Arriving at Charing Cross shortly before ten in the morning - yes early for me - it was busier than I've got used to. I didn't fancy the jostling walk along The Strand to Somerset House where I planned to see the Ten Designers in the West Wing as part of the London Design Festival, more on that another day though. So instead I headed towards Embankment and ducked into the Victoria Embankment Gardens which are between The Strand and the Thames.
And it's a much prettier walk.
I've seen this gate many times before but never stopped to see what it was before. The gateway marks where the North Bank of the Thames was before the construction of the Victoria Embankment in 1862. That's quite a way from where it is now as there's the gardens and the road before you get to the river. I'm always amazed by such engineering feats...
Looking towards the river you can easily see one of London's iconic landmarks.
Back to the gardens, just look at the sun shining through these leaves.
And is that a little monkey tree in a pot? A fairly large pot though.
But just look at those leaves. The colour and the pattern. Wow.
It is quite a formal garden and there's plenty of statues throughout - like the one to Robert Burns above. As I was admiring the brightness of the orange flower and thinking how like sweetcorn the leaves were, I turned and saw this huge leaf. Remind you of anything?
Maybe my tree? Hmmmn...
It was mid-September and the flowers were still bright and colourful. I liked the planting in this part of the park - very bold and spiky.
As I reached the end of the path there was a small pond with water lilies and a small tree fern. It looked quite out of place so close to the road, but calming nonetheless.
This statue is quite dramatic and I was interested to know more about Arthur Sullivan. I then realised he was the Sullivan from Gilbert and Sullivan of Mikado and the Pirates of Penzance fame. It's quite a statue isn't it?
And with that I was back in the hubbub of London life and the never ending roadworks. And that was quite a change to the stillness of the Embankment Gardens - look: