This bus route starts outside St Mary’s Church – in Eastway – and ends all the way down at Waterloo Station across the Thames.
From start to finish – it takes about an hour – and it’s a great bus to get for people watching – as it goes through so many diverse boroughs of London.
One tip – no matter how uncool you feel – bags the front row upstairs seats!
From the start in Eastway – grab yourself a bottle of orange juice at the newsagent at the bus stop – and then you’ll head out up Wick Road for 3 stops.
It then turns into Valentine Road where you can hop off if you need to stock up at the Tesco supermarket.
It then carries on up Well Street – which is handy for the Lidl supermarket – far cheaper than Tesco’s – and with really interesting goodies.
At the top of Well Street – you head left into Mare Street – but jump off for the Iceland supermarket & some very delicious Vietnamese Restaurants. This is also the stop for London Fields British Rail Station.
But get off to explore London Fields anyway – especially for the Lido. This is an outdoor heated swimming pool in a fantastic park.
A little bit further down the road you’ll cross over the Regents Canal – but if it’s a Saturday – hop off – and walk along the canal for 5 minutes to the Broadway Market. This is a great market to pick up fantastic goodies for a picnic – or in winter – laze in one of the excellent cafes.
You’ll then turn right into Cambridge Heath Road - which also has a British Rail Station. It also has heaps of leather shoe & handbag wholesalers – but they’ll all sell the odd bag of pair of shoes if you ask nicely.
At the bottom – you’ll turn left into Hackney Road. This is a great road for all types of exciting reasons. First off – look out on your right for the Hackney City Farm.
This is a great place to spend an afternoon. There is a delicious café (I recommend the full English breakfast made from eggs laid that day!), a vast selection of farm animals (but watch out for a bad tempered turkey), a peaceful herb garden – and alongside – a great pond, playground & bicycle circuit.
A little further on your left is Colombia Road Flower Market – which you have got to visit on a Sunday morning!! You don’t have to buy anything – just look & listen! Great entertainment!
You are then in the heart of swinging, creative & utterly pretentious Shoreditch. It’s worth getting off & strolling around – soaking up all the meaningful graffiti, earnest art galleries, latest creations & interesting conversations.
About 2 more minutes & you’ll be passing Liverpool Street Station. Get off here for all the major markets:
Brick Lane http://www.visitbricklane.com/
Petticoat Lane http://www.eastlondonmarkets.com/Petticoat%20Lane.htm
From there – you’ll turn right into the City of London proper – with all the trading buildings, Bank of England
Monument (to the Fire of London)
Beware though – ‘cos sometimes this bus terminates here for some reason. Ask the driver for a Connecting Pass – so you don’t have to pay twice!
Then – just a little further along – you round the corner and St Pauls Cathedral looms high above you! This is where it counts being in the front row upstairs seats!!!
You’ll then go downhill on Fleet Street to Ludgate Circus. Get off here if you fancy a great stroll along the Thames. Just turn left at Ludgate Circus & you’ll see the bridge over the river.
If you stay on – you’ll then go uphill on Fleet Street – with great architectural buildings left & right. Please look out for the amazing 1932 Daily Express art deco masterpiece at numbers 700-853 Fleet street.
Soon you’ll come to the Aldwych stop (outside Kings College). This is the last stop for the West End – with Trafalgar Square if you carry on straight down & Covent Garden & all the theatres across the road.
Staying on the bus – you round the corner – and now you’ll be so happy you nabbed those front row upstairs seats – as you’ll be crossing the Thames over Waterloo Bridge – with the London Eye on your right – and South Bank Centre on your left.
Wow – what a sight! I know nothing compares to Leabank Square – but this comes close.
There’ll be one stop on the south side for the South Bank Centre
before your last stop outside Waterloo Station.
So there you are – one hour from Leabank Square – and a world away. This number 26 bus journey is really well worth taking – especially with children – as you end up at the Thames – with the London Aquarium http://www.londonaquarium.co.uk/ a short walk along the river.