Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring in Your Step

It's a glorious day here in London, and I'm in a springy kind of mood -- thanks in part to your wonderful support and comments on my Monday post. Time and again, I'm reminded what a wonderful community of bloggers I'm a part of, and I'm so grateful.

Anyway! *wipes eyes* Some of you may remember that before I had my fiction published, I wrote guide books: 24 Hours London and 24 Hours Paris. As I'm off Paris next weekend and plan to post about it next week, I thought it only fair to tell you about some of my favourite spring-like places in my adopted home. Most of my novels are set in and around London, and I love writing about the city!

The text below is lifted from my London guide.

The Serpentine Lake, though budding trees at Kensington Gardens.
 First up, it's got to be Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park -- the site of my (almost) daily run.

These interconnected parks offer a wide variety of jogging routes or, if you're up for it, you can take a plunge in the Serpentine Lake. Enter the park from High Street Kensington. You’ll see Kensington Palace straight ahead. Saunter by the former home of Princess Diana and past the black railings where mountains of flowers were heaped when she died in 1997. Run by the man-made Round Pound, taking in the ornate Albert Memorial through the trees to your right, and go down to the Serpentine Lake. So-named for its snake-like shape, the lake is actually a river that was dammed by order of Queen Caroline as part of the redevelopment of Hyde Park. As you jog by the long arm of the lake, take in the oval shaped Diana Memorial to your right, then cool off by braving the water at the roped-off swimming area at the Lido.

Next, it's across the city to Postman's Park. It's beautiful this time of year with all the daffodils. Located between King Edward Street, Little Britain and Angel Street, the park contains a wall with 47 hand-crafted tiles commemorating the bravery of ordinary Londoners who died saving others. Each tile, made by Royal
Doulton, is hand-lettered. The park features in Mike Nichols’ film Closer.

If you're looking for something to get you in the spring-like spirit, head to an iconic East End market at Columbia Road. Moved to Sunday to accommodate Jewish traders, the market served the area’s former Huguenot immigrants whose interest in cut flowers has remained a legacy amongst East Enders. A variety
of bulbs, shrubs and freshly cut flowers – along with breads, cheeses and garden accessories – is available.

Little Venice.
For a bit of Italy in London (sort of), wander through the weeping willows by the Regent and Grand Union canals in Little Venice, one of the prettiest and most serene spots in the whole city. InPaddington runs free
walks along the Grand Union Canal, while London Walks offers guided tours exploring the whole area. If you really want to see canal living first hand, you can take a narrowboat trip down the canal towards Camden. The boat is indeed as the name suggests – no wider than seven feet in order to navigate the canals of Britain and Wales.

I could go on and on and ON, but I'll stop there. Hope the new season is treating you kindly so far.

What are some of your favourite places to visit in Spring?

67 comments:

  1. These are lovely, Talli. Though I confess I prefer Wiltshire, with its rolling Downs, the trees in Savernake Forest dressed in hopeful green, the birds singing as if their little lives depended on it, and the lambs - all wobbly legged and springy!

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    1. JO, that sounds idyllic! I do love Wiltshire.

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  2. I'd never heard of Postman's Park. I'll definitely put it on our must do list for our next trip to London - along with meet Talli :-)

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    1. You're not allowed to come to London again without meeting me. End of story. :)

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  3. Talli, what a fab post! And so well timed. I love London too. I live south of the river but am actually planning to visit Little Venice over the next month or so. I've been waiting for Spring to spring, so to speak. I'm also a big fan of Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens too, in fact, most of the London parks, although I must confess that you may not see me 'running' through them, more strolling, I think ;) I feel a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market coming on too, after viewing your lovely photos. So much to love about the city. Especially when the sun is shining x

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    1. Isn't it a wonderful day today? And so warm! I love Little Venice, and the canal ride to Camden Market is a must.

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  4. When I lived in London, I used to spend a lot of time in the parks and squares - I was so desperate for some green stuff! I used to escape from the office at lunchtime into neighbouring Gray's Inn Gardens or nip up to Russell Square and, at the weekend, I used to love going to Regent's Park or Hyde Park.

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    1. Kath, I hear you. I love the green spaces in London. Russell Square is really pretty, and I love Grey's Inn Gardens!

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  5. Cool, now I have more places to check out next time I'm in London!I went to Hyde Park when it was Winter Wonderland in December, and when we drove by it yesterday, it looked a lot different lol!

    Honestly, I like going anywhere in the Spring, everything looks pretty when the sun shines! :D

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    1. Winter Wonderland was crazy busy this year! Yes, the park is totally different in the spring and summer.

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  6. Wish you'd pop over to Athens! ;) The weather is beautiful.

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  7. Gorgeous photos, Talli. I hadn't heard of Postman's Park - will check it out next time I'm in London.

    My favourite places at this time of year are a huge country park near us which is carpeted with daffs and snowdrops - just beautiful! And anywhere in the Peak District on a sunny spring day has to be a winner.

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    1. Thanks, Emma - it's a fascinating if somewhat grim place. Great for novel ideas, though! :) Oh, the Peak District is glorious.

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  8. If I ever go to London, I'll have to have your guide.

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  9. Hi Talli - beautiful photos and descriptions .. and isn't it just wonderful Spring is here .. it's warm here too .. just to be outside without a coat and the sun beaming down .. enjoy Paris .. cheers Hilary

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  10. Off to Paris?!!? Oh wow!!!

    And I LOVE your snippets of London here!! You really want me to go all touristy now!! Yay!!! Take care
    x

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  12. Comment take 2...

    Lovely Talli. Looking forward to your perspective of Paris then as well. Spring makes me think of cherry blossoms blooming so DC would top the list.

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  13. Wonderful photos. :) I have to admit, I'm a little jealous - I've never been to London, but really want to visit sometime.

    I love spring. My favorite place to spend a spring day is probably outside with my horses, at the place in the country where I keep them. That's how I spent the first official day of spring yesterday.

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  14. Gorgeous photos Talli. We don't live that near to London anymore, but I used to live just a few minutes walk away from Regents Park and it's lovely this time of year.

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  15. I've never been to the UK, or even Europe. If I could live anywhere, it would probably be somewhere in the UK.

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  16. What a lovely post. thanks for the stroll around those lovely places with you as guide. I've set my WIP in London at New Year.
    My favourite place is Prince Edward Island. Hubby & I love, love, love it!

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  17. I've been in Kensington Palace! I took a tour. Such a beautiful, beautiful place... so calm and understated compared to Buckingham, which I also got a chance to tour. Your pictures are gorgeous. I wish I were in London this spring. I think the most beautiful place I've ever been in the springtime, however, is Washington D.C. hands down - the cherry blossoms come out and they smell like heaven and are so incredibly lovely.

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  18. Looking at the flower market makes me think of that scene in 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks,' Portobello Road.

    The park looks so lovely.

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  19. Make me want to hop on a plane (and that takes a lot these days) and head for London. Thanks for the mini glimpse of springtime there!

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  20. After this Paris? Hope the sunny weather continues for you. My fav place in the spring is my local bar Sartea in Vicenza. Iron chairs, plane trees and pebbles and the first Campari of the season!

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  21. I love London so much Talli these photos are pure eye candy for me.

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  22. Thank you Talli! Those are beautiful. I'm jealous of your London weather (I bet you almost never here that). In Oregon it's been raining nonstop for weeks.

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  23. Talli, do we all get to meet you if we come to London? Please?

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  24. Thank you for taking us on a tour, Talli! Lovely photos! I'd love to see London for myself!

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  25. Simply lovely post. I hadn't heard of a couple of those places. I'm adding them to my list for when i visit in your summer.

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  26. *sigh* You've made me long for a visit to London with your wonderful descriptions and photos. Some day...

    Thanks, Talli!

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  27. It's been too long since I've been back to London. The nearest I got was a trip to Essex a couple of years ago. Yeah, not quite the same!

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  28. Um- coming to Paris? Would you perhaps, have time for coffee with someone creepy? Like me? ;) Let me know! I'd love to meet up!

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  29. So pretty. I'd go to Little Venice first, then make way through all the other lovely spots you posted. Spring looks lovely there!

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  30. Next time I visit London, I want to explore some of the smaller, hidden treasures. And we saw a special recently on the narrowboats. Definitely want to take a ride on one!

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  31. For a bit of Italy in London, love it Talli :)

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  32. Enjoyed the tour Talli. I worked in London for a short while..so it was a nice little trip down the memory lane of my youth. Hae a wonderful time in Paris.

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  33. I'd really like to visit London one day. I've been to Scotland (and loved it), but we didn't make it to England. Next time!

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  34. I really want to visit London. Love these photos. In Texas we have bluebonnets along highways and in the rural areas. I need to find some and take photos. Maybe this weekend :)

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  35. Thanks for the lovely tour, Talli. The pictures are gorgeous. My favorite place in spring is the Sonoran desert in the USA. There are so many beautiful wildflowers and a lot of desert greenery.

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  36. I love your photos, Talli. London looks so lush! Here in Scotland we are having a mild Spring and the fields are filling with lambs. The Wagtails are back, dashing across our lawn and wagging those tails, and buds are bursting from my Spring flowering garden shrubs. It's like we just woke up from a long-long winter sleep. Yay!!

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  37. It all looks so gorgeous! If I ever make it over there, we're having a glass of wine outside. :)

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  38. Looks beautiful! I hope I get there some day! Thanks for the great pictures. It's been beautiful here too. :)

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  39. Thank you for taking us on that walk with you! That market looks so sweet.:)

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  40. Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for sharing. I love to go down by the lake and walk through the woods in the nearby state park. Everything's just coming alive and it smells so fresh.

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  41. Wonderful photos! I think I've been on the canal. We went on a canal boat trip when I was little. I didn't realize how close I was to you when I was in London last fall. I stayed at the Kensington Hilton.

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  42. What a wonderful spring romp through merry old London town. I missing London. I haven't been in years and I have been wanting to visit for the past decade.

    Now I long for it even more because of you and a few other blogger friends who live there. What a fantabulous time I would have to meet all of you!

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  43. How have I not seen Little Venice? How fun! You're making me want to go back to London. :) Happy spring!

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  44. Gorgeous photos Talli! Have a wonderful weekend in Paris! Julie

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  45. Love the photos! There's a place near my hometown called the Lido that I love visiting in the Spring. It's a good few hours walk from any kind of civilization, but what you get is complete peace and nothing but green everywhere. Awesome :)

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  46. Lovely photos, Talli. I really must get over to London soon. My daughter loved Kensington Park.
    I love to walk by the sea this time of the year, there is great light:)

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  47. Thanks for posting that since I don't get to London very often! I love the hills here in Scotland and the daffodils springing up beside roadways and the bursts of golden forsythia in every garden.

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  48. 24 Hours Paris was excellent! I've forgotten about your Marsha Moore series. Think you'll do more of them?

    I love being near greenery and water in the spring. There are too many places to mention! We're moving soon, and there's a lovely lake we just visited this weekend. Can't wait to return when everything is in color instead of resembling a sepia photo.

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  49. Hi Talli-I enjoyed this trip around London-thanks. I shared a flat in Little Venice shortly after I moved to London and it was such a lovely place to live in-so close to central London too. Hope you have a great time in Paris-you are lucky!-look forward to reading about it.

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  50. Talli, this is so gorgeous. I loved Kensington Park when I visited my sister in London. I wish I could go back! I'd love to take my husband there someday.

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  51. As usual, you post some super pics, Talli! It's a while since I've been in the big smoke but it certainly is shown in it's best light by you!

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  52. I love London, Paris and New York in the spring and could spend time in any of those cities.

    Thanks for the excerpt, it was great and certainly made me want to race back to London in the near future.

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  53. I haven't been to London in a long time, but I remember Hyde Park. I loved going there. I'm also pretty sure I visited the East End market.

    Great pictures, Talli.

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  54. Ever since I was 12 years old, spring meant the start of softball and baseball season. The early years as a player, these latter years as a coach and a mom cheering her children on. The crack of the bat and banter of the players, hotdogs grilling and uncomfortable seats in the bleachers. Someday I'll enjoy other scenic sights, but seeing one of my kids in the batter's box means spring to me.

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  55. Such pretty pics. Thank you! I haven't been to London in years and now have the sudden urge to return.

    I do love hiking so I'll go just about anywhere with wide open spaces and beautiful landscape.

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  56. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and descriptions. It is fun to learn about different parts of the world. I've never been to London, but now I can say I have by way of blogging.
    : )

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  57. Lovely pictures! :) Next time I visit London, I am definitely using your guidebook!

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Coffee and wine for all!