Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Dash up the road :: 3800 steps

A quick walk with the family to the Horniman was another opportunity to take a different route and a few photos.

The day was lovely, but as I was rushed there are few really good photos of the walk itself.

The route took us up Davids Road, then up (and I mean UP!) Manor Mount, across Honor Oak Road, and UP! Westwood Park to Horniman Drive. I wonder how many walkers bother coming in the back gate of the Park. It is a steep walk, but there are some great views.

Manor Mount

Manor Mount itself is a curious collection of architecture, a representative capsule of Forest Hill as a whole [I need to take better pictures here]. About half way up is a rather 70's looking attempt at a "Glass House". The design is odd, and somewhat captivating, but I am certain it is totally impractical. Right next door is an old fashioned cottage, painted a delicate blue. Each of these is surrounded by imposing Victorian houses on 3 or 4 floors, and all on a very steep road. Quite odd.

Just up this road are several interesting examples of nicely decorated Victorian villas and semi-detached properties. It strikes me each time I see buildings like these how modern designs look cheap because they don't bother with details. But details are what make private dwellings desirable.

When we made it to the top, the bright blue of the sky only accentuated the fug of brown that blanketed the City. It is a pretty view from here, including the new Wembley Arch, the London Eye and Telecom Tower (other landmarks are also visible, but you have to move further around the buildings to see them).

Finally, we went into the Horniman Gardens for a walk around them, the museum, aquarium and for lunch (always good value here).

The little one was tired after this, so it was a direct route home via London Road, past a building I need to learn more about at the junction with Honor Oak Road, and the Capitol (now a Wetherspoons pub, but also a beautiful 1920's cinema).

At some point I must collect a list of places to research first as each time I go out I find new things to ponder. Somehow I never get round to it.


daniel said...

I remember going to a party in that glass house when I was a kid. Apparently the people who lived there held a a house warming as a way to show off their architectural skill and to try and drum up some work for themselves back in the bad old days of early 80s design.

Robert McIntosh said...

Bad old days is about right. I assume it is nice inside, but it looks terribly awkward from the outside.

Thanks for the comment. Are you still in the area?

There are one or two rather incongruous such houses in the area. I came across another one the other day at the top of Thorpewood Avenue. Probably nice and spacious, or eco-friendly inside, but a box shape from the outside.

daniel said...

I'm on Dacres now but grew up in Honor Oak Park.

From what little I can remember it was pretty nice inside, everything was designed and at the time it looked pretty space age. I still kind of like the incongruity of the place.

I will have to check out out the Thorpewood place. Have you been to the self-built Walters Way yet? First of it's kind apparently..