Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Olympic Discovery Trail

STROLL: Discovery Trails

Today I finally had time to have a wonder around London and find some of the Olympic Mascot statues which can be found in various tourist hot spots and some of the more hidden parts of London. There are six trails in total with numerous statues of Wenlock and Mandeville decorated in various ways associated with the city's history. I took part in four of the trails and will highlight the statues with literary links below:

Big Ben Wenlock

Red Trail (Lambeth / Westminster area)
No statues with real literary links here, but my favourite ones included Big Ben Wenlock (with the real Big Ben in the background making a stunning photo), Underwater Wenlock (outside the London Aquarium) and the very pretty Garden Wenlock.

Novel Wenlock

Pink Trail (Victoria Embankment / Covent Garden / Leicester Square area)
Near the strand is the stunning Novel Wenlock with beautiful black and white depictions of various stories. I also loved the Filmstar Wenlock near the popular film premiere location in Leicester Square and Spotlight Mandeville, hidden in the midst of theatre land.

Afternoon Tea Wenlock
Purple Trail (Piccadilly / Mayfair area)
Here you get to explore a more extravagant part of London, passing expensive hotels, restaurants, patisseries, chocolatiers and fashion houses. My favourites here are Afternoon Tea Wenlock, Cycling Mandeville and Dog Walker Wenlock. I was expecting Tyger Tyger Mandeville to be designed as a tribute to William Blake's poem about the Industrial Revolution, but it instead depicts colourful butterflies.

Green Trail (Regent's Park)
This trail has the most statues dedicated to literature. It begins with a brilliant design of Sherlock Wenlock, close to the Baker Street entrance and also features Midsummer Night's Dream Wenlock, which I found rather disappointing. Fans of Austen romance will enjoy having their photos taken with the dashing Regency Mandeville!

Sherlock Wenlock
Blue Trail (London Bridge / Bank area)
Unfortunately we ran out of time to do this one, but it features Sonnet Wenlock near St Paul's Cathedral and the Pirate Wenlock and Beefeater Wenlock also look like great fun!

Yellow Trail (Aldgate area)
We were also unable to complete this one, but I would have liked to have seen Dickens Wenlock as well as Punk Wenlock and Cockney Wenlock!

The Stroll Discovery trails are a great way to explore London and discover places you may not have walked through before. I learnt lots about the city and took my time to enjoy all the sights and see London through a tourist's eyes. The Red Trail in particular made me appreciate how stunning my home city is.

The trails will be in place until this weekend - 8th and 9th September, so if you have time, do make a effort to do at least a couple of these walks. The statues are also open to bids to raise money for charity!

More information and downloadable maps can be found at http://www.molpresents.com/stroll

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