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London Walks (Marylebone)

My beautiful and talented friend Katherine Morling gave me a book of London walks for my birthday at the beginning of the year (and yes thanks it was a lovely day – best ever I think – though that may say more about my memory than my birthdays). So I set out book in hand to explore Marylebone, having no knowledge of it as an area at all but a vague notion that it was nice.

Marylebone High St at dusk

I walked up from Oxford Street and then realised that I was starting in the middle of the walk so I could do the first half or the second half as I was nowhere near the start or the finish! Marylebone High Street looked so enticing that I couldn’t resist walking its length while glancing occasionally at the book to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Dating from the 17th century, Marylebone (or Mary Le Bourne – the bourne from the river Tybourne later to become Tyburn) was one of the closest villages to London, and there is still something of a village feel to it – albeit of a very upmarket variety. In the 18th century it was home to both rich and poor (as so many areas in London are) with it’s beautiful mansion flats sitting cheek by jowl with the local workhouse (a good book to read about the horrors of the work house or just being very poor at the turn of the 20th century is “People of the Abyss” by Jack London).

Just off the high street are some very enticing deli’s, cheese shops etc but I particularly liked the Swedish shop - selling of course all things Swedish – and staffed by the kind of 6’ Swedish beauty that my uncle tells me are tediously commonplace in Stockholm. I also liked the box of butterflies in the Cube Gallery made from the kind of lovely papers usually reserved for bookbinding (see pic).

Totally Swedish Shop Marylebone

Paper bugs and butterflies

I did manage to do part of the walk to the west of the high street as there was mention of decorative man hole covers and I am a sucker for a nice manhole cover, nice bit of wrought ironwork etc (as anyone familiar with my first cufflink range “London Wired” would know).

Brothers manhole cover

So an incomplete but very enjoyable exploration of Marylebone – plus I found “Clay Street” and as a potter couldn’t resist snapping that!

Clay St Marylebone London

I then retired to Pret a Manger (always my cafe of choice) to write this blog while I was still feeling thrilled by my walk. I refused to be put off by a small thing like a lack of paper and wrote it on the inside of some wrapping paper (I had received another book that day also as a birthday present).

One walk down fifteen to go . . .

Facts of interest plaque

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