The British Museum, St Paul’s & The Monument
Russell Square to Monument
Approximately 3.1 Miles / 5 Km
Fast fitness walk – around an hour
Start:Start: Russell SQ. Piccadilly Line (Dark Blue - On the tube map)
End: Monument. District, Circle, Northern, DLR. (Green, Yellow, Black, Turquoise)
Highlights Include: The British Museum, St Clement Danes, the Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul’s Cathedral, The City of London, The Monument to the Great Fire of London.
A: Russell Square Tube Station
Exit the station and turn left onto Bernard Street and carry on until you reach Russell Square. Walk diagonally across the square and then turn left on Montague Street. The museum entrance is on your right.
B: The British Museum – Free Admission
This is one of the world’s most impressive museums, the size and scope of the collections are staggering. Many people spend more than a day here. The museum is most famous for its Egyptian, Roman and Greek displays but I also love the most wonderful collection of ancient clocks and watches. See the website for floor plans, special exhibitions and events.
Exit the museum at Montague Street, turn right and right again onto Great Russell Street. Cross the road and when you get to Museum Street turn left and continue onto Drury Lane. When you get to Queen Street, the imposing Art Deco building.
(C) The Freemasons Hall
Is considered to be one of the finest Art Deco buildings in Britain.
At the end of Drury Lane turn left onto Aldwych and into the Strand. St Clement Danes is on your right.
D: St Clement Danes
The church is famous for being part of the “Oranges & Lemons” nursery rhyme. It’s believed that the original church was built in the 9th century by the Vikings to honour the Patron Saint of Mariners. Sir Christopher Wren built this church in 1682 and it has been brilliantly restored to its original glory after severe bomb damage in World War 2. The church has been adopted as the Royal Air force Church and the displays are very moving. The church is also a popular venue for Choirs as the acoustics are excellent. See the website for concert details.
Exit the church - cross the road and turn left.
E: Royal Courts of Justice – Free Admission
This is the centre of British justice. Built in the 1870’s in a Victorian Gothic style. The buildings and the courts are open to the public though there could be restrictions depending on the cases being heard. It’s well worth visiting and do pick up the excellent self – guided tour from reception. Allow time for the airport style security.
Leaving the courts you will see the Temple Bar monument in the middle of the road. It was built in 1880 and it marks the boundary between the City of Westminster and the City of London.
Turn left on the Strand and continue straight on onto Fleet Street, Ludgate Circus and Ludgate Hill.
F: St Paul’s Cathedral:
This spectacular cathedral is considered to be Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece. It’s built on the site of the cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Construction took twenty-two years and the first service was held in 1697.
Until 1967 St Paul’s was London’s tallest building. I recommend climbing to the top as the views inside and out are amazing. The audio tour is highly recommended and if you're an organ fan, come at 4:45 pm on Sunday for free half-hour concerts. Check the website for concerts, events and admission details.
Exit the Cathedral and turn left and continue on to Cannon Street. Here you can either carry straight on to the Monument or at (G) Mansion House Tube turn left onto Queen Victoria Street for a good view of the (H) Bank Of England. Then, Turn Right onto King William Street and the Monument is located in Fish Street.
The Great Fire of London began in a bakery on Pudding Lane on September 2nd 1666 - just 202 feet (61 meters) from the site of The Monument today. At that time most buildings in the City were made of wood and the flames spread quickly throughout the City. In four days 86% of the City was burnt to the ground and 130,000 people were made homeless. After the fire, as part of London’s renewal the King ordered a memorial. Dr Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren together created the final design for the 202-foot (61m) monument, It was completed in 1677.
Climbing the Monuments 311 steps is well worth the effort. Whenever I bring friends from out of town, they are always very impressed with the design, history and the fantastic views of the City’s iconic buildings. These include; the Cheese Grater, the Gherkin, the Walkie -Talkie and the Shard. See the website for opening hours and admission prices.
It’s a very short walk to Monument Tube
If you enjoyed this walk please like, share and subscribe on the 1 Minute Walks YouTube Channel. Many thanks - Pat Fleming