Open House London saw central London overtaken first by herds, followed by hordes. The Reform Club on Pall Mall even seemed to be open, to the Hoi Polloi no less. It was a breathtaking walk from Gloucester Road to the Strand, via the golden and green lower reaches of Hyde Park. Friends tell me that a whole summer’s worth of festivals have left the central patches of the park a rusty yellow; bone-dry. I would recommend a walk along the paths carved out next to the Albert Memorial. There is a poignant break in the trees where one can find a memorial to the four soldiers killed in an IRA bomb, here, in 1982.
At Queen’s Gate Terrace, I continued my recent Estonian adventures and sampled some birch water and watched ~ through virtual reality goggles ~ the bogs and limestone landscapes of the Estonian countryside, all courtesy of the inviting Embassy staff. The Estonian embassy was just one of hundreds of historic, civic and other locations that opened their doors, dusted down their heavily draped curtains, and let the public have a nosy autumn browse in. I love Open House London, but what I love even more are the many other free things to do in the city at this time of year. While the forecast doesn’t look great this next couple of weeks, it’s the season for conkers and kicking leaves as you walk through the park. Do if you get a chance catch the last signs of life in Regent’s Park rose garden. Against the backdrop of the BT Tower, they are a sight to behold.