Viva Vauxhall Tour

Another glorious weekend in London. The weather has been wonderful and it feels like summer is here to stay this time. On Saturday morning we joined the wonderful Isobel for a tour of Vauxhall. We had never been to the area and when we first arrived all we saw was a massive bus, underground, and train station. However, I’ve been on a few tours with Isobel so I knew we would be in for a treat.

Up first the bus station. If you look at the photos below you’ll see some strange ski looking things on top of the building. There are solar panels in there and they supply one-third of the energy for this busy transportation center. One-third! Now I wish all businesses and residential places used solar energy. The animals, landscape, and planet would say thank you.

Next we visited a small, but delightful garden in Bonnington Square. Before the garden was installed, this area had been hit by a bomb in World War II. Now it’s a wonderful place for kids (big and small) to play.


The neighborhood on the way to our next stop.

The Harleyford Road Community Garden. This is located near a busy street, but when inside you would never know it. In the 1970s it was a wasted space. The residents worked together to create this wonderful place for all to enjoy.


The Royal Vauxhall Tavern was erected in 1863. At first it was a Victorian music hall. After the war it became a venue for female impersonators. Many of London’s elite drag artists have performed here. And in the 1970s, Freddie Mercury would visit.


The Battersea Power Station. This used to be a coal-fired power station, but now it is decommissioned. Many of you may recognize it though. It was shown in The Beatles’ movie, Help!, appeared in the Judas Priest video, “Another Thing Comin’”, and was used for the cover of Pink Floyd’s album Animals.


This is St. George’s Tower. Many of you may have heard of an accident recently, when a helicopter hit a crane. This is where the accident occurred.


Here is the Vauxhall Bridge, originally called Regent’s Bridge. It was built in the nineteenth century and was a toll bridge. Now it’s open to the public. Along the side you can see statues. Also, for trivia lovers. It was the first one in London to have tram tracks.

This building, Peninsula Heights, might be of interest to book lovers. Jeffrey Archer owns the penthouse at the top. In addition it appeared in the Italian Job and in Sweeney.

One of my favorite stops was the Vauxhall farms. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to see any animals on the tour and Isobel surprised me.

We ended at this adorable tea place. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to have a cup of tea since we rushed home to watch Wimbledon. But I’m sure I’ll be back.

For those who are in the London area or will be visiting, I highly recommend going on a tour with Isobel. Here’s her site. She’s an amazing guide and whenever I get a chance I go. In fact, I may repeat some of them.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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73 Responses to Viva Vauxhall Tour

  1. scrapydo says:

    I love the way you put this blog together. Lots of photos and also interesting information. 🙂

  2. wordsurfer says:

    Looks great! I’ve only ever been to the Vauxhall region once, and that at night, but I was surprised as well! Especially since I had the same experience as you: starting out from that massive station and then walking along a major highway-like road, I didn’t expect it turn green and lovely and quaint further on. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I was shocked how quaint and quiet the neighborhood streets are. You’d never expect it and I feel sorry for the folks who don’t venture past the station. There’s so much to see and the views are amazing. How’s the night life?

      • wordsurfer says:

        Very charming. We sat at a small plaza-like street corner with cafés and pubs spilling out onto the square and I felt like I’d suddenly landed in Paris! 🙂

      • TBM says:

        do you happen to remember the street you were on?

      • wordsurfer says:

        I’m sorry, no. I could probably find it if I walked there again, but at the time I was just following the friends I was with. We started out from Battersea Park, left the on the western side and walked (I think) in the general direction of the river, for about fifteen minutes. That’s all I can remember!

      • TBM says:

        Well it gives me more inspiration to go back and hunt for this spot. Will let you know if I find it! I love a good challenge.

      • wordsurfer says:

        Wow, you know what? I’m pretty awesome! 🙂
        I just took a digital walk via Google Streetview and I found it again!!! Looks different at daytime, but I got it. Do you still want to do it as a challenge? You can post a photo and I’ll tell you if you’ve found it? 😉

      • TBM says:

        You are awesome! And that’s an interesting challenge you’ve set up for me. Let me think on it. I might enlist help to see if we can find the spot. Will let you know if I decide to take the challenge.

  3. Alastair says:

    Looks like a great day out – love your photos too 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I really enjoy these walks. I learn some history, feel acquainted with the neighborhood and learn to appreciate all that London has to offer. It’s nice to see places other than Big Ben–nothing against Big Ben. I’ve always been interested in the history of every day life and Isobel’s tours are perfect for me.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day and I noticed there was even a tavern in there LOL!!

  5. Frank says:

    Wonderful weather for your delightful day. …. and I have that Pink Floyd LP! Cheers to Andy Murray!!!!

  6. Great post TBM! I am always about pictures. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a unique and cool building. The neighborhood shots with all the greenery and neighborhood cat are a treat. That tea shop is absolutely darling. If I could drive to England I’d be at the tea shop in no time.. 😀

    • TBM says:

      I’m a tea addict and I hear this place serves a legitimate cup of tea. It was a real shame that we didn’t have time to stop. But I loved the neighborhood so I know I’ll be back. And the greenery is amazing. I was astounded how quite the streets are considering it’s a main travel hub for buses. And the neighborhood community gardens really show how much people can transform and improve their living conditions if they work together. I wish more neighborhoods were like this. I did see many more cats, but they were much quicker and I couldn’t get their photos.

  7. bulldog says:

    TBM.. this is a great share… love your photography…

    • TBM says:

      Thanks, Bulldog. The area is lovely and a great place to wander. next time, I want to linger in some of the places and let it soak in

  8. What fun and it bought back happy memories as I have some pals who used to live in Vauxhall and we used to go to see some fun events at the Vauxhall Tavern!

    • TBM says:

      I bet the events were fun! I wish I could have seen it right after the war when it first started up. I wonder if there are any books on it.

      • You’ll have to try the British Library, bet they have something. And the Tavern still has events now doesn’t it…you should go, it can get a bit wild!

      • TBM says:

        I’m pretty sure they still do events since they had banners hanging outside and I love shows. Must plan a trip!

  9. What an eclectic mix of visuals that are stunning and others that convey a slice of life. Do you consciously choose to do these genres?

    Great post!


  10. I want to know why you are there and I am stuck here doing bookwork and reporting on drains?

  11. niasunset says:

    What a beautiful photographs… I loved and enjoyed, as feeling myself in there… Thank you dear TBM, love, nia

  12. adinparadise says:

    Thanks for the interesting tour. Wasn’t Andy marvellous? 🙂

  13. Have never been to the area, so enjoyed seeing these shots. Also glad to see sunshine over there!

    • TBM says:

      The weather has been great, a little warm, but I’m getting used to it again. At least it isn’t as hot and humid as Boston. I hated the humidity there.

  14. Fergiemoto says:

    Fascinating! It looks like it was a great weekend. I sure enjoyed your photos!

  15. samokan says:

    Now I wish I could visit London 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I hope you do. This is an amazing place and I still have to remind myself that I live here now.

      • samokan says:

        the visa processing always discourages me.. too troublesome 🙂

      • TBM says:

        I didn’t enjoy the process for getting my visa to live here so I understand. It was so stressful and quite intrusive into our personal lives. I understand why they have to be that way, but it is a pain.

      • samokan says:

        the problem is the british embassy in japan, it seems do not issue tourist visa since Japanese have no need for it. I think they can get it on arrival but not for me (being from the Philippines), so what they do is they send our passport back to my country for processing then back to Japan again , which is really troublesome. My partner is not a fan of London and my Brit friend is not planning to go back anytime soon, so its currently put on hold … for now.

      • TBM says:

        I hate red tape. When I moved to London I had to send my passport and other important papers and such in the mail. I hated that feeling of what if it got lost. I’m sorry this is such a difficulty for you. Hopefully someday it will be easier.

  16. Vishy says:

    Beautiful post and beautiful pictures, TBM! Glad to know that you had a wonderful time! Seeing skyscrapers in a London picture was interesting for me. Glad to know that you found a wonderful guide in Isobel. I checked out her blog and it looks great.

    • TBM says:

      It is odd and sometimes jarring to see the old and new buildings in London. I’m so glad you checked out her website. Isobel is such a wonderful guide and I would recommend her to anyone.

  17. i love this post. years ago i used to have an agonizing commute – 22 miles and it averaged 90 minutes on a good day. Vauxhall Road was the worst of it – that’s where my will power would break and i’d eat my lunch in my stopped car. now when hear Vauxhall or think of that road i’ll have all your lovely pictures in my head instead.

    • TBM says:

      I’m glad I could help. and 90 minutes for 22 miles. Oh man I can’t even imagine that kind of traffic and commute. How awful.

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