Things to do in London: The Monument, Borough Market & Hay’s Galleria

Borough Market, food heaven!

There has been a food market in the area since the 11th century. Nowadays, traders sell ethically sourced fresh produce, meats, dairy, oils and spices among other products, both from the United Kingdom and the world. There are cafes, bars and restaurants as well.

Borough Market

If you visit the market at lunchtime, as I did, you’ll have a wide variety of foods to choose from, from a Scotch egg stall to freshly baked bread and pastries to German sausages to fish and chips. It is difficult to make up one’s mind with those enticing smells, so a troll around the stalls gives you a good idea of what is available and then decide what you’re in the mood for.

Always in the mood for pastries!
Always in the mood for pastries!

Besides the delicious food, the plus for me is that Borough Market is located behind Southwark Cathedral. Food and history together in London, two of my favourite things.

Borough Market is located across the street from London Bridge station on the Jubilee and Northern Lines.

Hay’s Galleria

Hay’s Galleria used to be a wharf built around an enclosed dock and it was called Hay’s Wharf. Tea clippers from India and China and ships from all over unloaded their cargo here. The wharf fell into disuse and disrepair over the years but it was redeveloped in the 1980s. The former warehouses were converted into offices and a glass roof was installed. There is a fountain in the middle with a 60 feet bronze sculpture of a ship that honours the shipping heritage.

Hay’s Galleria

Since it is located on the Thames Path in the south bank, Hay’s Galleria has panoramic views of the City of London, the river and London, Southwark and Tower bridges.

The Galleria is a short walk from London Bridge tube station.

The Monument

I find it funny that a monument is called The Monument. This monument (1671-77) commemorates the devastating Great Fire of London, which is believed to have started nearby, on Pudding Lane, in 1666. Sir Christopher Wren designed this immense Doric column. At 61 metres high (202 feet), visitors can enjoy unhindered views of London from the top.

View from the top of The Monument

Apparently, not everyone enjoys being that high up. When I visited The Monument, there was a family with two young boys, about 4 and 6 years old. The youngest looked distressed about climbing the 311 steps to the top. Half way up, he had enough and his mum had to calm him down. She must have eventually persuaded the little tot to carry on. I saw them at the top, the boy holding on to the doorframe for dear life, clearly terrified. I felt sorry for him. The great views meant nothing to him.

The Monument stands at the corner of Fish Street Hill and Monument Street, across from The Monument tube station.

If you’re planning on committing suicide by jumping from the top, you won’t be able to. In 1842 the gallery was enclosed with railings after six people committed suicide between 1788 and 1842.

Admission ticket for adults is £4. For £10.50, you can get a combined ticket for The Monument and the Tower Bridge.



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