Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Number 176 Route

Thursday 26 May 2011

 The 176 starts right outside St Giles' Church, behind Centre Point, and right by those strange new blocks that look as if they are made of Lego bricks.  Linda and I met there, Mary being busy, and were able to hop straight onto a bus at 10.00, heading towards Penge

This is really a route of two parts:  lots of Central London landmarks, and then a great deal of South London residential neighbourhoods.

We began by heading down Denmark Street, famous in the old days as London's Tin Pan Alley, and then into Charing Cross Road, to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and on down to Leicester Square Tube Station, which is looking much improved after some years of 'works'.

The Charing Cross Road is not quite all book shops:  there are several music shops and, strangely, luggage shops, as well as the Charing Cross Library which serves the Chinese Community.

We came into Trafalgar Square, past St Martin in the Fields, which now has a small glass dome thing, a miniature version of the Louvre Pyramide, I suppose, to get down into the Crypt.  We could see that the Ship in the Bottle is still on the fourth plinth.  We also noted the Olympic clock, busy ticking down the days and hours, before turning left into Duncannon Road towards Charing Cross and the Eleanor Cross outside it.

You have to go all round the Aldwych if you want to go over Waterloo Bridge, so we passed the Indian High Commission and then saw that there are building works near to the statue of Gladstone in front of St Clement Danes.

This time, Linda was able to take pictures as we crossed the bridge, and we were also able to photograph the fox outside the Hayward Gallery.  This was to be a two fox day, as you will see later.

Past the Old Vic, we were down to St George's Circus and the obelisk there, as well as South Bank University.  Elephant and Castle is gradually adopting its new shape, with some of the subways closed, and the number of roundabouts reduced.  We discussed the difference between the modern and highly desirable new blocks of apartments (wind turbines not working despite high winds) and the old council blocks, presumably due for demolition or renovation.

On down into South London along the Camberwell Road, we saw the Blue Plaque for Charlie Chaplin, and then we came to King's College Hospital and the Maudsley. We then turned left to pass alongside the Salvation Army College, where we came to Denmark Hill Station.  You cannot expect us Overground people to pass without mentioning that this station will form part of the last part of the Overground loop round london.  This is where we spotted our second fox of the journey. At least we thought it was a fox, though it could be a wolf,  made out of iron.  I can't seem to find any information about it, though I suppose it could be work from the Camberwell College of Art.

 As we came through East Dulwich and down to the Horniman Museum, there were long views down towards Surrey.

We had had a mixture of sunshine and bitterly cold winds with, from time to time, sudden rain showers.  Who would have thought that yesterday was 'breakfast in the garden' weather?

Dulwich turns to Forest Hill without a break.  There is a new Art Centre in Forest Hill, with wall paintings of the musical instruments, history and nature of the Horniman. We also noted Havelock Walk which is where the Croydon Canal used to run. Then one is seamlessly into Sydenham, past St Christopher's Hospice, one of the first of the Hospices;  and thence into Penge.

Penge is in the Borough of Bromley, though you might not think it if you have visited more prosperous parts of the borough.  We did admire the Watermen's Alms Houses.  We passed the Crooked Billet before heading along the High Street, before turning into Pawleyne Road (the Pawleyne Arms being long gone) and the bus terminated.  It was 11.15, about the time the journey was supposed to take.


  1. The relevant website for the second 'fox' is It is indeed actually a wolf, creeping menacingly towards a ewe and her lamb while a ram stands on guard. The group is called 'Run' and is by Leigh Dyer. It was installed as a very handsome addition to Denmark Hill in March 2009.

  2. I felt I had to let you know that I just too a ride on the S1 Sherpa bus in Snowdonia National Park. Tim

  3. At some point in the last few weeks the 176 started turning right from the Strand directly over Waterloo Bridge without going around the Aldwych. Happy happy, joy joy. The years I've spent...

  4. Yes and its quite alarming for the pedestrians crossing Waterloo bridge as the bus turns when the traffic is stopped by pedestrians just stopping before the pedestrian crossing.

  5. Amazing clicks and very well described post.
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