Under more favorable climatic conditions London would be one of the most beautiful, as it is the most interesting, city in the world. It is the world's center of commerce, finance and enterprise. Take, for example, the subject of this little work, — transportation. Where are all or most of the chief railroad and steamship lines of the world promoted and financed? The answer is, In London.
Apart from its business, and its antiquarian and historical sights, London has other great attractions for the traveler, and these are its literary associations, from Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims leaving the "Tabard," in the Borough, to De Quincey's "Stony-hearted Mother," and Dickens's " Pickwick " and " Our Mutual Friend."
Dr. Johnson said, " Let's take a walk down Fleet Street," and the doctor was right. The best way to see London is afoot, for frequently in out-of-the-way streets and up puzzling passage-ways we meet with the most agreeable surprises, and sometimes the consummation of a lifetime's desire, in a sight of the birthplace or the burial-ground of a hero of our early childhood reading, or of the favorite author, soldier or man of science of our more mature years.
Of course exploring in London takes time, and the ordinary traveler, who has not more than a week or ten days to devote to this city of many millions, had better select a hotel in a central location, between " the City " and " the West End," and make good use of the splendid system of " buses " and hansom cabs, where underground " tubes " are not available.
A week should be devoted to seeing London itself. The first object the traveler will wish to see, within the city, will probably be St. Paul's Cathedral; then the Bank of England, the Mint and the Tower of London, all of which, with the interesting places between, can very well be gone over on foot in a single day. The second day can be spent in visiting " The Temple," its Gardens and the Temple Church; the Law Courts, National Gallery, Horse Guards and Whitehall; the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Hall and the Abbey. The third day, St. James's Palace (in time for morning parade of the Guards), Piccadilly, the Royal Academy exhibition at Burlington House; South Kensington Museums, Brompton Cemetery (where beautiful Adelaide Neilson lies buried), the Tate Gallery; and in the afternoon (between 4 and 7, in the season) take a quiet walk along the footway by the south side of the carriage drive from Hyde Park Corner to the Albert Memorial. There one sees the finest moving panorama of rank, wealth and fashion to be found in any city of the world. Fourth day, the British Museum, the Wallace Collection, Regent's Park and the Zoological Gardens. Fifth day, London Bridge, and at its Southwark end, the interesting old St. Saviour's Church; the famous Borough Road, the pretty suburb of Dulwich, and the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. Sixth day, by river steamer for Hampton Court. Stop off at Kew and visit the magnificent Botanical Gardens. Before reaching Hampton Court, Richmond, Ham, Twickenham and many other .beauty spots on the River Thames are passed. At Hampton Court Palace two or three hours can be delightfully spent. Bushey Park, close by, is a pleasant sight at all times — in "chestnut-blossom week " it is entrancing. Return to London by rail. The seventh day, take in the shipping down the Thames, to Greenwich, the Seamen's Hospital, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park; and Woolwich Arsenal, a short distance beyond.
Apart from the immediate neighborhood of London, many delightful day-excursions can be made to Windsor, Henley, Oxford, Cambridge, Aldershot (the military camp), Brighton, the Isle of Wight, Warwick, Kenil- worth and Stratford-on-Avon, to Salisbury and Stone- henge, to the New Forest, Stoke Poges, Burnham Beeches, the " Constable Country " in Essex and the Dickens Country in Kent. The sojourner in London not only can see the metropolis, but by rapid, well- managed train service, much also of rural England besides, returning to his resting place in London at night. . Even Edinburgh, four hundred miles away, can be reached within eight hours.