Wondering what to do this year to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. Vin and me decided that it would be good to spend the day in London. I love our vibrant capital city and have always been interested in its green spaces and canal routes.
We decided this year to walk from Little Venice to Camden Market but chose to park at Tower Hill car park as we were driving in from Southend on Sea – our home town. (If you arrive on saturdays after 1:30 you can park for the rest of the day for only £3 and on a sunday it is £3 for the full day.)
We jumped on the Tower Hill tube line and made our way to Warwick Avenue – where the start of the walk was an easy 5 minutes away. Little Venice is the place where the Regents Canal meets the Grand Union Canal and historically made up an important part of our trade route. It connected the Midlands to the River Thames.
The start of the walk we weren’t enamored with, as we thought we would be canal side but you have to walk up Maida Avenue along the side of the road and once finding your way down to the water side – as you move closer to Regents Park and Camden, you come across some beautiful buildings on the opposite side of the canal, which are well worth a look. There were paddle boarders, kayakers and the ferry providing a slow canal ride between Little Venice, Regents Zoo and Camden Market.
As we walked into Camden, I waited to be hit by its vibe but unfortunately I found this sorely lacking. I was hoping to be wowed and although I enjoyed the artistic flair in some of the shop fronts. It was a little indian shop, where I chose to buy a pack of nag champa joss sticks, which transported me to Little India in Singapore and embraced me with the charm of its friendly shop girl.
I had also been looking forward to the street food stalls available but again there was nothing there which had me licking my lips and wanting to eat. Having owned a street food business myself and spent over 20 years learning to cook for a family, I’m a bit funny what I spend my money on, when it comes to food and nothing here grabbed me!
I recognise that I had certain expectations of my walk and Camden Market. So many times I read things which tell you not to have expectations then you’ll never be disappointed. I believe that as long as your expectations are realistic, then developing emotional resilience is a really healthy response as you deal with life and its ups and downs. So I was disappointed but that is ok. Vin and me wandered for a little bit – browsing the stores and stalls but decided very quickly to make our way back to Regents Park and this I really enjoyed, as we curled up by the side of the boating lake, watching a Tai Chi class taking place and listening to the sounds of the pedalos as people, peddled powered their way up the water course. After an ice cream and the sighting of a fishing bird, we hopped on to the nearest tube and our way back to the Tower of London.
If parking next to the Tower of London, in full view of the river and Tower Bridge, isn’t enough to entice you. Then sitting outside Paul’s cafe, people watching, is a really nice way to unwind at the end of a day trip before getting back in the car to drive home.
The day may not have turned out the way I would have wanted it to but what it did do, was tell me a little more about what matters to me. I loved the green space of the park and people watching. Just laying on the grass side by side with my husband – spending time together just doing our thing in the outdoors, always makes a day lovely and our anniversary special.
What ways do you celebrate those important days and where do you like to visit when in London?