It’s not often that I make it to West London these days, and when I do, I scarcely head further west than High Street Kensington (unless I’m off to Heathrow, of course). So visiting my old neighbourhood of West Kensington is a rare treat indeed.
Since moving to the Canary Wharf and Limehouse area almost four years ago, my journeys take me back to West Ken once or twice a year when I pop into the local dentist’s office for a checkup. Normally I have a morning appointment and am off to work straight away. This last time, however, I booked a leisurely 4pm time slot and took the afternoon off.
After getting my teeth thoroughly inspected (they’re in good shape, btw) I decided to take a little walk down memory lane and stroll past our old flat. Long time readers of the blog will know that I wasn’t particularly fond of our old West Kensington flat, but it will always hold a special place in my heart as our first real place in London.
The street, Perham Road, has held up pretty nicely over the years and many of the Victorian-era buildings have received a bit of a facelift since I lived there. The building housing our old flat looks like it still needs some sprucing up though – nothing a little white paint couldn’t fix.
West Kensington is largely a residential area. It’s about a 20-minute walk from High Street Kensington and another 20 or 30-minute walk to Hammersmith. It’s quiet, leafy, and I’ll admit there are times when I miss living there. It feels very “London,” whereas my current neighbourhood has more of a generic urban feel.
Before heading back on the tube I turn onto a street about a block from Perham road and happened across a Blue Plaque I had never seen before. For those who don’t know, Blue Plaques are pretty common around London and mark the place where a famous person (or people) lived and/or worked. This particular plaque marked where Mahatma Gandhi lived as a law student. How cool is that?
Walking through West Kensington brought back a lot of great memories of my first year in London. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I have a chance to visit again.