You’ll never walk alone

By Kevin Abbey

Clerkenwell has been chosen as London’s top area for sightseeing by a website featuring Covid-friendly walks around London

After stepping down as head of a chain of travel agencies, London history enthusiast Kevin Abbey designed a set of walks that can be downloaded online and done without the need to be in a group, or with a guide.

“Looking at a tube map one day Farringdon Station caught my eye,” says Kevin. “I was astonished at how many historic and fascinating buildings were all within such close walking distance, making it wonderful for a self-guided walk in our current circumstances.

“First there’s the enormous building containing Smithfield Market. Then yards away I discovered St Bartholomew’s Hospital, with its historic church, aptly described as ‘an oasis of calm and prayer in the heart of St Bart’s Hospital’ together with a fascinating museum which tells the story of the early days of nursing.

“Nearby there’s a Tudor Gatehouse that leads into the awe-inspiring Church of St Bartholomew’s The Great, built on the site of 13th century priory. Not only does it have an amazing history and is so well preserved, it’s often used for filming.

“There’s Charterhouse Square, with its famous Priory; St John’s Gate with the fascinating museum of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and The Priory Church of St John, with its 12th-century crypt. Just a few minutes is Clerkenwell Green, scene not only of past riots but also close associations with Karl Marx and various socialist movements.

Around the corner is the ‘Clerks Well’, from which the area gained its name, and the Betsy Trotwood pub sitting above the railway tracks. Then I recommend a walk through the Peabody Estate, built thanks to the American billionaire philanthropist of that name and finishing at Exmouth Market. If we’re allowed to take exercise in lockdown and beyond then a solitary walk in Clerkenwell – or in your bubble – is something I’d recommend highly.

To find out more about the walks, visit: mylondonwalks.com