Visit Boa Vista – Cape Verde. Sea turtles, dust and no stress

Cape Verde is growing in popularity as a holiday destination and it’s easy to see why … It’s an alternative to the typical Mediterranean holiday that us Brits frequently visit, with an almost Caribbean feel and all year round warm weather it’s no wonder more people are choosing Boa Vista as their next holiday destination

Boa Vista, Cape verde, Sal Rei
Sal Rei – Boa Vista, Cape Verde

So what’s it like?

A family holiday was booked with Thomson to Boa Vista and we stayed at the Riu Karamboa hotel, one of very few hotels on the island. The hotel is just a 10 minute transfer from the airport, which is pretty handy in my eyes. (You can see the hotel from the airport so why some people paid for private transfers. I don’t know.)

The hotel looks like a giant sandcastle and is a vast hotel catering for around 1700 guests. Luckily, because the hotel is so big, you never felt that it was too busy. The hotel is all-inclusive and as such, you never have to worry about food or drink during your stay. The hotel has 2 main buffet restaurants and 3 themed restaurants that have to be booked at reception a few days ahead.

Riu Karamboa, Boa Vista, Cape verde
Riu Karamboa – Boa Vista: Cape verde

All the food during our visit was great. Of course there were a lot of European choices and burgers & pizzas on offer, but there was also a good variety of seafood and meat based dishes with an African flavour. *Just to note, the wine is on tap in the dining rooms and isn’t great, but the beer and branded soft drinks were fine.

Facilities on site are pretty good too, with the obvious pool (with swim up bar) several shops & health spa. The evening entertainment is a mixed bag starting with the kids disco/dancing early in the evening followed by themed cabaret night afterwards.  The main bar/entertainment area is huge, but you can always find a spot to sit: either in the stage area, outdoor patio or find a quieter area near the main reception desk. Most nights there are local cocktails on offer which are always worth a go!

Boas Vista, Cape Verde
Workers outside Sal Rei fishmarket – Boa Vista: Cape Verde

Things to do

We don’t go on holiday to just sit in the sun by the pool. I’m of the view that if you visit a different country, then it’s rather nice to explore and absorb the culture so if all you want is sun, sea and sand then visit Spain and forgo the 6 hour flight!

The main attraction of Boa Vista is the beaches. There are miles and miles of untouched beaches on the island, of which many are remote, but the effort to visit them is worth it. We chose a Jeep Safari excursion for our first day on the Island which pretty much gives you an overview of Boa Vista. The Island is very bleak and rocky and resembles the surface of Mars so don’t expect the roads to be like home. Generally there are very few paved/cobbled roads so drivers tend to make it up as they go along. The Boa Vistans drive on the right, unless it’s a bad road, then they drive whichever side of the road is convenient. However, it works when you see the state of the roads!

Boa Vista, Cape Verde - Landscape
Boa Vista, Cape Verde – Landscape

All vehicles on the Island are 4x4s and you’ll soon see why when you visit other parts of the Island. A normal UK car wouldn’t last a week on the roads in Boa Vista.

The Island has many small villages and as you would expect, it’s still pretty much a 3rd world country, but with tourism to the Island only recent, the Island is still coming to terms with visitors so expect to be approached by locals selling locally made carvings and paintings whenever you stop for a drink. The phrase you will get used to is ‘No Stress’ when you meet the locals, but overall it’s all fine when tagging along to a little shack selling sand paintings or pottery turtles.

Sal Rei: Boa Vista
Sal Rei: Boa Vista

Talking of turtles, the Island is very proud of its Loggerhead Sea Turtles and its conservation programme as Cape Verde is one of the largest sea turtle nesting grounds in the world. We took a late night tour with a sea turtle conservation group to a remote beach to see the turtles nesting. This was certainly one of the most memorable visits on the island and I would highly recommend it. The drive from the hotel is around an hour in the back of a 4×4 pick-up truck (which is an event in itself) to the nesting grounds.  Our night was totally clear and you can see every star and the milky way in the sky clearer than I’d ever seen before. The conservation group gives a talk about how they are monitoring the sea turtles and then you are lead down on to the beach. This is all done with no lights or torches whatsoever! It’s an amazing event walking along next to the sea in complete darkness to find a sea turtle laying its eggs. I’d expected to see the turtles from a distance, but not to actually crouch down in the sand next to it and actually hold one of the freshly laid eggs in my hand (imagine a slimy ping-pong ball) whilst the group, measured and micro-chipped the turtle.

As a once in a lifetime event, if you ever get the chance to visit the turtle beaches, then it’s a must. We saw around half a dozen female sea turtles come on to the beach to lay eggs, which was wonderful. Whilst walking back along the beach (In single file in complete darkness) the lead guide quickly switched on a small head torch and we saw the beach filled with thousands of white crabs which quickly scuttled out of our way. Another amazing site.

Boa Vista, Desert, Cape verde
Deserto Viana – Cape Verde: Boa Vista

Instead of taking the excursion into the main port of Sal Rei we decided that we would take the water taxi off the beach from the hotel. (cheaper than the hotel excursion) The waves breaking on the beach are rather large so launching a craft from the beach is fun! Once aboard it’s a pleasant 15 minute journey to Sal Rei. You may want to watch out when the boat pilot says hang on when beaching the boat as it’s quite a bump when you land.  The port is the largest town on the island with the local fish market and harbour. The Portuguese influence is still evident with some of the buildings here and there are several bars and souvenir shops dotted around. The locals once again offering ‘no stress’ when trying to sell their little wooden carvings and traditional paintings.

Stray dogs in Boa Vista
Dogs are everywhere in Boa Vista

Everywhere on the island you will encounter stray dogs which are all just as laid-back as the people. The dogs tend to lie down wherever they want so you’ll often nearly trip over them as you walk around the towns. Whilst out on the island or in the deserts, you’ll come across wild goats and donkeys which happily walk along beside the roads.

quad biking, cape verde, boa vista
Quad Biking on Boa Vista: Cape Verde

Many people decide to take guided trips on quad bikes or dune buggies around the island and we did both on separate days. Be prepared to get very dirty and dusty when you go on these trips, but they are loads of fun. There are parts of the island that have extensive sand dunes which look much like the Sahara and are brilliant when being led over them on quad bikes and dune buggies.  We visited the 18km beach of Santa Monica with its vast crashing waves and the beach of Santa Maria with a wrecked ship that is still there from 1968. The sea is quite rough near most of the beaches and swimming is only advised on calm days. One afternoon we also took the Catamaran from Sal Rei out for a few hours around the island. This allowed us go swimming direct from the boat out on to a reef, with little sharks! We spent a pleasant return journey the port being entertained by the crew with Cape Verdean music and dancing.

Santa Maria Beach, Boa Vista
Santa Maria Beach, Boa Vista

In a nutshell

Most of the island can be visited with a few days and it’s well worth seeing the barren landscapes, sand dunes and untouched beaches rather than just lie by the pool. We had quite a bit of overcast weather whilst we were there, but this was a good thing because when the sun comes out.. It’s really hot, even though there is generally always a breeze off the sea.

The island looks as though there will be major overseas investment in the next decade and I’m worried that much of the landscape and character of the island will be lost as more hotel companies invest here.  The turtle conservation groups are worried what the future may bring and I can see why. My advice would be to come to ‘no stress’ Boa Vista before mass tourism destroys the beautiful wilderness that still exists here.

Me quad biking in Cape Verde
Me quad biking in Cape Verde
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A Cold Wet Day in March on the Shropshire Union Canal

As the whole family were together for a Sunday, we thought that the 6 of us would hire a small narrow boat / day boat and take to the waterways as the weather had been seasonally warm and quite pleasant.

We had seen the weather the day before we went and had not been too impressed, but after all, how bad could it be ?

Our Boat for the Day
Our Boat for the Day

We hired a traditional 32ft narrow boat from Norbury Wharf Staffordshire.

After the obligatory Bacon rolls in the canalside cafe we had a quick demonstration of the basic controls and we were on our way for the rest of the day.

The Shropshire Union Canal: Staffordshire
The Shropshire Union Canal: Staffordshire

The weather was dreadful! We had to take it in turns to pilot the boat as it was raining & sleeting and we were getting cold rather quickly at the helm. We had a 14 mile round trip to make in 7 hours, turning the boat around at the pretty village of Wheaton Aston.

Me at the Helm of the boat : in the rain

I did a little research and found out that the canal (Built as part of the Liverpool to London canal system) had been in use since the 1830’s and was one of the last major civil engineering feats of the great Thomas Telford.

Amazingly at one point there is a raised embankment at Shelmore where you can look down over the fields & woodland. This little section took over 5 years to build and was constantly slipping and collapsing during construction.   It just shows how our historical engineers built things to last!

The Shropshire Union Canal

After a soggy 3 hours of cruising down the canal, past many annoyed fishermen we arrived at our turning around point and moored up for lunch. We would have gone to the nearby pub to warm up but feared that we may run out of time for the return journey so we sat on the boat with our sandwiches, lit the stove for some warmth and got some well needed coffee on the go.

We set off back to Norbury junction at 1pm as we had to have the boat back to the yard by 4.30 pm. Luckily the rain had stopped and had been replaced by some sunshine, however it had now become breezy & bitterly cold. Even though it was cold it was lovely to be outside, out in the countryside with just the sound of the diesel engine chugging along.

I would recommend getting out on the water to anyone that hasn’t done it before. I have been on many canals in the past and love the freedom, love seeing the wildlife & enjoy the scenery and the canal engineering feats of a bygone age. I had a brilliant, but chilly & damp day out on the water 🙂

Sunshine on the return journey on the Shropshire Union Canal
Sunshine on the return journey on the Shropshire Union Canal

A Walk in St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery

The St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery is located in East Finchley, North London and is one of the largest cemeteries in the UK.

St Pancras Cemetery has a traditional style with a mixture of old and new graves covering some 190 acres. It was established in 1854, the burial chapel was built in 1854 but at the moment closed for refurbishment. All burial services are held in the Islington burial chapel.

St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery Chapel

This was the first publicly owned cemetery in London to be established after the 1852 Metropolitan Interment Act when the St Pancras Burial Board bought over 35 hectares of Horse Shoe Farm on Finchley Common.

The Cemetery is now on The English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens

The cemetery has a war graves plot containing over 100 graves from both world wars, together with a number of headstones retrieved from graves that were scattered elsewhere in the cemetery and could not be maintained. A memorial bears the names of 27 casualties whose graves could not be marked individually, and of six First World War casualties buried in adjacent Islington Cemetery who could not be commemorated there.

Graves in St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery

As it was such a lovely day I thought I would have a walk around the cemetery as it just a 10 minute drive from my house. It really is a beautiful and peaceful place.   Now… I’m not a religious person at all, neither do I have a morbid fascination with cemeteries. I just love the peace and quiet that you get in places such as this. The cemetery is located right next to the North Circular in places but you would never believe it!

St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery in the February sun

It really is a vast and sprawling place. Much of the cemetery is overgrown and neglected and to be honest virtually impassable in places but that simply adds to the charm and attraction of the place.

It was the first proper warm day of the year, the birds were singing, squirrels were running around and the cliche crows were crowing in the ancient trees. I walked around for about an hour and never came across another person. It’s a lovely place to get away from the noise and madness of North London.

There are thousands of gravestones & memorials in this cemetery including some huge mausoleums in places dating back from the 1850s

It certainly was a nice stroll to be had this morning in the warm February sunshine. I had been told that the place had become a little bit of a wildlife reserve and is home to many species of birds & has resident foxes. I have seen foxes in Highgate Cemetery a few times but alas I never spotted them here. I did however make a friends of an inquisitive cat that followed me around for sometime, wondering what I was up to..

My walking partner in St. Pancras & Islington Cemetery

If ever you are in North Finchley, London and fancy somewhere different to visit, you can certainly spend a few hours in this fascinating place.

St. Pancras & Islington Cemetery : more information

A Damp February Day in Cambridge

After spending quite a few days indoors due to the cold weather we decided to have a little outing to Cambridge.

I hadn’t been to Cambridge for some years & thought It might be a good day to get some fresh air and go and have a walk around.

Places to visit in cambridge
Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

I decided it might be a good idea to go the ‘scenic’ route to Cambridge via the A1 from London. All I can say is that going via Stevenage cross country into Cambridgeshire is possible the dullest scenic journey at this time of year. It didn’t help that it was slightly misty, damp with remnants of snow laying on the ground in the fields. It really is a depressing landscape of beige & grey. It reminded me of Denmark; which has the honour of being the greyest place on earth. I wonder if residents of rural Cambridgshire have the same suicide rate at this time of year as Denmark?

Please Note: I may not have researched the ‘suicide’ statistics of Denmark vs ‘seasonal’ suicide rates of Cambridgeshire.

cycling in cambridge, bicycles in cambridge
Bikes in Cambridge City Centre

Bikes……

yes… Bikes…

Cambridge is full of bikes.  Students on Bikes,  Professors on Bikes,  Lunatics on Bikes,  Mothers on Bikes & no doubt bike salesmen on bikes.

Every set of railings has a bike locked to them or actually hung on the railings. To be honest generally the bikes are left leaning against walls of buildings awaiting the passing pedestrian with coffee or iPhone in hand to trip over them. I realise that Cambridge is a very pushbike friendly City & residents and students are encouraged to use a bike but at the expensive of being a city centre game of dodge the lunatic.   At least I saw a weird bearded student sort fall off his bike on the cobbles whilst trying to dodge shoppers in the ‘pedestrian’ area. Result of the day 🙂

colleges in cambridge, visit cambridge
Kings College Cambridge

But, the beauty of Cambridge is its Scholarly heritage of learning. It is a beautiful city, even on a damp February day. There are some lovely old buildings to see, alleyways to explore & the ancient university grounds to view.

We had limited time in the city but had a look around Gonville & Caius College grounds.  It’s lovely to see the well worn flagstone paving & worn stone steps. The hand painted professors nameplates on hidden ancient wooden doors & the worn brass handles and railings around the imposing grounds. There really is some amazing educational & scholarly history embedded in the fibre of these fine ancient buildings.

Due to other commitments we didn’t have much time to explore further. That I will be doing in summer when it’s far warmer!

Snowdonia National Park: This is why I love the ‘great outdoors’

Snowdonia National Park is the most visited national park in Wales.  It really is easy to see why!

snowdonia national park, view of snowdonia
A view of Snowdonia National Park: Mount Snowdon in the Distance

As a short camping break last summer we decided to go to Wales & Snowdonia National Park. Yes I know that it would rain, I know it would be miserable & windy & cold. But, guess what? It wasn’t. We were really lucky that it was the hottest few days that we had last summer when we visited.

As most of you will have probably been to Wales on holiday maybe you’ve never been to Snowdonia. If you haven’t then please try at some point to get to the national park. The place is absolutely stunning. It’s one of the few places outside of Scotland that has spectacular mountains to explore.

We camped near to the coast so that if it was ‘hot’ we could get down to the beach and enjoy some ice cream. As it turned out we were drawn into the hills and valleys to walk & take in the grandeur that is this beautiful place.

snowdonia national park, villages in snowdonia
Beddgelert Village: Snowdonia National Park

We camped near Criccieth which is on the coast, whilst still being in the national park. I must admit we did venture into town to grab an ice cream and have a ‘paddle’ in the sea. It’s certainly worth a visit if you are in the area & has a traditional feel.  This was also a handy place to stock up on supplies, namely wine.

Criccieth: Snowdonia national park, North Wales

Obviously our aim as ‘hikers’ was to go up Snowdon. It had been really hot weather and we picked a day when it would be a little cooler. Walking up Snowdon isn’t exactly a stroll in the park. The route we chose to go up the mountain is called the ‘Pyg Track’

This is one of the shortest routes up the mountain but isn’t the easiest as it is very steep & rocky. One of the hardest and most dangerous routes is across a ridge called Crib Goch. We will be using this route next year.

If you are terrified of heights then this is the scary route.  Watch this video clip and you will see why!

We got to a car park early in the morning because in summer the mountain can become quite busy with day trippers traversing some of the lower routes and easier tracks.  In fact, most people that go up Snowdon use the railway that goes all the way to the top. I call that cheating!

If you are reasonably fit then I would recommend going up Snowdon. As a sense of achievement it’s an amazing walk. Just make sure you have a very good pair of hiking boots with plenty of grip, drinking water & don’t forget your waterproofs because the weather can change very quickly on Snowdon.

It took us just short of 3 hours to reach the top where we gleefully sat in the cafe at the top sneering at everyone that had come up on the train. Alas. The mist had come in quite badly on this day that we went up. But it was an exhilarating day.

Walking up Snowdon & reaching the summit

As a final note. If you think it’s hard walking up. It takes just as long coming down and is really hard on the old knee joints.

See below for a winters tale on Snowdon

Snowdon in the snow – a sociable, introspective hike.

Bye Bye Tattoo: Hello Sydney & a little unexpected holiday

Whilst I was with the Band of the Grenadier Guards Band, one of the highlights of the job was performing at events all over the world.

grenadier guards band, corps of army music
The Grenadier Guards Band at Perth Tattoo 2007

We had been planning to tour Australia with a serious of tattoos and shows starting in Perth, then Sydney finishing off in Brisbane.  The shows involved us, The Rifles Band, the Tongan Army band, but strangely enough, no contingent from the Australian services, as we were to find out why later.

During the shows rehearsals in Perth we had quite a bit of free time, which was lovely for me as I had relatives that lived in Perth. I had been given a few phone numbers before I went out there and met up with family and had a lovely day out, being shown all around the city & beautiful coastline.

perth australia, views of perth
Early morning Perth skyline taken from the harbour

After a fantastic week in Perth the show went ahead and for all intents and purposes it was a success. It featured at the time 2 ‘stars’ that had won an Australian version of X Factor so the show had pretty much sold out on the back of the ‘fame’ factor as well as a military show.

Perth is a beautiful city, I suppose the obvious choices to visit in Australia would be Sydney but from my experience Perth is so much more homely & very much more laid back. I’d quite happily go and live there given the chance. The seafood is amazing!

We packed down, checked out of our hotels and made our way to the airport where we were to fly on to Sydney. This was the first time we became aware that something was a little odd! As we were all flying together (or should have been) generally we travelled as a unit to avoid losing anyone, but this time for some reason we were placed on different flights with different airlines at different times.

The best bit though…. We were booked on the flights alphabetically, I was the first (from ‘S’ onwards) to get ‘the posh’ flight. Everyone from A to S were put on the later flight with ‘air good luck‘ or whatever the Australian budget airline was whilst us lucky few from S onwards had the Quantas 747 flight with all the meals, drinks & as many peanuts as you could eat. You should have seen the faces of the ‘budget’ airline travellers in the band when they arrived in Sydney! I enjoyed my wine on my flight. They weren’t too keen on their cattle truck transport!

Darling Harbour: Sydney Australia

We arrived late in the evening to our hotel in Sydney and did the ‘usual’ musicians trick of finding the ‘all night’ bar to settle in. I think they were just waiting to close for the night but on being invaded by 20 or so thirsty English musicians who had just been given their expenses for the week they decided that it might be a good idea to stay open till the early hours.

Fruit Bats (or Flying Foxes) in Sydneys Botanical Gardens

Rehearsals were due to start in a few days at a large arena in Sydney so luckily we had a few days to do some sight seeing. Obviously being in the fantastic city of Sydney I did the Harbour Bridge walk, visited the opera house, went to the beach, visited the Botanical Gardens with it’s resident giant fruit bats (actually known as flying foxes), had a barbeque and explored the zoo. Basically all the typical ‘tourist abroad’ visits.

Walking around to Sydney Opera House

We all arrived a few days later at a huge arena on the outskirts of Sydney and awaited the arrival of our gear for the rehearsals of the shows.

and we waited

and waited some more

Phone calls were made to try and find out where all our gear was?   Our gear, our instruments & uniforms were still in Perth!

All the shows gear & equipment had been impounded in Perth by the shows investors & sponsors because they hadn’t been paid! Producers of the tattoo said they had to cancel the shows because they were unable to pay their bills, leaving up to 500 cast and crew without a job.

After a whole day wasted at the stadium we returned to our hotel to find out we had all been locked out of our rooms as the producers didn’t have the money to pay the hotels bills. Now, this created a little bit of an ‘international incident’  The British Embassy in Canberra were called and quickly became involved and tried to find out what had happened! Funnily enough, once the hotel had a visit from the embassy the rooms were unlocked!

It turned out that the Organiser Kerry Jewel had failed to pay the supply & production companies. This left us all without a job to do. This also left us with flights that didn’t return to the UK!

Getting bored with visiting zoos & seeing kangaroos

Negotiations between the Australian government, the British Embassy & the military were soon on the cards. We had to meet at breakfast every morning to find out when and if we were going home. Who was going to pay?

So every morning we had the news that ‘we are waiting’ to be then told ‘come back tomorrow’. By this time there had been an agreement that at least the hotel was been paid for by the British Embassy & Australian Government. The standard of food at breakfast and evening meal improved somewhat!

This gave us all chance for some more sight seeing. We now had to pay for our ‘holiday’ with our own money instead of ‘day to day expenses’ as we were not involved in the event which had obviously been completely cancelled.

The highlight for me was that a group of 6 of us hired a car and drove into the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales just 2 hours inland from Sydney. This was such an amazing trip out. We chose our own route & visited lots of little villages, drove through the woods, over the mountains. It was an amazing day out and something I shall remember for the rest of my life.

the blue mountains, new south wales, visit the blue mountains
The Blue Mountains: New South Wales, Australia

We spent a week in Sydney without work to do. I couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I’d rather be stuck though. Obviously flights were eventually sorted out and I got home but the band was not going to Australia for a while after this fiasco!

Smithfield to the Thames via Fleet Street

Smithfield is in the City of London, and is known for its centuries-old meat market, and today the last surviving historical market in Central London. Smithfield has a bloody history of executions including major historical figures such as Scottish patriot William Wallace, and the leader of the Peasants Revolt Wat Tyler

Smithfield Market
Smithfield Market

Today, the Smithfield area is dominated by the imposing,  covered market designed by Victorian architect Sir Horace Jones in the second half of the 19th century. Some of the original market buildings were abandoned for decades and faced a threat of demolition, but they were saved as the result of  development plans aimed at preserving the historical identity of this area.

Directly opposite Smithfield Market is St Bartholomew’s Hospital

The King Henry VIII Gate at Barts, walks in london
The King Henry VIII Gate at Barts

It is the oldest surviving hospital in England founded in 1123 and has an important current role as well as a long history and architecturally important buildings. The Henry VIII entrance to the hospital shown in the photograph is still the main public entrance; the statue of Henry VIII is the only public statue of him in London. On an adjoining wall, William Wallace is honoured with a plaque marking the site of his execution in 1305.

A short walk through some lovely city back streets and the Temple Bar you quickly come to St Pauls Cathedral

The  Cathedral  – was designed by  Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral as seen from Fleet Street

Since the first service was held here in 1697, Wren’s masterpiece has been where people and events of overwhelming importance to the country have been celebrated, mourned and commemorated. Important services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill; Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the launch of the Festival of Britain; the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for the 11th September 2001: the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, most recently, the thanksgiving services for both the Golden Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

Walking from the imposing front entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral and down Ludgate Hill you then meet Fleet Street

Fleet Street
Fleet Street with Traditional London Bus

Publishing started in Fleet Street around 1500 & was home of the British Press till the 1980’s. As early as the 13th century, it seems to have been known as Fleet Bridge Street. Fleet Street began as the road from the commercial City of London to the political hub at Westminster. The length of Fleet Street marks the expansion of the City in the 14th century. At the east end of the street is where the River Fleet flowed against the Old City Walls of London

Note* do not miss St Brides Church, Another of St Christopher Wrens Fine surviving Churches. For five hundred years Fleet Street has been the generic word for the Press, and its spiritual heart has been the church of St Bride.

St Bride's Church
St Bride’s Church Fleet Street

Fleet Street is also famous for the barber Sweeney Todd, traditionally said to have lived and worked in Fleet Street (he is sometimes called “the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”).

To the side of Fleet Street are legal buildings known as the Temple, formerly the property of the Knights Templar, which at its core includes two of the four Inns of Court: the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple.  Nearby, on Strand, are the Royal Courts of Justice and the Old Bailey is also only a few minutes walk from Ludgate Circus.

You could quite happily continue further on down Fleet Street into the Strand but that’s another blog for another day..  We however walked through The Temple Buildings and ended up on the Embankment of the Thames looking back towards St Paul’s Cathedral

Thames View Towards St Paul's Cathedral
Thames View Towards St Paul’s Cathedral