My Walk this Week 162 – Hampton Court Gardens

My walk this week takes an informal look at what would often be described as the formal gardens of Hampton Court. The gardens behind Hampton Court Palace are indeed formal and you only need to look at Google Maps to see that formality of design.

pergola tunnel

But the Wilderness Garden (above) and the Rose Garden also have a formal layout – it’s just not as noticeable when you look at the individual plants and flowers.Continue reading

riverside trees

My Walk this Week 136 – London Embankment

My walk this week is along the London Embankment from Tate Britain to Tate Modern. The route is a melting pot of people from everywhere and a multitude of sounds ranging from the lapping of the River Thames following the passage of river boats, to music and talking and footsteps and skateboards and birds and more and more.

disappearing steps

But the soundscape was not cacophonous, the streets and walk-ways were (mostly) not overcrowded. While I was amazed at the place, the people, the buildings, the river activity, I was not overwhelmed or oppressed by them. Continue reading

St James's Park

My Walk this Week 135 – St James’s Park, London

My walk this week is in St James’ Park,¬†which I visited during some spare time on a recent trip to London. There were plenty of people out and about enjoying the colours and textures of Autumn leaves, squirrels, a range of geese, swans, ducks, gulls, herons, pelicans, the inevitable pigeons, and a bird I could not identify.

The black, white and brown bird in the middle of the sequence below shows a waterfowl which I would like to identify – if anyone can help with this, I would be very grateful.

St James's Park

I have visited London many times over the years and it is a fantastic place to explore with its parks and architecture, culture and the arts. However, I found the number of people there a little overwhelming, though I know it wasn’t as busy as it can be and my visit was not spoiled in any way. I guess I am just not used to it, living in a small town as I do.

Click the play button and then the first image to listen and look through the features of my walk this week.Continue reading

The Shard and Other London Fragments

Looking at a recent post about London on a blog I follow, I was reminded by a photo showing the Shard in the distance, of a visit to London I made when that structure was still being built.

Half the tube stations were out of action in preparation for the 2012 Olympics but the StillWalk I produced from the photos and sound recording I did on the day does not reflect my frustration with this. Watch the video below.

StillWalks – London Tate Walk from Alastair Duncan on Vimeo.

My StillWalks often use the natural environment as the location, but not always. StillWalks are primarily about relaxation and stress relief but they are also about seeing and hearing all that is around us and I am as interested in the sounds of the city as those of the countryside.

Here is one of the images from that walk.



It’s a while since I lasted posted anything, I know – please be patient with me, I am still getting up to par with all this. Anyway, things are moving, as have I – i.e. travelling. This latest sound clip (see below) is from a recent journey to London for a British Tapestry Group meeting. All did not go well! The meeting was OK – Hillu Liebelt¬†gave a fascinating talk about her work. Getting there was not so easy!

I arrived in London to discover that half the tube lines and stations were not in use. No problem getting to Tate Modern – lovely walk along the Embankment and the Tate is an experience on its own (watch out for the StillWalk). Afterwards I crossed the Millemium Bridge ‘cos I wanted to, and then headed for the tube . . . 1st station closed . . . and the 2nd . . . and the 3rd . . . finally London Bridge was open but I couldn’t figure out which lines/stations were open to allow me to get to Richmond. Knackered by this time, I waited in the ticket queue for assistance and finally took a roundabout route out to the BTG meeting, arriving late and exhausted.

To end on a brighter side – the weather was beautiful and I enjoyed the train journey up to London – got some work done, emailed some friends and recorded this great clip of travelling under the Severn Estuary.