Tuesday 24 June 2008

The Occasional Tourist - Part Two, Buckingham Palace and Green Park

During my lunchbreak today I decided to take a trip to Green Park. This is the nearest bit of greenery to my office (although it is probably a close call with the garden in Berkley Square). Green Park doesn't have the wildfowl of St James's Park, the sports facilities of Regent's Park or even any manicured flowerbeds. It is pretty much trees and sunbathers. The whole effect is pretty impressive though, and leaves you feeling you might be in the countryside!

There are quite a lot of paths through Green Park, many of which converge at a giant lamppost which always makes me expect to see the wicked Queen from the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Unfortunately nobody was walking past when I took the shot below so you don't quite get the scale of it, but it must be over twelve foot high!

Reaching the other side of Green Park (walking from Piccadilly) you reach the splendour of Buckingham Palace and the Mall. As you can see from the photo below the flag is flying over the Palace which means that the Queen is in residence.

This photograph shows Canada Gate which is at the entrance to Green Park; at the entrance of the Mall is South Africa Gate and over the other side is Australia Gate. Clearly a whole Commonwealth theme!

In front of Buckingham Palace (serving almost as a roundabout) is a monument to Queen Victoria. Fairly similar in style (if not size and scope) to the Albert Memorial over in Kensington.

Heading away from Buckingham Palace is the Mall (which if you follow along you will finally reach Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square) here you will find St James's Park to your right and an assortment of Royal Palaces (including St James's Palace and Clarence House) to your left.

Walking back up through Green Park I noticed this lovely circle of trees. You can just see in the distance some of the sunbathers, renting their deckchairs!