Thirsty in Tyburnia: Spending a Sunny Afternoon in London

This trip report covers my afternoon visit to London, during which I enjoyed a sunny walk through Westminster and Soho, and had a couple of pints in some great pubs in the lovely Tyburnia neighbourhood.

A sunny afternoon in London

It had been quite a circuitous route for me to reach London after my cancelled British Airways flight, but just after noon, I had finally arrived in the British capital.

Instead of a simple direct flight to London Heathrow, I had to take two Turkish Airlines flights to reach Birmingham, followed by a CrossCountry train to Reading, and finally a GWR train to get to London.

I’ve visited London a few times before, although it has been quite a long time since my last visit to the city.

As I would be departing London again on a train to Cornwall in the evening, I was aware that my visit this time would be brief.

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A GWR train and CrossCountry train at Reading station. ©Paliparan
paddington station gwr train
After a big detour via Istanbul, Birmingham and Reading, I had finally arrived in London. ©Paliparan
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Great Western Railway Class 800 at London Paddington. ©Paliparan

Into the Tube

Although I was in the UK on holiday, I did have a short business meeting scheduled in Canary Wharf, but after the meeting I would have all the time to relax and soak up the London sunshine on this beautiful June day.

I therefore hopped on the Bakerloo Line to Waterloo, where I changed onto the Jubilee Line towards Canary Wharf station.

Although the London Underground was crowded today, I nonetheless really enjoyed being back on the Tube, which still is one of the world’s finest transport systems.

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Queue in front of the turnstiles at the Tube station of Paddington. ©Paliparan
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Waiting for the underground at the platform of Paddington station. ©Paliparan
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Changing trains at Waterloo. ©Paliparan
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Transferring to another line of the London Underground at Waterloo station. ©Paliparan
canary wharf station
Canary Wharf station. ©Paliparan

Canary Wharf

I’ve never been to Canary Wharf before, and although I’m generally not a fan of modern architecture and sterile glass office buildings, I found the district to be quite impressive.

Especially the spacious exit of the metro station with its sunlit glass canopy and long escalators looked rather grand.

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Escalators at Canary Wharf station. ©Paliparan
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Office buildings at Canary Wharf. ©Paliparan


After the relatively short meeting, I still had plenty of free time to explore London before the departure of my train to Cornwall.

Given that I’ve seen most of London before and have generally lost much of my appetite for exploring large European capitals in recent years – preferring smaller cities and towns away from the tourist crowds – I wasn’t really in the mood for sightseeing.

However, since my last visit to London was so long ago and I had never had the pleasure of exploring the city on such a gorgeous day, I spontaneously decided to get off at Westminster when I took the Jubilee Line back.

After all, seeing such iconic sights such as Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, home to the British Houses of Parliament, never fails to impress, no matter how many times you’ve seen them before.

Standing on Westminster Bridge and gazing out over the River Thames did really put me in the perfect holiday mood.

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River Thames and the London Eye. ©Paliparan
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Westminster Bridge. ©Paliparan
Westminster Bridge River Thames view
View over the Thames from Westminster Bridge. ©Paliparan
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The Palace of Westminster. ©Paliparan
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Big Ben. ©Paliparan

Afternoon walk through London

Before flying into England, I had asked my followers on Twitter for some London recommendations, primarily suggestions for places to eat and pubs to visit for a pint of beer.

Having received recommendations for a couple of attractive pubs close to Paddington station, primarily in the nearby neighbourhood of Tyburnia, I decided to head in that direction.

Tyburnia was a part of London I was not yet familiar with, and it was a practical location for my evening train departure to Cornwall as Paddington station would just be a short distance away.

As the weather was sunny and the temperature rather agreeable, I decided to walk to Tyburnia instead of taking the Tube.

With “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful playing in my headphones, I made my way north along Whitehall.

During my walk, I encountered some of Britain’s national heroes, including the Winston Churchill statue at Westminster and Horatio Nelson’s column at Trafalgar Square.

I eventually found myself in vibrant Soho, where I enjoyed a light lunch at Hoppers, a Sri Lankan restaurant.

churchill statue
Statue of Sir Winston Churchill. ©Paliparan
trafalgar square london
Nelson’s Column on Trafalgar Square. ©Paliparan
soho street
Street in Soho. ©Paliparan
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Enjoying some Sri Lankan food at Hoppers. ©Paliparan

Towards Tyburnia

From Soho, Tyburnia wasn’t too far away anymore, as all I needed to do was to get to Oxford Street and follow it all the way to the corner of Hyde Park.

Although not my favourite part of London, this busy and highly commercialized shopping street did ooze a lot of classic British vibes, thanks to dozens of Union Jack flags hanging across the street and the ubiquitous black London cabs and red double-decker buses driving along.

After a while, I reached Marble Arch and the north-eastern corner of Hyde Park, where I entered the Tyburnia neighbourhood.

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Major British vibes on Oxford Street. ©Paliparan
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Street in Tyburnia. ©Paliparan

A walk around Tyburnia

Tyburnia is an upscale residential district just north of Hyde Park.

Named after the Tyburn Estate, which was originally owned by the Bishop of London, the area was redeveloped into an upper class residential neighbourhood by architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell in the early 19th century.

Cockerell’s plans were for this new London neighbourhood to rival Belgravia, located at the southern end of Hyde Park, and he certainly succeeded in doing so.

Many of the houses in this leafy London neighbourhood look absolutely classy – and likely come with an eye-watering price tag to match their elegant appearance – although there were also some more mundane looking flats.

When I passed by the Duke of Kendal, I decided to step inside and enjoy my first pint of beer at this pub.

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Tyburnia streetscape. ©Paliparan
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Patrons enjoying a beer in front of the Duke of Kendal pub. ©Paliparan
tyburnia houses
Expensive houses in Tyburnia. ©Paliparan
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Hyde Park Square. ©Paliparan

Beer time

Another pub on my list, The Victoria, was also heaving with activity on this sunny afternoon.

Inside this lovely-looking pub all tables and bar stools were occupied, and also outside on the pavement there were quite a few punters enjoying their pint of beer.

I decided to join the crowd outdoor for a pint or two – first ordering a glass of Frontier lager, followed by a delicious pint of Clwb Tropica, a tropical IPA made by Tiny Rebel Brewing from the city of Newport in Wales.

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The Victoria, a great pub in the Tyburnia neighbourhood of London. ©Paliparan
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People drinking on the pavement in front of the pub. ©Paliparan
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Inside The Victoria pub. ©Paliparan
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Barkeep in The Victoria making drinks. ©Paliparan
frontier lager pint tyburnia
Drinking a pint of Frontier lager outside in the sun. ©Paliparan
british craft beer london victoria pub tyburnia
Enjoying a pint of Clwb Tropica on the sunny streets of London. ©Paliparan

Back to Paddington station

When some clouds finally obscured the sun in the late afternoon, I decided it was time to head back to London Paddington station.

Despite my train not being due for a few hours, I wanted to take my time to explore the stunning surroundings of Paddington station and visit the GWR Lounge before my departure, both of which I will discuss in the next chapter of this trip report.

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Walking back to Paddington station. ©Paliparan
london paddington station
London Paddington station. ©Paliparan


Although my visit to London was rather brief, I did enjoy a lovely walk through the city, strolling from Westminster to Soho, Hyde Park, and Tyburnia in some fabulously sunny weather.

As I had never visited the Tyburnia neighbourhood before, it turned out to be a great place to enjoy a couple of beers in the afternoon sun before catching my train from nearby London Paddington station.

In particular, I enjoyed my time in The Victoria pub, which proved to be an excellent spot to enjoy a couple of quality beers.

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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