Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Mayflower

A couple of weeks ago, I went on an organized guided "walk" with a dozen or so gals in London. We toured an area that was unfamiliar to me--the area of Rotherhithe, located on the south bank of the Thames.

Much of our walk was east of the Tower Bridge on a cold fall morning. I spend most of my time in the West end of London, so it was some new territory for me.

The views looking back towards the west were spectacular that morning. On the far left side, you can see the construction of the "Shard" underway. Due to be completed in 2012, it will be the tallest building in the European Union, with 72 floors and a spire of 15 more floors, totaling 1,017 feet. Designed to be triangular in shape and covered in glass, it will soon be an iconic figure of the London skyline. An artist's depiction of the final construction can be found here.

Views down the Thames towards the east end revealed early morning activity. We toured the residential area of Rotherhithe on the south bank of the Thames, which has been a port since the 12th century and a shipyard since the Elizabethan era.

Indeed, this monument commemorates Christopher Jones, the captain of the Mayflower who is buried in the churchyard nearby. The Mayflower actually sailed the first leg of its voyage from Rotherhithe on its infamous journey to the New World via Southampton and Plymouth.

Today the Mayflower Pub, dating from the 1720's, stands on the site of the former Shippe pub of the 1500's that was close to the area where the Mayflower was fitted out for its long journey.

Of course, as Americans, we had to eat an early Thanksgiving lunch there to celebrate the discovery of our own country. In the spirit of the Mayflower and the founding Pilgrims, may those of  us who are Americans spend Thanksgiving Day being thankful for the blessings and freedoms we all enjoy in this land we call "home."


  1. i just love your london tours. you could do it for
    a career. maybe you do!

    happy thanksgiving on the other side of the pond!


  2. Wonderful walking tour Deb!! and so much history included. I clicked over and viewed "The Shard" it will look amazing when finished, I am thinking some-thing like the Eiffel tower is to Paris ~ a real landmark.

  3. fabulous post!! the images are simply gorgeous too!

  4. Hi Debi,

    I enjoyed walking along with you. I love walking tours, you see so much more. You are so
    fortunate to be in such a history filled area. Enjoy every second.


    P.S. you are right, that call from Jeff was just fantastic. I miss him like crazy!

  5. Beautiful pics, Debi! How did London ever manage without its best ever tour guide?! I just wish I could be by your side on all these tours!

    Oh, you asked for a tutorial on bigger pictures ... I had a lot of help with that from someone who knows who to edit html code!

    Hope you guys enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving across the pond though I know you were missed in TX. Miss you here too!

  6. What a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving in your adopted country! Looking at all of these pictures has made me realize how much of London I am yet to see!

    Best wishes always,

  7. Wonderful post, Debi! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving too! xxoo :)

  8. Another delightful tour and history lesson, Debi, as well as an update on my favorite city. The Shard is quite something – it definitely dominates the skyline. I have mixed feelings about the modern buildings in London but I guess they are all part of what makes it endlessly fascinating. The Gherkin was pretty outrageous when it was built but seems to have settled in well now.

    Thank you for your lovely comment and Thanksgiving wishes – I'm very thankful to have met you this year, too. – g

  9. I haven't checked your site since the Spanx update... oh.... I've missed SO MUCH. First... love that William and Kate are engaged. I'm nuts for all things royal. Will you be in town for it?

    The pheasant hunting pics were beautiful... now thaw out those birds and get cooking!

    Love the Mayflower Pub, and the fact that you are seeing and doing all there is to do in London.

    From one Gigi to another!

  10. Bonsoir Debi. I guess just like in any major city there are always new things to discover, bits I haven't seen yet and - since things change quickly - places that seem new. There ar still so many things I haven't seen in London and I really should make more of an effort to discover them...your walk sounded pretty good :-)

    Thanks for your question about Greenwich Market and your lovely comment about my handmade goods. I probably won't be there for a while but am looking at doing the Hampstead Sunday Market. I'll let you know when and where.

    Have a lovely week, Love from South of the River x