Rain in Battersea Park and Chelsea Embankmet

A few weeks ago, Jorge and I took a walk in the rain, down Chelsea Embankment, over the Chelsea Bridge to Battersea where we walked through the park before veering off to a pub for a lunch of steak & ale pie and mash.

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Though we always complain, there’s something mesmerising about London rain, the way it clings to the bare branches above us, glistens on gravestones and shimmers on the painted posts of garden fences.

Raindrops on Winter Branches

There’s a certain nostalgia that it carries; it reminds me of puddle jumping with friends in university and its rhythmic pounding on the tin roof of my elementary school during recess.

Cemetery Rain

We spent a while walking through a cemetery along the way. I always enjoy cemeteries.

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In fact, if you’re bored, there’s plenty more photos on LLO of cemeteries in London including: Plumstead Cemetery, Woolwich Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Brompton Cemetery, Abney Park Cemetery, Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Kensal Green Cemetery and Highgate Cemetery.

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I find them to hold a fascinating mixture of life and death, with plants always growing among the stones. They are places of stories and reflection.

Nature on a Rainy Day

We walked through the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, along the paths and around the puddles with reflected Winter trees.

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Across the grass, the infamous and revamped Battersea Power Station loomed. Luxury flats went on sale there last week for up to £6 million.

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Don’t think I’ll be moving there any time soon…You?

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Under the tyres of red London busses, the rain gives a satisfying swish and puddles become mirrors of some of London’s favourite icons. We didn’t walk past any of those this day, but it did make a nice little reflection of the Chelsea Bridge.

Chelsea Bridge

I took a few photos through the squares at the top just for fun. One of the Albert Bridge:

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And one over to Battersea Park on the other side of the river:

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On the other side, we wandered along the river and into the park.

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We came across a small blue door that looks as if it hasn’t been opened in decades. Places like this intrigue me.

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Though it was already Winter, signs of the Autumn still lingered in the fallen leaves.

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This Buddhist peace pagoda in Battersea has been here since 1985. Like the incredible BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Neasden, it makes you forget for a second that you’re still in London.

Battersea Park

Here’s a link to a few photos I took of the pagoda in 2010.

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The air is more refreshing in the rain. It brings out the smell of lavender growing in front gardens and clears the pollution.

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There were plenty of people out and about in the park, holding their umbrellas and walking their dogs or tossing tennis balls across the grass for them to chase.

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I would have liked to have walked along the riverbank for a different point of view, but I wasn’t wearing very appropriate shoes for all the sand and stones.

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Anyone know what these red plants are called?

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They match the red benches nearby that curl around the Peace Pagoda.

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When we got to the end of the park, we thought it was time to hunt down that pub and dry off a bit.

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This is a row of houses right at the end of the Albert Bridge that touches the end of the park.

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There was a guardian pub dog outdoors and an “All troops must break step…” sign, which matches the one at the end of the Albert Bridge.

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While we were in Battersea, we took a little shortcut through a group of council flats.

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It’s always been interesting to see the posh houses and council estates in such close proximity in this city.

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They were quite colourful.

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My two favourite London bridges are Blackfriars and the pretty Albert, which we walked over on our way home.

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It reminds me of the board game, Candy Land, which was really popular when we were kids.

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Do any of you live on a houseboat? I don’t think it would be for me, but I’ve always wondered what it’s like when I walk on the Chelsea Embankment side of the Thames. Here’s the sign that matches the one at the pub!

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And lastly, on the way back home, we swung by the David Wynne sculpture of the Boy with Dolphin which I shared a photograph of in my last entry about my walk from Sydney Street to Sloane Square.

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“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” 
John Updike

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Picking Flowers in the Park

After the Peace Pagoda, I walked on through Battersea Park, past the still ponds, through the grass, toward a carnival. On the way, I passed by this little girl picking some spring flowers. A second later, she skipped off, swinging them in her hands while she caught up with her parents.

Spring Flowers in Battersea

Peace Pagoda in the Park

I finally took a walk over to the other side of the muddy Thames to get a closer look at the Buddhist Peace Pagoda. It stands alongside by the river in Battersea Park and it was actually quite peaceful – a lovely sunny, beginning-of Spring day, people stretched out in the cool grass, on benches reading books, dogs chasing sticks through the park in the distance. Worth a visit on a nice day, maybe with a picnic lunch. 

Here’s a few photos:

Peace Pagoda 1

Peace Pagoda 3

Peace Pagoda 4

Peace Pagoda 5

For more info: http://www.batterseapark.org/html/pagoda.html