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Thames Part 2

Thames - Map 3

Savoy Hotel

After visiting Cleopatra's needle ( map location 2 ) head back towards Waterloo Bridge but turn left at Savoy Street and you will find the famous Savoy Hotel ( map location 4 ) just a little way along Savoy Place. Right next door to the Savoy Hotel you will find the Shell Mex House that was built in 1931 on the site of the Cecil Hotel. 

Continue north up Savoy Street until you reach The Strand ( map location 5 ). Turn right and proceed east along The Strand. As you proceed east you should see the Royal Courts of Justice on your left. A little way further along you should come to a statue of a Griffon in the middle of the road. This is known as Temple bar and basically marks the start of Fleet Street ( map location 7 ), world renown centre for publishing media and newspapers.

Boundary markers of the City of London

Temple ( map location 6 )

If you turn left and head back towards the Thames you will find yourself in "The Temple". Many of the structures you find here date back to the times of the Crusades. "Temple" originates from the medieval Knights Templar, a religious order founded here in 1118 dedicated to protecting pilgrims on their way to the Holy Lands. The Knights continued to own this land until around 1312 when they were suppressed, because their wealth and power had become seen as a threat to the throne.

Temple Church

Today, Temple is the center of legal profession of London. There are a number of courts, professional residences and schools. You will also find two of London's four Inns of Court, which maintain their own special traditions. According to an age old custom anyone in Britain trained to be a trial lawyer has to join one of the Inns and must dine there twenty four times ( and pass exams ) before they are recognised as being officially qualified.

Tutor Architecture at Temple 

Once you have finishing touring around Temple and Fleet Street, head south back towards the Thames.

Oxo Tower ( map location 8 )

If you look across the Thames now you should be able to see the OXO Tower building. What makes this building distinctive is the word OXO in the Tower. When the building was erected local government official would not allow the placement of advertising hording on buildings, in an effort to keep the skyline free of billboards. However, the ingenious owner of the building decided to design his building with his brand name "OXO" as part of the structure. In this was he was able to avoid the government regulation on advertising.

Oxo Building ( on right ) from South Bank 

If you now continue walking east you will come across Blackfriars Bridge


Continue past Blackfriars Bridge until you come to a set of steps between two buildings leading north. Once atop these steps you should be able to see St Paul's Cathedral.

Looking north to St Paul's

St Paul's Cathedral ( Map location 9 )

Continue walking north towards the Cathedral. The entrance to the Cathedral is to your left or on the western side of the structure. You should find the entrance to the structure on the left hand side of the western side of the building ( All Soul's Chapel ). The Great western door that you pass as you make your way to the entrance id opened for great and State occasions.

St Paul's Cathedral was built in the late 17th century to the design of Sir Christopher Wren. It was built on the previous site of other churches that had stood here since 604. The medieval cathedral was left in ruins by the Great Fire of London in 1066 and Wren was commissioned to rebuild it. Wren's plan called for a design on the Greek Cross plan, in which all four arms are equal ). this was met with great resistance since the authorities insisted on the more traditional Latin cross design, the idea being to focus the congregation's attention on the altar.

Western side of St Paul's

Compromises were reached on the design and the cathedral was built between 1675 and 1710.


The Dome is 113 metres ( 360 ft ) above the floor. You can take the stairs up the Dome and the whispering gallery. The reason that the gallery is known as this is because of the dome's unusual acoustics it si said that anything whispered against the wall can be clearly heard on the opposite side.

View from the Golden Gallery

View from the Golden Gallery

You can continue climbing the Dome up to the Golden Gallery which has marvelous views of London.

Once you have explored the Dome take a trip down into the crypt of St Paul's. Here you will find many of England's most famous people buried including Wellington, Nelson and Christopher Wren ( the creator of St Paul's ). Also down the crypt will you find the cafe if you need refreshments.

Once you have finished with your trip to St Paul's head east from the Cathedral along Watling Street to continue our tour.

Thames - Map 4

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre ( map location A )

Almost directly across the Thames River from St Paul's is a recreation of the Globe theatre in which many of Shakespeare's plays were performed. The original theatre was created in 1599 and rebuilt in 1614 after it was destroyed by fire. Many theatre productions are still performed here along with exhibits and information about the background of the Globe and the methods used to re-create it.

Shakespeare's Globe


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