I wasn’t able to obtain the obligatory picture of myself posing on the crossing, but it was extremely funny watching others. Of course, Abbey Road is a busy London thoroughfare, and it must be really annoying for the local traffic to have to keep waiting for crazy tourists to pose on the crossing – in the 15 minutes that I watched, there were several ‘near misses’ and quite a few angry horn blasts from impatient motorists!
Having got my laughs from watching the tourists, I ventured myself across those sacred black and white markings, not just to follow in the footsteps of the fab 4, but to get a closer look at the famous Abbey Road recording studios. Unfortunately, the studios are not open to the public, so I had to satisfy myself with a picture from the street, but there is a shop located next door, which I was happy to visit.
In addition to the predictable Beatles albums and memorabilia, items from other artists who have graced Abbey Road are also available, although of course it is The Beatles that are the headline act!
After having my fill of The Beatles, I headed back to St. Johns Wood to catch the tube to the West End; more specifically, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours wandering around, before the highlights of the day, two doses of Agatha Christie.
There are of course many watering holes in and around the West End, these were 2 that caught my eye!
After a lengthy walk around the area, it was time for my double dose of Agatha Christie! For the evening, I had booked a ticket to the worlds longest running play, The Mousetrap, but to get me into the mood I took advantage of being in Leicester Square, and went to the cinema, to watch another Agatha classic, the remake of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’.
I thoroughly enjoyed both experiences, although four hours of whodunit’s was a bit exhausting, and I was terrible at guessing the culprits, but it was great fun nonetheless. Of course, at the end of The Mousetrap, the audience are asked to keep the secret of whodunit, so my lips are sealed!
Amazing that The Mousetrap has been running for 66 years. My performance was number 27,167!
So as day 2 of my stay in London came to a close, checking my iPhone revealed that i had walked another 17,310 steps, which was excellent news!
For the final part of my London adventure, I had a couple of hours to kill on the morning of January 3rd, for which I wanted to check out another location that features on a well known album cover, and one that is a particular favourite of mine. I travelled to Tottenham Court Road, and walked towards Berwick Street – as seen on ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ by Oasis:
Two famous album covers in two days! The area around Berwick Street is also very interesting, and despite being very close to the famous Oxford Street, it was a part of London that I hadn’t seen before.
As my allotted time came to a close, I had to end my London visit; I got back to my hotel, and checked my steps for the morning – another 9,109. So the total for the visit came to 45,970; a great way to step into 2018!
Happy New Year!