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London: Walks, Rides, Trips and Tours – for PM

Sample Routes.
High Points.
Protected Views.


Sometimes it is better to travel than to arrive. For people in project communities this can be very true. There can be enjoyment, satisfaction and achievement within and across the project stages, as well as, or instead of, at the final destination. That is despite, or as well as, possible lessons learned exercises, results, feedback and official or unofficial celebrations. In fact project managers and project team members may have moved on to other opportunities and situations before the project is fully completed and / or the benefits realised.

So this module is about journeys, tours and movement which are to be encouraged, savoured and appreciated just in themselves - when in London - with some time to spare. Naturally along the way some of the destinations, stage points or milestones may be significant or even magnificent - and worth a visit inside or for a while (see Section on Places to Visit - for Project Managers on site map) - and so in this journey linear movement may be interpreted for visits briefly, in depth or passed by - to maintain momentum on the journey.

Just as on projects so it is with these PM tours in London. There will be distractions, variations, difficulties in keeping the group together, on the route, focussed and awake to achieve the targets - hopefully on time and within budget.

Pre-arranged trips.

London has many pre-arranged trips; and special trips with guides can also be readily arranged. Transport forms for trips can include: walking; cycling; public and private (open top) buses / coaches; cars, taxis (black cabs), mini-cabs, Uber; plus on rail as trains, underground, light railways and trams; on rivers and canals; via helicopters and aeroplanes; cable cars and big wheels; and obviously in combinations; and by day and by night.

London Walks (www.walks.com) is an organisation with an enthusiastic collection of guides covering a wide range of walks pre-organised and timed - at 10 per person plus travel costs and some entry fees; for every day of the week and weekends; plus private bookings for groups; plus day trips and seasonal visits; with foreign language guides by arrangement.

The web is full of specific prearranged trips and facilities for bookings of possible interests to project managers such as: Royal Opera House tours; Albert Hall tours; Barbican Architectural Tours; Sports stadia tours; photography tours; and many others. Tourist buses with pre-recorded or live commentaries can be useful and interesting - and relatively inexpensive.

Outside London.

Trips to remote locations outside London are also extensively promoted - some with project management connections - to such as: Stonehenge; Windsor and Eton including Windsor Castle; Oxford; Cambridge; Canterbury; Bath; Cotswolds; Hampton Court Palace; Leeds Castle; Salisbury; Winchester; St Albans; Portsmouth; "Downton Abbey" Highclere Castle stately home; theme parks; the seaside; etc.

Guide books on this theme include "Escape London" by Yolanda Zappateria - days out within easy reach of London - Francis Lincoln - 9.99.

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Sample Routes.

Here are a few sample routes for walks and tours which have project and project management features. Trips that are self-organised, focussed to personal interests and well arranged in advance can be the best value for money, flexibility and enjoyment.

  • South Kensington Area walk with Exhibition Road and Museums of Science, V&A, Natural History; with imperial College; Albert Hall and Albert Memorial; moving into Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
  • Regents Park Canal walk - from Little Venice at Paddington Basin to Camden Lock and on to Limehouse Basin - in stages.
  • South Bank walk from Waterloo to Tower Bridge, and beyond, taking in the South Bank Centre of Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall, National Poetry Library and events, moving onto the National Theatre, Globe Theatre and much more with views, calling in at City Hall to see the floor map of London. This is part of the much longer Thames path from source to mighty ocean.

  • 'Old' Westminster walk taking in Victoria and Victoria Street, Parliament Square, Whitehall, Downing Street, Cabinet War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, the Mall, Trafalgar Square with galleries, and parks.
  • Greenwich as a village, with the Cutty Sark tea clipper; with National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory, Queens House and more; including the spectacular Naval Hospital which became the Naval College and is now part of University of Greenwich; the Greenwich Meridian - as "Time's Headquarters"; with "The best air, best prospect, best conversations in London" (and when you are there check its exact location with your GPS - it may be found to be 100m or so to the east of the line on the ground); and near to Blackheath also, with the Greenwich foot tunnel to the north bank from close to the Cutty Sark.
  • Docklands and Canary Wharf - the old and the new.
  • Notting Hill with Portobello Market on Saturdays.
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park walk.
  • River Thames Boat Trips - with fares.
  • Bus Trips - for tourists or on public transport - with fares. And more tours - most with charges or fares.

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High Points.

Project managers like to have a high level view of what is before or ahead of them, and possibly what is past or behind them. Remember, as they say on an aircraft: "Your nearest exit may be behind you".

As well as protected views there are high points with views to take in London from above including:

  • Cable Car across the Thames from O2.
  • Tower Bridge near Tower of London - from high level walkway.
  • The Monument - very near the site of the Great Fire of London of 1666.
  • Arcelor Mittal 'Orbit' in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2AD - 115m high - designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond - with slide.
  • Coca-Cola London Eye - on South Bank near Waterloo, designed by Marks Barfield.
  • O2 - walk over roof.
  • Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG - top floor with views of the City of London.
  • On Waterloo Bridge - from the centre of the bridge with viewing for 360 degrees.
  • Tall buildings with public viewing platforms - some for a fee, others are free - including: The Shard, SE1 9SG - with a view of 40 miles on a clear day; Tower 42; Heron Tower; Sky Garden; etc.

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Protected Views.

London is fortunate to have arrangements to protect certain views and vistas of panoramas, river prospects, linear views and townscapes in and across London which are open to the public and are worth a visit to take in the views and appreciate the city - as long as the weather is agreeable. There are 27 cherished views and 13 protected vistas.

  1. St Paul's from Westminster Pier.
  2. St Paul's from Greenwich Park.
  3. Westminster from Serpentine Bridge.
  4. Tower of London from Queens Walk.
  5. St Paul's from Blackheath Point.
  6. St Paul's from Alexandra Palace.
  7. St Paul's from Kenwood House.
  8. St Paul's from Parliament Hill.
  9. Westminster from Parliament Hill.
  10. St Paul's from Hampstead Heath.
  11. St Paul's from Primrose Hill.
  12. Westminster from Primrose Hill.
  13. The Original Keyhole. St Paul's from King Henry's Mound.

For illustrations of these views please see pages 68 to 73 of "London The Information Capital" by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti.