Sunday stroll through Central London

A walk through Bloomsbury and Soho to Piccadilly Circus

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been in Central London this year – certainly not since the lockdown. So I glided up the escaltor at Holborn Underground with a sense of excitement tinged with trepidation. My old Sunday stroll path was to head along Kingsway and up Southampton Row, have a mooch in Book Warehouse then wander through Bloomsbury. That was the route I followed. Book Warehouse closed a couple of years ago. There was a notable absence of tourists and Sunday strollers around Russell Square. The University of London grounds were deserted – IoT, SOAS and Birkbeck were ghost towns. Senate House was again cast in a sci fi movie.

There was more life around the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street but dwarfed by the enormous Soho Place development that’s wiped out the end of Charing Cross Road – including the much loved Astoria Theatre.

Soho Place development - site of Astoria Theatre

Soho Place development – site of Astoria Theatre


Old Compton Street, Soho

Old Compton Street hummed with life – the road blocked off, tables lining the centre of the street from Charing Cross Road to Wardour Street. There was a queue outside Ronnie Scott’s in Frith Street. It was a heartening sight. Let this be the new normal.

The walk ended at Piccadilly Circus, the sun setting over the statue of Eros with lovers huddled around on the steps as they’ve always done.