Number One, London

Would you believe we’re in the middle of central London?img_8575And it feels like it is just me and the squirrels.img_8571 We stopped to look at the iconic stone Bomber Command Memorial honouring the 55,573 aircrew who died during World War II.
img_8576Next to the memorial is a very, very busy roundabout. Cars, buses, taxis, motorbikes all seem to converge here and drive around it, merging and exiting and merging again. All these years that we have lived in London, whenever we are driving past, we keep our eyes on the road rather than look at the Wellington Arch on the traffic island. We have never ever set foot on it because Mummy never figured out how to get to it past the traffic whizzing by! It was only when a visiting friend asked us as we drove past what was the name of the arch that it peaked Mummy’s interest. img_8578So this time, Mummy said we should brave the lanes of traffic and cross over to the isolated island.img_8588Phew! And we made it!  So this is the Wellington Arch, conceived as an outer gateway to Constitution Hill and built between 1826 and 1830. Both this Wellington Arch and the Marble Arch were planned in 1825 by George IV to commemorate Britain’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars.

It was a grand entrance and the beginning of London, thus the nickname for Apsley House, the lone grand building standing on the south-east corner of Hyde Park is Number One, London.img_8579Reason being – it was the first house passed by visitors who travelled from the countryside after the toll gates.

The eighteenth-century Apsley House was once the London residence of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.   Today it is a museum and art gallery.

And definitely not clearly visible to people driving by this traffic island is the New Zealand War Memorial – dedicated to the New Zealand people and culture, img_8583commemorates the long relationship between New Zealand and The United Kingdom.

May’s comment: As we said in this blog, I have always been curious what goes on in the traffic island – a very busy convergence of traffic coming in from all directions. I never thought how one could cross all those traffic lanes to get to it. And glad we did. Finally had a look at Wellington Arch and then to discover that there were people who were just hanging out during lunch time on the greens – in the middle of traffic!  There’s still so much to discover about London.

3 Comments

  1. Cheryl

    Your last sentence is exactly why we keep coming back to London. People ask us why we always go to London and we answer because it is impossible to see it all!
    I’ve just added the Wellington Arch to our must see list when we’re in London next June.

  2. Rita and Gracie (springador)

    We lived in London from childhood and then moved down to Folkestone and have discovered more about our favourite city by going back as “tourists” than all the 24yrs that we lived there….we’re going up again next month for my birthday…would love to bump into you…we’re planning to go to Tom Martin’s pop up shop in Chelsea to get a Christmas bauble.🤗

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