Camden

Camden to Regent’s Park Mosque

Second time visiting Camden, this time covering what we didn’t the previous year. Coming on a working day makes a whole world of difference in that the maddening weekend crowd isn’t there. You can do your browsing on your own pace minus the jostling and get attended to by the shop personnel. The varieties of things you can find in Camden is enormous.

Coming by bus No.27 from stop ET Edgware, we dropped off at stop CQ on Chalk Farm Road, This stop is basically located near to the entrance of Stables Market. Just a few meters ahead to your right, you’ll come to Hartland Road where on this road, you’ll find houses painted in different colors and a couple of street art.

Hartland Road with it’s multi colored painted houses.

Similar to what you’ll find at Portobello Road.

Hartland Road, Camden

One of the street art along Hartland Road.

Hartland Road, Camden

This isn’t a rainy night at Camden. It’s another street art. Notice the electrical box and a ladder on the right.

You would not believe the Stables Market was once a stable and a horse hospital housing a sizable herd of horses used to transport goods along the Camden canal. In Victorian times, the stables is where injured horses pulling barges down the canals would come for treatment.

The Stables Market and a couple other markets in Camden expanded in the 70s, when artists and artisans began to open stalls. Over 450 shops and stalls are housed here selling vintage wares, accessories, jewellery, alternative clothing, furniture and imported ethnic goods.

Entrance to Stable’s Market just next to bus stop ‘CQ’.

Stables Market, Camden

Deck chairs at the entrance to the lower ground bazaars. Proud Camden is a nightclub.

Stables Market, Camden

That’s “Stables Market since 1854”.

Clothing store in Stable’s Market.

Figurines in display cabinet.

A mix of everything.

Assortment of items for sale along the passageway in Stable’s Market.

Varieties of handbags to choose from.

Multi colored Turkish lampshades.

Meanwhile, along Camden High Street, the main road across Camden, you’ll find varieties of shops selling well, varieties of products from antiques to top of the line branded goods. You will note the shops here display their wares on the facade of the their stores in gigantic sizes.

Camden

Even restaurant do not want to loose out. Dragon on the facade.

The Camden Market sells mainly clothing.

Camden

Camden underground station.

For lunch we headed to Poppies Fish & Chips on Hawley Cres. Poppie’s is renowned for their authentic fish and chips. This is our first time tasting Poppie’s Fish & Chips and we can say it’s one of the best we’ve eaten. Beforehand, the waitress confirms the batter does not contain alcohol. We were at Poppie’s well before 12 o’clock, thus getting a table wasn’t a problem otherwise, it’s usually pack during lunch. Our order of 2 regular haddock cost £29.98

Poppies Fish & Chips just off Camden High Street on Hawley Crescent.

Interior of Poppies.

Fish & Chips for lunch. The sauces comes in cute little bottles.

Right after lunch we took bus no. 274 heading towards Park Road stop ‘P’. Here, we’ll be going to the London Central Mosque to perform our afternoon prayer. The London Central Mosque built in 1974 and opened in 1978 is located close Regent’s Park thus aka Regent’s Park Mosque. It’s the biggest mosque in London that we’ve been to. The building is situated on it’s own site complete with dome and minaret. Ablution place is on the lower floor whilst the big carpeted prayer hall is above. The mosque itself can accommodate as many as 5,000 worshipers in it prayer halls and courtyard.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

The mosque is situated just off bus stop ‘P’ on Park Road.

Minaret & dome of the London Central Mosque.

The central courtyard. Entrance to the prayer hall is to the right.

Ablution area situated on the lower level.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

The main prayer hall.

Regent's Park Mosque, London

Another view of the prayer hall.

After prayers, we took a stroll along Regent’s Park walking from Hanover Gate behind the mosque to Clarence Gate to exit for Baker Street. Autumn leaves already evident and flocks of birds, ducks, geese and the like patronising the lake. The cool autumn weather makes the walk pleasant. Onto another bus ride from Baker Street and we’re back to our hotel.

Regent's Park, London

Regent’s Park.

Regent's Park, London

Autumn leaves at the park.

Regent's Park, London

Family on the way for a swim.

Regent's Park, London

Community hogging the green.

Regent's Park, London

Along ‘Boating Lake’. BT Tower in the background.

Regent's Park, London

Across the ‘Boating Lake’.

Regent's Park, London

Clarence Bridge across the ‘Boating Lake’.

Regent's Park, London

Clarence Gate, the entrance from Baker Street at the far end.

Brick Lane, London

Brick Lane, London

October 2017

From the busy intersection of Regent & Oxford street, we took the tube from Oxford Circus to Aldgate East headed to Brick Lane for lunch in one of the many halal cafes.

Brick Lane is a well-known street in East London. It is the hub of London’s Bangladeshi community and is known to some as ‘Banglatown’. It is also famous for it’s authentic curry restaurants.

In the yesteryear’s, ‘Jack the Ripper’ is known to have operated on the side streets of Hanbury and Fournier Streets, off Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

A simple metal arch welcomes you to Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

The narrow street of Brick Lane only caters for one way traffic.

Brick Lane, London

A typical stretch of Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, London

A supermarket along Brick Lane. Note the license plate of the Range Rover.

Brick Lane, London

‘Banglatown’ cash & carry caters for the 30% of Brick Lane Bangladeshi community.

Brick Lane is world-renowned for its street arts. The side streets create an extensive gallery of eye-popping street art to explore. The area is alive with art.

Brick Lane, London

Street art in one of the back lane.

Brick Lane, London

An art work along ‘Fournier Street’.

Followings are street art captured along Hanbury Street where you’ll find plenty of them. These art aren’t permanent as it may be whitewashed and painted over with a new one. A work seen today may not be there when you come again. Thus what you see in Google streetview may not survive for your future planned visit.

Brick Lane, London

At the intersection of Brick Lane & Hanbury, a wall gets a new artwork over the old.

Brick Lane, London

Just beside the wall undergoing repainting above.

Brick Lane, London

A much photographed street art along ‘Hanbury Street’. Due to it’s large-scale and being off the ground, it has survived for a long time.

Brick Lane, London

Take a few steps backwards and another work (gorilla) comes into frame.

Brick Lane, London

Another work along Hanbury Street, across ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

An art work at an entrance gate.

Brick Lane, London

Street art on the walls of ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

To the right, another work on the walls of  ‘Banglatown’ cash & carry.

Brick Lane, London

Art on the shutters of a restaurant.

Brick Lane, London

Agreed, what the sign says.

Attractive colored door and windows along ‘Princelet Street’ heading towards Old Spitafields Market.

Brick Lane, London Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane, London

Several markets are in Brick Lane namely the ‘Old Spitafields Market’, ‘Boiler House Food Hall’, ‘Tea Rooms’, ‘Backyard Market’, ‘Sunday UpMarket’, and the ‘Vintage Market’. The best day to visit Brick Lane markets is on Sundays where there will be a large flea market with people hawking their second-hand wares selling everything from antiques, handmade clothing, accessories, jewellery, music, arts and crafts along with street food.

Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market built in 1876. It is one of the surviving Victorian Market Halls in London and you’ll find daily fashion and vintage stalls with restaurants and boutiques. Having had lunch, we just strolled around for a look-see before exiting.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

One of the several entrances to Old Spitalfields Market.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

The interior with plenty of cafes.

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane

Modern facilities around.

The Brick Lane Jamme Masjid (Brick Lane Mosque) built in 1743, has functioned as a chapel, a church, a Synagogue and as a mosque since 1976. We took the opportunity to perform our midday prayers at the Brick Lane Mosque. The mosque is well maintained, with modern ablution facility and fully carpeted prayer hall.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Brick Lane mosque from afar.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Brick Lane Mosque right along Brick Lane.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

The modern ablution area.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

The main prayer hall.

Brick Lane Mosque, London

Fully carpeted prayer hall.

Regent Street, London

Brydges Place to Regent Street

October 2017

Visiting London 3 years in a row, we’ve covered many of the main attractions in our must visit list. This year, we’ll visit some of the attractions we’ve listed previous years but never got to see. First place on our list today is a visit north of Trafalgar Square, to Brydges Place an alley that is supposedly to be London’s narrowest.

An alley is a narrow lane, path, or passageway, often for pedestrian use, running behind or between buildings typically used as a rear access or service road. Brydges Place runs for 200 yards and connects St Martin’s Lane to Bedfordbury end-to-end and becomes a handy shortcut for those who know. Although it has been said that the narrowest part of the alley is 15″ apart, I can attest that it isn’t. The narrowest point is the entrance via St Martin’s Lane and one can comfortably walk through with inches to spare on each side.

Brydges Place, London

The entrance to ‘Brydges Place’ on Bedfordbury sandwiched between ‘The Marquis’ pub and ‘Thai Pot’ cafe.

Brydges Place, London

The street sign confirms.

Brydges Place, London

Looking towards the other end (St Martin’s Lane) 200 yards away.

Brydges Place, London

The narrowest alley is a public highway.

Brydges Place, London

Approaching the end looking towards St Martin’s Lane. Around this point, the stench of urine is present.

Brydges Place, London

The western entrance fronting St Martin’s Lane is sandwiched between the ‘Coliseum Theatre’ and ‘Notes’ coffee shop.

Trafalgar Sq Map

So where is Brydges Place ?

You’ll pass by ‘Harp’ pub if you approach Brydges Place via Bedfordbury.

Exiting Brydges Place at Coliseum theatre, turn left and walk a short distance to Trafalgar Square. As we were early, crowds were building outside the National Gallery waiting for it’s door to open. Across the Gallery is Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column at the far end and across the roundabout you’ll see Admiralty Arch and walking along the Mall, will take you to Buckingham Palace. To complement London’s narrowest alley, Britain’s smallest police station is at one end of Trafalgar Square. Read our earlier post to find where.

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery. Visitors waiting for the doors to open.

Trafalgar Square, London

Nelson’s Column rises above Trafalgar Square.

Admiralty Arch, London

Admiralty Arch across Trafalgar Square. The archway entrance to the Mall will lead to Buckingham Palace at the other end.

Trafalgar Square, London

Traffic congestion in-front of Trafalgar Square requiring ‘bobbies’ to control.

From Trafalgar Square we took a bus headed towards Regent Street. Passing Piccadilly Circus, we noticed the electronic advertising board was still out of commission for upgrading works. Piccadilly Circus whether night or day is busy with hives of activities.

Piccadilly Circus, London

Piccadilly Circus with the electronic advertising board still switched off for upgrades. It should be on by the time you read this.

Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London that connects Piccadilly Circus with Oxford Street. Regent street is packed full of shops and is more upscale than Oxford Street. It is one of the world’s most prestigious shopping and lifestyle destinations, home to more than 75 international flagship stores as well as British brands. Hamleys, the toy store and Liberty, the fashion brand, are two British examples. It is a busy place with an estimate of more than 70 million visitors coming to shop, relax and dine along Regent Street annually.

On the eve of the Wembley contest between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus becomes a traffic-free street for American football fans. It  hosts football festival, features interactive games, on-stage performances and appearances, merchandise and much more, hence the NFL buntings along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

The NFL buntings up on Regents Street.

Regent Street, London

British & American flags along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

High end shopping along Regent Street.

Regent Street, London

The intersection of Regent Street & Oxford Street. The stairs to Oxford Circus underground on the right. This is early October, no where near Christmas yet.

Right on Regent Street is Hamleys, established in 1760, is the oldest and largest toy store in the world. This flagship store is set over seven floors covering 54,000 square feet with more than 50,000 lines of toys including computer games, plush toys, gadgets, classic games and specialist collector areas on sale. Each floor caters for different categories of toy. Hamleys provides the ultimate play experience for children and took an hour of our adult time just browsing the store. It is considered one of London’s prominent tourist attractions, receiving around five million visitors a year.

hamleys, london

Hamleys, London. Credit: thesun.co.uk

Hamleys, London

Display in Hamleys.

Hamleys, London

Superhero figurines.

Hamleys, London

‘Hornby’ train set display.

Hamleys, London

Stacks of ‘Hot Wheels’ to choose from.

Hamleys, London

The Queen constructed of ‘Lego’.

Carnaby Street is a pedestrian shopping street located behind Hamleys. It is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers including large numbers of independent fashion boutiques catering more to the taste of youngsters. It’s a short 3 minute walk from Oxford Circus underground station. The 14 streets at Carnaby accommodate over 100 shops with 60 places to eat and drink. Carnaby was once famous for it’s history of the mod and hippie followers during the swinging 60s and became the epicenter of London’s counterculture scene.

Carnaby Street, London

Welcome to Carnaby Street.

Carnaby Street, London

Shopping street for hipsters.

Carnaby Street, London

Busy, busy Carnaby Street.

Off Regent Street, on Great Marlborough Street, is Liberty London. This is a beautiful Tudor building department store with wooden paneling inside. Liberty spreads over 5 floors selling luxury women’s, men’s and children’s attire, cosmetics, fragrances, jewellery, accessories, among others. Liberty is also particularly well-known for their floral and graphic prints. Prices at liberty are rather steep but did not dither my wife from acquiring 4 metres of fabric.

Liberty, London

Liberty, London. Credit:designbyccd.com

Liberty London

Entrance to Liberty.

Liberty London

Interior of Liberty.

Liberty London

The fabric corner.

Liberty London

Stacks of fabric to choose from.

Liberty London

Looking down to the ground floor.

Liberty London

Meticulous packing of spouse’s purchase.

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