The change in question is New Change and if you want to be precise – 1 New Change. For those of you that don't know, New Change is a short street on the eastern edge of St. Paul's Churchyard in London and there is a large shopping centre there that takes up the whole street. As it is the only building in the street it's number must be 1 mustn't it?
A sunny day saw us arrive at Liverpool Street Station from where we walked the short distance to Wormwood Street to catch the number 100 bus. That was a surprise because it turned out to be a single deck bus which is unusual in London. We alighted near St. Paul's Underground Station and walked the short distance to 1 New Change.
We have been here once before (A Later Date), late in the day, when the weather wasn't so good and the sun was in the wrong place. This time the weather was good and the sun was in the right place.
A lot of people don't realise that 1 New Change has a roof terrace which is freely available to the public. There is a restaurant up there too but you aren't obliged to use it. There are lifts up to the terrace and they are outside the building and the walls are made of glass. Why would the lift walls be made of glass? Because you get a nice view of St. Paul's Cathedral on the way up and down together with some interesting reflections.
The roof terrace is quite large and you get a good view of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral and the London Eye is just visible on the left-hand edge.
You can even see visitors on the Golden Gallery at the top of the dome.
Looking in the opposite direction the Shard is rather obvious.
It was now time to move on so we went down in the lift and back to the bus stop where we caught the 100 bus once again to continue our journey across Blackfriars Bridge to the south side of the River Thames. This is where we were going.
The Oxo Tower is another shopping centre on the edge of the Thames and it has a publicly accessible viewing gallery looking out over the river on the sixth floor. This is the view east towards St. Paul's.
This is the view west up river showing the restaurant terrace on the left over looking the river.
This interesting view shows the river apparently choc-a-bloc with boats and the bridge choc-a-bloc with buses. I've never seen so many London buses in one place before.
We left the viewing platform and went back down to earth. Just behind the Oxo Tower is a nice little park.
Back on the 100 bus and we're off to Barbican for lunch. Reasonably good food for a very reasonable price – a main course for £9.50. After lunch we walked to Finsbury Square to catch the number 271 bus north. At Archway we changed onto the 210 bus for the last leg of our journey to visit somewhere secret.
As it's secret I'm not going to tell you anything about it except to say that it's on Hampstead Heath near Inverforth Close and it's known as London's Hidden Garden. It is actually called Hill Garden or the Hampstead Pergola but it's called the Hidden Garden because so few people seem to know about it even though it's free. There were only relatively few visitors there when we were there.
There is a lovely ornamental pond.
Then there is the Pergola.
We thought 'goodness that's a long pergola' as we could just see the cupola at the very end. We wandered along slowly until we reached the little building.
Amanda reached it just before I did and that is her silouette in the doorway. I can remember, as I was climbing the steps, that I thought that the pergola was very long indeed until I reached that doorway. Then I realised that there was more – lots more.
The house beyond the pergola is Inverforth House once a single private residence it is now converted to apartments. The original house was built in 1807 but was rebuilt in 1905 which greatly altered the original structure.
The pergola went on ahead to a junction where it branched both left and right. We looked back to the cupola.
The branch to our left was a cul-de-sac but the branch to our right went on, and on.
What an extraordinary place this is. We left, finally, back past the ornamental pond. This garden is one that you really should not miss especially as there is no entry charge.
Oh, I forgot. It's a secret and I haven't told you anything about it so you won't be able to go after all. What a pity! You don't know what you're missing.
We headed off across Hampstead Heath with a printed copy of a nice map available on the Hampstead Heath web site showing the various paths which criss-cross over the heath. Unfortunately the paths on the ground don't always match the paths on the map and you will get lost especially in the wooded parts which are extensive and plentiful. Now that's an order. We got lost so I don't see why you shouldn't.
We did, eventually, find our way to the Highgate Ponds of which this is Highgate Men's Pond.
Now that we actually knew where we were we were able to successfully navigate to the top of Parliament Hill for the view. We could see the top of the Gherkin, the dome of St. Paul's and the Shard.
It was getting late and we had yet to find our way back to Liverpool Street Station and thence to home so we called it a day. One thing we've learned is that there is a lot more to see here so we plan to return some day.