Jo’s Monday walk : London by Moonlight

The Golden Hind on Bankside

The Golden Hind II, on Bankside

I had a brilliant time in London this weekend, staying at the Mercure London Bridge hotel for a 6 Friends Theory event.  I’ll tell you all about it later in the week, but first things first- my Mondays always start with a walk.

You can imagine the amount of walking I did in London!  Let’s just say, my boots need re-heeling.  Friday saw me striding out along South Bank, the air crisp and bright!  On Saturday I took to the canal paths, sandwiching this with a superb guided walk round Old Camden Town. Judith, from London Walks, had a merry twinkle in her eyes as she shared stories of the neighbourhood- everything from George Bernard Shaw to George Melly!

I’m a little short on time to do those walks justice, so I thought I’d do something a bit different this week.  How about a moonlit stroll?   It’s not often that I get to see our capital by night, and it’s a glorious sight.  I had to cut it shorter than planned when the skies suddenly opened!

I've always loved a Tall Ship, and this one's so colourful!

I’ve always loved a Tall Ship, and this one’s so colourful!

Golden Hind II, an authentic replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship, has resided in her berth at St. Mary Overie Dock, Bankside since 1996.  She’s had her share of colourful adventures and has cicumnavigated the globe and featured in four films.  These days her chief activity is to provide living history lessons about Elizabethan maritime history.  The children can swashbuckle a little and dress up as Tudor sailors.  Details of her voyages, along with Drake’s own round the world trip, from 1577 to 1580, are provided in this Wikipedia link.

I love boats and rigging

A complication of rigging!

I mentioned moonlight, and the night was clear and crisp when I left the hotel, on Southwark St., for a short walk to Borough Market.  At Fish the food was delicious!  I needed a stroll afterwards.

From Borough Market, I headed through Clink St. towards Bankside, and lingered by the dock. The lights from the towering buildings and the bridges danced playfully on the water.

Southwark Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral

Southwark Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral

A shock of colour in close up!

A shock of colour in close up!

The air was turning damp and it seemed a good idea to head back towards Clink St.  A familiar shape loomed overhead.  It’s London’s latest landmark, The Shard.

The Shard is visible everywhere!

The Shard- visible everywhere!

Beads of rain blurred the sign

Beads of rain speckled the sign

The remains of Winchester Palace

The remains of Winchester Palace

The rain was gathering conviction and I hastened my steps, though still held in London’s night time spell.  Hood pulled up, it was time for my camera to retreat to safety.  Just a last couple of shots, then it was time to step out swiftly, back to the hotel.

If the weather had been better, I might have followed the Thames all night, so perhaps it’s just as well the rain came. The next day dawned clear and sharp, and I was off again.

But those stories will have to wait.  Next Sunday I’m off to the Algarve, so Jo’s Monday walk will be taking a two week breather.  I already have several walks lined up in the Algarve, so I hope you’ll join me when I get back. (16th February)

walking logo

I am so grateful to all the people who have shared walks with me.  You take me to places I could never reach under my own steam.  I only hope that you enjoy my walks as much as I enjoy yours. Please feel free to share them at any time.  My Jo’s Monday walk page will give you the details.

Time to put the kettle on for a cuppa.  There are some wonderful walks coming up!


Paula has agreed to show us a little of her home city, Zagreb, currently cloaked in winter bareness

A fun walk by the lake

Richard has been a friend for the longest time, and knows the BEST places to go!

The Watergate Bay sunset walk

A walk that I meant to share after my trip to Paris, done beautifully by Debbie.  Thanks for the memory!

Promenading the banks of Canal Saint-Martin

Something I’m very familiar with, but Jude makes it look good!

Wintery Blues

Natural sounds, presented with flair, from Amy this week.  I adore a hibiscus in the rain!

Sounds in Nature

A first for my walks- some wonderful poetry from Esther!  She’ll make you smile, I guarantee  :

Walk in the Woods 

Elizabeth is walking home from work, but don’t feel sorry for her!  I certainly don’t  :

Walking home from work

Is it possible to walk with Drake without smiling?  I don’t think so!

Walkabout in Strasbourg

And Kathryn had me smiling so, with her sweetness.  Let’s go tracking, in the woods!

Monday walk with Jo in mind

Thank you to all my kind and lovely friends!  I’ll try to catch up with you during the week.  Then I may have earned a rest.  Happy walking, everyone!


  1. I don’t know how I missed this fabulous post, Jo. I am behind, for sure, but I always keep an extra eye out for you, because I know I am in for a treat when you work your magic. It looks like you had a grand time in London. Thanks for sharing your adventures with the rest of us. 🙂

  2. Nice! Come to think of it, I haven’t really done a leisurely walk around London under the moonlight. It’s usually trying to get from one place to the next, while dodging the evening revellers.
    I confess that those 3 food photos are what held most of my attention, Jo. That looked like a yummy toffee-caramel pudding and a nice slice of dark chocolate cake? The “You are my lobster” had me awwwing… reminds me of the comment Phoebe makes in Friends.

  3. You make me very nostalgic for dear old Blighty Jo it is so stunning in the night time, quite romantic strolling along the Thames. I would like to get back for one more visit before I am too old to travel all that way to the UK.

    1. It’s a long haul from where you are now, Pauline, but I so hope you make it! And in the meantime I know you have lots of memories. Do you have any family or friends remaining over here? I’m sure I’ve asked you before, darlin’, but I’m so forgetful of details. I see you and Jack as forever young. May it always remain so 🙂

      1. Thank you for your kind comment. You’re right about the memories Jo and also have thousands of photos in case my memory starts to fade. I still have a sister and a very good friend from my school days that I keep in touch with.

    1. Do you know, Tanya, that when I first started blogging what I wanted to do was to make people’s heart sing, as mine sometimes does when I’m out and about. I’m so glad that I could make this happen for you. And so very glad that you have told me so! Hugs to you 🙂 I’m beaming from ear to ear!

  4. Walking! My favorite thing – why did it take me so long to find you? I may stay up all night reading just this one walk page. Thanks for the great reading (I am going to London this October, and will definitely swashbuckle) All the best – Susan

  5. Love the London walk. So many beautiful sights and very relaxing. One of the things that I can’t forget about London was its walk, walk, walk. But I enjoyed it, it kept me healthy and discovered so many wonderful places. Thanks for sharing your memorable trip. God bless and all the best to you and your family.

  6. Such a wonderful walk Jo with so many gorgeous pictures. Night photography is not easy but you hit it every time. Sorry that I was absent from last week’s walks – had a bit of a blog blow-up (hosting sever issue) and I am still in recovery mode. But have been doing lots of nice walks during the day and hope to have another walk to share with you in a week or two!.

    1. Happy you can join me today, Lisa 🙂 No hurries with a walk as I don’t have internet at home in the Algarve. I loved that night time atmosphere in London. A real treat for me 🙂

  7. I always love anything to do with London Jo especially topical for me at present with my younger daughter living there (she was staying near The Shard at first too). The city always looks so special at night – love the juxtaposition of the old and new I don’t think I’ve seen the remains of Winchester Palace and I only lived in London for 9 years! You can almost see the ghosts in the shadows excellent idea for a walk. Hope you have a lovely relaxing time in the Algarve 🙂

  8. Oh Jo, how wonderful to take a moonlight stroll through London. Hubby and I used to go to London a lot when we first met and I love it at night time. I love Tall Ships too, they conjure up so many wonderful stories from an era long gone. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get a walk in before you leave for your trip, having got so behind after my laptop woes from last week. But I’ll be sure to have one ready and waiting for you when you get back! Will catch up before you leave… 🙂

    1. It’s maybe 5 years since I was in the city, Sherri, and I still get excited whenever I go back. The days were so clear and bright and then that rain washed everywhere clean. Wonderful! 🙂
      Don’t hurry love! You have lots of commitments. 🙂

  9. Jo I could not resist and clicked on the 6 friends theory event. A chance to go around the world?! Oh my goodness shall I cross my fingers and toes for you?
    Thank you for the walk about London. always a delight to see the world through your eyes. Have a lovely time in the Algarve!

    1. I’m not in the running for the main event, Sue! My video making skills are non existent and there are so many younger and smarter folks out there, as I found out on Friday! 😦 I’m just involved in the promotional stuff. Nice of you to think along those lines though 🙂
      Many thanks! I need a little r and r 🙂

  10. Your shot of St. Paul’s is really stunning, Jo! The beautiful indigo of Southwark Bridge would be perfect for the ‘Colour of the week’ challenge. So much indigo on the blogs this week. 🙂 Have a great trip to the Algarve. It doesn’t seem more than five minutes since your last visit. How time flies!

    1. I haven’t had time to check out most of the challenges this week, Ad. Trying hard to catch up before I go to the Algarve and get ‘all behind’ again 🙂 Funny, it seems ages ago to me!
      Thank you so much! I haven’t done much night stuff so it’s very hit and miss.

  11. Oh, I wish I could still walk more than a short distance! But never mind, I can still walk a little, and am getting familiar with the London bus routes so that I can do a bit of exploring when I’m up there!

    1. I walked very little distance that evening, Sue, though I made up for it over the weekend. In London, you never have to walk far before you can find something of interest. 🙂

    1. There are indeed two of them, Peter 🙂 The Wikipedia link in the post gives full details, including a rather charming youTube video of the wreck of it, moored at Dartmouth since it sank in a storm in 1987. Amazing what you can find in a blog! 🙂 🙂

  12. Thanks for the inspiration Jo! We’ll be spending 4 nights in London at the end of an Ireland road trip this summer, so an evening walk will definitely be on the cards. You’ve also given me a couple of places to think about that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered! (Including Winchester Palace!)

    1. That’s wonderful, Anabel! Thank you for joining us 🙂 As you may have read on my walks page, I share the walks on social media this week and then list them at the bottom of my walking post the following week. This way everyone gets maximum exposure. I’m away for 2 weeks so I’ll be listing this on the post published 16th Feb. Hope that’s ok? 🙂

  13. great shots, Jo! london at night must be fun!
    i was there in sept and met friends at leiscester square. buzzling at night and we certainly had lots of fun!

  14. the little sign that said “you are my lobster” was so cute.
    and thx for the moonlight stroll – I was really looking forward to your monday walk this weekend – funny how little traditions start to sink in –
    and the blue lights in some of the shots was fav

    1. I liked that too, Yvette. (lobster sign) The blogger sat next to me was very professional and had a little battery powered lamp she shone on the table before taking her food shots. I ‘borrowed’ some light from her but she was pointing it the other way when I took the lobster shot 😦

    1. It’s a lovely city, Amy, and I was pleasantly surprised at how peaceful it was on the Embankment at night. (the tube was a different story! 😦 ) Thanks for the share, hon. 🙂

  15. Your moonlit walk took me to the same places I walked last April Jo. Cool night photography there – did you use a tripod or do you have a very steady hand? I love the blue bridge! No walk from me this week, I’m trying to finish off some antipodean posts and hopefully one you will like 🙂 Have a great time in the Algarve (how could you not?) enjoy the warmth and the relaxation and those wonderful beaches.
    Jude xx

    1. I have a very wobbly hand and a clever camera, Jude, because I don’t possess a tripod. My night shots are more about atmosphere than technique, and there was lots of that. I didn’t have many shots that I could use- just enough, I think! 🙂
      Not sure how good the weather will be in the Algarve, Jude, but over 2 weeks we should get a little sunshine (and some almond blossom 🙂 ) Thanks, hon. Take care!

    1. The atmosphere is wonderful, Elisa, and it was much quieter on the South Bank than I expected. I’m no crowd lover so it was perfect! 🙂 My night shots are more atmosphere than technique, but thank you very much.

    1. I didn’t know anybody, Lucy, and I was far beyond my comfort zone, but it was a great experience. I learned a bit and made some new friends, and got to see quite a lot of London for such a short stay. 🙂
      Looking forward to your Paris walk! Thank you so much 🙂 How were the Cotswolds?

      1. Cotswolds were lovely – chilly but sunny, will get some pics up when I get a chance to sort through. London Bridge is a great bit of the city to be based in, so easy to get around and see lots. Sounds like a fun evening too!

    1. I’m hoping it’s a little warmer in the Algarve than here, Meg, but I’m told there’s blast of snow heading south. Hope to dodge it, but whatever happens I’ll make the most of it 🙂
      Many thanks to you for the walk! I appreciate it 🙂

    1. I didn’t, Colline. On the Friday I went to Shakespeare’s Globe and the afternoon was spent at the hotel taking part in the event. Saturday was canals day. Maybe another time 🙂

  16. All of it so fascinating. I had never heard of The Shard. (I haven’t heard of most I read more about it. Not sure I would want to go up there, but it must look beautiful at night.
    I might want to go up there but getting me to go up there would be a problem. 😦 Kicking and screaming all the way up.

  17. Same here Jo – I rarely see London at night as I usually have to race to Euston to get an 8pm trrain home. Lovely pics, and enjoy Portugal! (By the way, the link for my Watergate Bay is broken).

    1. So sorry about the link, Richard! I’ve fixed it now and retweeted you. You are unlucky- I’ve checked the other links and they all seem to be ok. A good reminder to me though. I should do this just before I publish to make sure. I will next time.
      Thanks so much for taking part. I’ll be over to read the Dublin post later 🙂

      1. Cheers Jo – my fault, as I think I edited and re-issued the link I sent you last week.

        Looking forward to finding out more about this mysterious 6 friends theory, and seeing your Portuguese walks.


  18. è bello ritrovarti, cara Jo in questa speciale passeggiata che fa ricordare i bei tempi romantici, i velieri mi hanno sempre affascinata!
    le foto, come sempre, sono straordinarie, grazie mille, ma visto che da tempo sono assente, voglio viaggiare ancora con gli altri tuoi post

    1. A city on the water is always special to me, Ventis. London held my heart from the first time I went there as a teenager. But I’m looking forward to an Algarve breather now 🙂 Hugs, darlin!

  19. You are right – Shard is visible from everywhere. I love how beautifully lit Southwark bridge is. A beautiful stroll Jo. You present us ships like a true sailor!

    1. My night photography is not at all good, Paula, but if I can capture the atmosphere without too much dazzle in the shots I’m reasonably happy. Ships are great because there’s so much detail to focus on. Don’t you love the ‘hind’? 🙂

  20. Your London ramble is delightful – and of course you encounter a boat and a bridge. Such diversity – modern and medieval, and night lights and reflections. A feast! I’m just discovering that moonlight walks are possible in the northern hemisphere even for this early-to-bedder. Dark at 4 indeed!

    My contribution when next you do a Monday walk could be
    (if I’m allowed to include a bus and a tram – the photos were all taken walking!)

    1. Buses, trams, steam engines… all comers welcome, Meg, so long as you stroll a little. :))
      Our short days are a nightmare, aren’t they? Not so bad in the run up to Christmas when everything looks cosy and pretty. My night photography is abysmal but I salvaged the best I could.

  21. Wow, Jo, I cant think of anything better to do in London than to take a stroll by moonlight. Fantastic atmospheric images, especially the remains of Winchester Palace. It looks quite spooky! I must return to London soon. Thank you, my friend.

      1. what no walk – well we shall be okay sox breaks are good – and hope u get caught up dear restless one – and here is the one I did not get to last month

      2. sorry about the typos in my last comment (WTF) and here is the cake from this week’s walk… just in case you missed it – but it is very similar to yours with the icing (I think so)

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