Sunday, February 04, 2024

Walking with friends: King's Cross to Whitechapel... and beyond

London The Unfinished City
A circular Tube Map, advertising Google's new 'circle to search' feature, at King's Cross station.

Saturday February 3, 2024.

Originally our plan had been to walk westward from London Bridge towards Vauxhall, as this was a route that we had only partially completed before. However, with a few train strikes and some engineering works being carried out, we decided on a completely different route.

Len made his way from Kings Langley to meet me and we caught the Metropolitan line to King's Cross, where we waited for Gary, who was travelling down from Peterborough. Len and I had a coffee, while we awaited Gary's train. Once Gary had arrived, at around 10:40, we decided to head east, along Pentonville Road to City Road and then onto Commercial Street.

London The Unfinished City
Trains covered in graffiti, Shoreditch.

On the way we passed through Shoreditch and saw lots of graffiti covered trains and buildings. 

With the time getting on for 11:30ish, we headed along Whitechapel Road in search of a bite to eat. A small restaurant, which was reasonably priced, provided sustenance and, suitably full, we continued ever eastward.

London The Unfinished City
The Blind Beggar.

Our first port-of-call was 'The Blind Beggar'. Gary had never visited this infamous pub, so he was pleased to enter. While we sat and chatted the actor Vas Blackwood entered, as he uses the pub as a starting point of his walking tours around the East End. Gary decided to go and have a chat with him, buying a signed photo and getting a selfie with him.

I think that sometime very soon I shall book myself on to one of Vas Blackwood's Walking Tours, as they are meant to be really informative and entertaining.

London The Unfinished City
Gary with the actor Vas Blackwood.

Suitably refreshed we left the pub and headed south, through Shadwell towards Wapping, as there was a pub that I thought they might like to visit.

London The Unfinished City
A Legendary pub.

We reached 'Turner's Old Star' public house, which we entered, just after 13:45. After ordering our drinks I asked them both if they knew what was special about this pub, to which they both seemed confused. I then explained, with the use of a YouTube clip, that this was where a fight scene from 'Legend', starring Tom Hardy, had been filmed. 

London The Unfinished City
Used as the 'Pig and Whistle' pub in 'Legend', starring Tom Hardy. 

With the obligatory photos taken, we continued the short distance south to 'The Captain Kidd', pub, which has a wonderful riverside patio area from which you can look out over the River Thames.

London The Unfinished City
The view from the 'Captain Kidd' pub garden.

From here we continued east. until we reached 'Pelican Stairs', next to 'The Prospect of Whitby', which we descended so that we could walk along the foreshore, before the waters rose. Gary and Len skimmed stones across the rising water, while I found some pieces of clay pipes among the stones, bones and shells. As the waters rose we ascended the stairs and made our way inside the pub, sitting with our drinks in the secret garden.

London The Unfinished City
Looking towards the Isle of Dogs, from the foreshore at 'Pelican Stairs'.

We left 'The Prospect of Whitby' just before 16:00 and, with the light fading, decided to head west towards a station from which we could take a train home.

London The Unfinished City
A great little find of a pub.

Wapping Wall led us onto Wapping High Street and the 'Town of Ramsgate' pub, which looked inviting, so in we went. This was a pub that I had never visited and so was anxious to check it out. And what a great little pub it is. Too soon, though, we headed off towards St Katharine Docks and on towards Aldgate.

London The Unfinished City
The Shard and Tower Bridge, from St Katharine Docks.

A quick stop at 'Goodman's Field', for some more refreshments, and then, with the time close to 17:45, we were at Aldgate, where we caught a train for Watford.

In the end it was a great walk, taking in some of the sights that we had never seen before.

I am now looking forward to our next excursion to see where that leads us.

Distance travelled:
  • Car - 0.0 miles
  • Taxi - 0.8 miles
  • Train - 0.0 miles
  • Underground - 37 miles
  • Walking - 8 miles


  1. Wow. That's some walk again. You ought to become a tour guide. At the very least, combine all your Blogs into a book.

    1. I don't think a tour guide would suit me, but making a book with blogs and photos might work.