It isn’t perhaps surprising that in a city as rich in history as London, there’s a wealth of public monuments, statues and memorials: in fact London probably has more statues than any other city in the world. Its streets, squares, parks and gardens are crammed with monuments to kings and queens, military heroes, politicians and local worthies, artists and writers, and notables from every walk of life, not to mention a few more controversial characters such as Oliver Cromwell and Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris.
Many monuments celebrate great military victories such as Trafalgar or Waterloo, but there are also those that recall acts of courage by ordinary folk – like the plaques in Postman’s Park – and a few which remember deeds perhaps best forgotten. Many subjects remain famous today – such as Prince Albert, who has the most impressive memorial in London – while others have faded from memory, but all have contributed to this great city and nation in some way and most are deserving of their place in history. As well as statues and monuments, we have also included magnificent fountains, wall reliefs and murals; the latter brighten up the walls of Fitzrovia and Soho.
London is also blessed with an abundance of abstract and contemporary works of art, which fire the imagination and add a touch of colour and surreal magic to its grey cityscape. Nowhere is this more so than in the City (the financial district, aka the Square Mile) – which has a long tradition of commissioning public works of art – where sculpture is an integral part of many new developments. The City is home to an annual ‘Sculpture in the City’ exhibition (www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk), when its streets are adorned with striking works from internationally renowned artists, while Regent’s Park is the venue for the superb Frieze Sculpture Exhibition from July to October.
The walks in this book are between 2 and 6½ miles (3¼ to 10½ km) in length, averaging around 3½ miles (5½ km). However, it’s best to allow half a day for the shorter walks and as much as a full day for the longer walks – particularly if you plan to partake of the many excellent pubs, restaurants and cafés along the routes (for your author, a good lunch is a prerequisite of a good walk!) – not to mention the many other diversions such as museums, galleries and churches.
Researching and writing London’s Monumental Walks has been a fascinating and enjoyable journey. We hope you find them as entertaining and rewarding as we did; all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, a sense of adventure – and this book.
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|£9.99 Survival Books
|20th Oct 2018
|Number of Pages:
|190mm x 110mm