AVictorian

IT is not easy to say much that is new upon this topic. Everyone knows the parks of London. No one requires to be told that a drive in "the Park" — that is to say Hyde Park — is one of the commonest ways of killing time in the London Season. It is not the sort of drive that would commend itself (isn't "ride" the correct American phrase?) to a gentleman, say, of the Silas Lapham school, to whom fast trotters on a clear road are the principal inducements to outdoor exercise. But such as it is, the Hyde Park drive on a June afternoon is not to be lightly written of. As a means of seeing the great world, it presents many attractions. To be seen of the great world one's self is another inducement. For the sole purpose of rolling on wheels and taking the air briskly, it is the very worst drive that ever was known — that is to say from 5 to 7 p.m. in the London Season.


A far more interesting and bracing exercise would be to drive through Piccadilly and cross the river to Battersea Park, thence through Wandsworth to Kingston Vale, entering Richmond Park by Robin Hood Gate, and, having made the circuit of the beautiful woodland to Richmond, return thence by way of Putney and Fulham.

regents

The Regent's Park is a noble pleasure-ground, once one gets to it, A good excuse for the drive would be the Botanical and Zoological Gardens there located, both of which are charming in summer. A fine, breezy, picturesque upland is Wimbledon Common, No "swells" go there in carriages except to garden parties, probably because it is so breezy and invigorating, and one must be enervated in June to be in the mode. But the drive to Wimbledon, via Chelsea, Fulham, and Putney, is specially worth noting.

It used to be fashionable to take the road to Greenwich. The train is far the better way of going there; and we do not know that Greenwich is worth going to at all. Fish dinners at the Trafalgar and Ship are "played out." The Naval College, aforetime Greenwich Hospital, is a noble pile of buildings, most imposing when viewed from the river front. The river Thames steamboats are not particularly comfortable craft; but the trip from the Temple Pier to Greenwich is certainly worth taking.



Woolwich is the headquarters of the Royal Artillery, with barracks for cavalry and infantry, and a large military hospital; A pass from the War Department (Pall Mall, London) is necessary in order to view the Arsenal. The friendly offices of an artillery officer of the garrison would be of great advantage in seeing what is to be seen, including, doubtless, the interior of the Mess Room of that regiment, than which a more hospitable shelter is not to be found in England.


Hampstead Heath is called a cockney resort. Then cockneys are to be congratulated. We were reading the other day an American lady's opinion of Hampstead, published in a fashionable New York Journal. The lady (who is a distinguished actress) says its attractions to her are so many that she hopes to spend a month or six weeks of every year in the neighbourhood. We trust she may. She says it is the most delightful suburb of London. It certainly was years agone. What it is now, with Fitzjohn's Avenue and other fine ranges of bricks and mortar, we know not. We loved its rural simplicity, redolent of so many pleasant literary memories - of Steele, Pope, Johnson and their coterie; and later of Coleridge, Lamb, Leigh Hunt, Shelley and Keats.

Of course every one goes to Richmond. At one time every one went to the "Star and Garter" as well. And all ladies used to eat of those confectionery trifles called "Maids of Honour." Perhaps the healthiest inducements to visit Richmond are the Park and the view from the hill-top. This, "they say," is not to be matched in England. Perhaps not. Very few hills have a river Thames winding at their foot. At all events, the famous Hill commands a beautiful landscape on a clear day. To the right rise the towers of Windsor Castle and the hills of Buckinghamshire; and in the middle distance may be seen the low-lying tracts of Runnymede and Chertsey. To the left the horizon is bounded by the bold outline of the Surrey Downs. One may catch sight of the church spire of Harrow-on-the-Hill and the steeps of Highgate. Immediately at foot, the placid waters of the Thames wind for miles through the well-wooded and picturesque champaign. The whole forms a picture which, once seen, is not readily forgotten.

Richmond may be reached most conveniently from Waterloo Station (Loop Line); or a party of four might find more entertainment in hiring an open carriage, and going down by road. Visitors to Richmond may be induced to visit the Church for the sake of the persons who lie buried there, — Thomson the poet of "The Seasons," Barbara Holland and Edmund Kean the actor. It may be well to mention that in the vicinity, on the lelt bank of the Thames, is Twickenham, whose church contains some interesting monuments, especially a tablet to the memory of Pope. Twickenham has many literary associations, "that quiet village by the silver Thames to which Essex, Bacon and Hyde, by turns, retired from the bustle of Court and the toils of active life; and where, at a later period. Pope made love to Lady Mary (Wortley Montagu), received the visits of Swift and St. John, and indited verse that will never die." Pope's villa has gone, and of the grotto scarce a trace remains. Horace Walpole lived hard by, at Strawberry Hill.

Kew, not far away, suggests another opportunity for an excursion away from the heat and turmoil of the town. There are two attractions at Kew — the Botanic Gardens and the Pleasure Grounds. Money has been wisely, and lavishly, spent upon this beautiful spot. An immense conservatory with accompanying flower gardens have been planned; many plant-houses have been erected; a museun built; a pinetum planted; and the whole is thrown open for the benefit of the public. To fill these gardens and conservatories, all the ends of the earth have been ransacked for their floral treasures. It is well, by the way, to warn the visitor that the Gardens are not open before 12 o'clock, except on Bank Holidays; on those days they open at 10. A pleasant way of reaching Kew is by steamboat from Chelsea Pier, which may be reached by omnibus ("white") from Piccadilly, or any of the more westward river piers, Westminster, Charing Cross, Temple, etc. Trains run from all Metropolitan and District Stations, or from Waterloo (Loop Line) Station to Kew. The river steamboats, for a city like London, are still far behind the age.

Hampton Court has many attractions not solely associated with its famous Palace, amid the memorials of the illustrious personages who lived in it. The neighbourhood is replete with rural charms, not the least pleasing of which are the walks in the Palace gardens and through the far-famed avenue of Bushey Park, which adjoins them. Hampton Court is some twenty miles from Westminster by the river (the journey this way is somewhat tiresome), and fifteen miles by (London and South Western) railway. It was the palace of Wolsey (by whom it was built), Henry VIII., Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Charles I., Charles II., James II., William III., Queen Anne and the first of the Hanoverian kings. A great mass of picturesque old buildings, containing many relics of departed royalty, is set in the midst of grounds of which the gardener's art has made a paradise of flowers. When the excursionist is weary of wandering through stately halls and ancient chambers, wherein are the dusty furniture, the bedsteads, the chairs, the tapestries, and the portraits of many princes, he may pass through the ancient courtyard into the palace grounds, where the air is soft and fragrant, and where there are trees which mayhap had readied maturity before the great cardinal who built the palace had himself won fame.

The collection of pictures (scarcely less than a thousand in number) will repay a visit to Hampton Court in winter or summer; but to know how lovely the surroundings of the quaint old palace are, one should visit it on a fair May day, when the chestnuts in Bushey Park are in bloom, and their towering branches uphold big bouquets of fragrant white and pink flowers, London can offer nothing more beautiful than this spot. It may be remarked that Hampton Court Palace is one of the very few public places in or near London open on Sundays.

It is a pleasant drive (or walk) hence to Teddington through the Park. Twickenham, Teddington, Surbiton, Kingston, Sunbury, and Shepperton, all not far away, afford charming views of Thames scenery, and are much frequented in the summer months by oarsmen and anglers. Farther away Maidenhead and Marlow have great attractions for boating parties. The scenery on the upper Thames is lovely.


Windsor is some distance "out of town." The most direct way of reaching it is by rail from Waterloo (Loop Line) Station of the London and South Western Railway. A four-horse coach, starting in most seasons from the White Horse Cellars, Piccadilly, about ten, and running to Windsor and Virginia Water, offers an attractive, but more expensive, route. Again, another way is from Paddington Station of the Great Western Railway.

A long summer's day may be spent in roaming about Windsor. It is as well to say that the State Apartments at the Castle are open gratuitously on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from April 1st to October 31st, between 11 and 4; and from November 1st to March 31st, between 11 and 3. Tickets and guide-books may be procured at the Lord Chamberlain's Store within the Castle after passing the Chapel. When Her Majesty is in residence the State Apartments are closed to the public.

The State Apartments are sufficiently interesting; but on the whole the great attraction of Windsor is St. George's Chapel, one of the most famous of sacred edifices. It is full of historic interest, and is a beautiful example of the florid-Gothic style of architecture of the days of Edward IV. The interesting archives of the Public Record Office, show a patent of Richard I., with the date 1390, describing the chapel as falling into ruins, and appointing a clerk of the works to superintend its repair. The salary of this functionary was to be two shillings a day, and the name of the man first appointed to the post was Geoffrey Chaucer.

Entering the choir from the nave, the scene is very striking. On either side are the carved stalls of the Knights of the Garter, the canopies being sculptured in the most delicate yet fantastic Gothic. Above are the silken banners of each knight, with mantle, sword, helm, and crest on a pedestal below. At back of the altar is a reredos growing some beautiful carving of alabaster. The wainscoting about the communion-table is also rich in wood-work. Not far from the altar, on the north side, is a small gallery, called "The Queen's Closet." It is a plainly-furnished apartment, with sofa and chairs upholstered in purple velvet. The wainscot and canopy are in the Gothic style, painted to imitate Norway oak. The Queen uses it on occasions on which she attends service in the chapel.

The stained-glass windows are splendid examples of art: one of these, the west window, fills the entire width of the nave; another, over the altar, in the choir, is considered a chef-d'oeuvre, and cost some thousands of pounds. The whole of the ceiling of the chapel proper is decorated with the arms of many Sovereigns and Knights of the Order of the Garter, beautifully emblazoned; and all the decorations in the choir and around the wainscoting of the altar are in accordance with the same designs. The services of the Church of England are read daily in the chapel, morning and afternoon. On Sundays certain of the seats are free to visitors, and if a person be fond of fine music and singing he will hear both in St. George's Chapel. Many royal personages are buried here: Edward IV., Henry VI., Henry VIII., Jane Seymour, Charles I., George III., George IV., William IV., the Duke of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester, etc.

The Albert Chapel, erected by the Queen (on the site of an ancient edifice called Wolsey's Chapel) in memory of Ihe Prince Consort, is a magnificent and worthy memorial; as also is the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, built by the Queen, and which contains the remains of the Prince, This is not open to the Windsor Park should be visited, and a drive might be taken to Virginia Water, Eton College is in the neighbourhood, about half an hour's walk from the Castle. A ramble from South Station, near Windsor, will take the visitor to Stoke Pogis, the scene rendered memorable by Gray's "Elegy."

In the opposite direction — south-east of London - the Crystal Palace at Sydenham has long been a favourite resort of pleasure-seekers, wherein enjoyment may be found adapted to every taste, and at a cost within the humblest resources. At all seasons of the year the Crystal Palace affords a genial welcome to every comer.

There may be added to the foregoing certain places of fashionable resort, not accessible to the public: such as Hurlingham, Hurst Park and Oatlands Park within easy reach of London; and also the country around Epping Forest, to see which it is best to go to Chingford (from Liverpool Street terminus) and thence stroll onward to the Royal Forest Hotel. From that pleasant rendezvous, a four-horse coach starts daily in the Spring and Summer Seasons for drives in the neighbourhood.