Common sights in London
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A magnificent expanse of green at the heart of the Clapham neighbourhood, huge Clapham Common is a verdant venue for many outdoor summer events (see http://claphamhighstreet.co.uk) and sports. The main thoroughfare, Clapham High St, starts at the common’s northeastern edge, lined with many of the bars, restaurants and shops that draw people to Clapham. It’s much more pleasant to explore the more upmarket streets of Clapham Old Town, a short distance northwest of the tube station, and Clapham Common North Side at the common’s northwesternmost edge.
Just west of the Pavement, the brick and stone Holy Trinity Church (1776) was home to the Clapham Sect, a group of…
Running on into Putney Heath, Wimbledon Common covers a staggering 460 hectares of southwest London. An astonishing expanse of open, wild and wooded space for walking, nature trailing and picnicking – the best mode of exploration – the common has its own Wimbledon Windmill, a fine smock mill (ie octagonal-shaped with sloping weatherboarded sides) dating from 1817, which now contains a museum with working models on the history of windmills and milling. It was during a stay in the mill in 1908 that Robert Baden-Powell was inspired to write parts of his Scouting for Boys. The adjacent Windmill Tearooms can supply tea, caffeine and sustenance.
On the southern side of the…
Wilder and more overgrown than the nearby common in Clapham, Wandsworth Common is full of couples pushing prams on a sunny day. On the western side is a pleasant collection of streets known as the toast rack, because of their alignment. Baskerville, Dorlcote, Henderson, Nicosia, Patten and Routh Rds are lined with Georgian houses. There’s a blue plaque at 3 Routh Rd, home to the former British prime minister David Lloyd George.