On the north side of the Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Hungerford Bridge are the Victoria Embankment Gardens, one of London's many leafy green spaces. With a café, bandstand, green gym, kids play park, fish pond and grassy places to just sit, it still manages to pack in a wealth of monuments and statues - even for London this area is particularly monument heavy.
Free to visit and with plenty for all ages to do, it is a lovely place to chill out while absorbing some culture in the sunshine.
It was Christopher Wren who first suggested a river embankment after the Great Fire of 1666, although due to political infighting and the protests of river users, work didn't begin until 1864. It was created to house a main sewer, to stop sewage flowing directly into the River Thames, as well as to ease traffic congestion and improve the look of the river. In total, about 22 acres of marshy land were reclaimed from the river. The grand buildings and town houses which had once been waterfront properties now found themselves without any river access at all.
The only remaining victim of this land reclamation is the York Watergate, a Grade I listed gate which once gave the