Saturday, 1 November 2008

Crossings of the River Thames 18: Chelsea Bridge

And so onto what is possibly the second greatest crossing in London, and if it was not for next door Albert then it would be in itself the romantic hotspot of London. Unlike the East End, West London has been blessed with cash and architectural 'splendour'.

Built in Art Deco style, it is similar yet different to Albert Bridge and matches it perfectly as a twin across the Thames and is set at a very pretty location with the stark nature of the Power Station to one side and the Park to the other. With a cycle lane and a bus lane it is much safer to cross on two wheels then some of the other crossings nearby. It is the second incarnation of the crossing and actually copes fairly well with the London traffic (late at night when there are no other cars around).

This is dating country. Not a first date mind you (we save that for Waterloo and the South Bank) but a third or fourth date. In summer, it is the glorious Battersea Park and all that it has to offer in terms of sun, canoodling and other frolics. But summer is nine months away and so in these winter months, what better then to wrap up warm and take that special someone to West London. Splash some cash in a fancy eatery in either Battersea or Chelsea and then end with a walk along the Thames. The views are spectacular, and they do encourage a healthy amount of sauciness in the air. After all, what else were the inter-war years about? These architects did not just shape this area as an accident...

Getting there and away:

Train: Battersea Park. Bus: Route 170 calls on the North Bank. Routes 44, 137, 452, N44 and N137 cross the bridge.

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