This is the second half of my little walking tour around Southwark. The first part can be found here: My Southwark (part 1). We take a walk down Borough High Street this time. One thing I have learned through this little exercise is that I need to walk east along the river to explore Southwark around the mayor's office and west from my office to explore the area leading up to Southwark Underground Station. There is so much more to Southwark than my little walking tour but these are my favourite spots.
Just across Borough High Street from Borough Market and Vinopolis, you will find The George Inn. The George Inn was frequented by Charles Dickens and in fact, features in his novel Little Dorrit. The inn appeared on the first map of Southwark dating back to 1543 and is the only surviving galleried London coaching inn.
The George Inn
77 Borough High Street
London SE1 1NH
020 7407 2056
7. The Climbers by Ofra Zimbalista
If you walk a little further south down Borough High Street, you will see the marvellous sculpture The Climbers by Ofra Zimbalista. This shows three blue men climbing up Maya House, each holding a different musical instrument. You can find Hiba Lebanese restaurant underneath.
The earliest record of a church on this site was in 1122 but the current buildings date back to eighteenth century. Like The George Inn, the church has strong links to Charles Dickens and several scenes from the novel take place in and around the church. Members of the Dickens Fellowship are welcomed to the church each year for an annual service.
St George the Martyr Church
Borough High Street
London SE1 1JA
020 7357 7331
9. St George’s Churchyard Gardens
The St George's Churchyard Gardens lie across the way from the church and are interesting in and of themselves. This was once the site of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison where Charles Dickens’ father was incarcerated for debt in 1824. Seeing his father in the prison haunted dickens for most of his life and the experience dominates Little Dorrit. The last remnant of the prison wall forms the back wall of the gardens.
Well, it has been a long and exciting tour around Southwark and now we head back to London Bridge Rail Station and to The Shard. When it is finished in 2012, The Shard is likely to be the main attraction in Southwark as it will be the tallest skyscraper in the United Kingdom. It will stand at 310 metres tall (1,017 feet) and will have 72 floors plus 15 radiator floors on the roof. The good news is that it will also have an observation deck at the top for tourists to visit! The building will have a glass exterior and will be made to look like a shard of glass striking out from the landscape. I for one cannot wait until it is finished.
The Shard and London Bridge Quarter
32 London Bridge Street
And that is the end of My Southwark! It was a great competition, I must say, and I’ll post about the exciting prize giving next week.