When Siobhan Wall’s book Quiet London was first published in 2011, it represented part of the authors search for peaceful havens in some of the worlds most iconic cities. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, Quiet London was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York.
The success of the original Quiet London book has led to the production of three new Quiet London Books that further explore the many places to sit and relax without excessive noise.
In the book Quiet London (Quiet Corners) , the author explores more peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living .
After an introduction the book is divided sections which include Parks, gardens and opens spaces, Churchyards & cemeteries , Places to relax, Places of worship, Places near water, Places to sit, and finally Places to stay .
In the introduction, the author argues that Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.
In recent years this is a message that London has taken seriously with a series of large parks being renovated and a large number of individuals, groups and organisations seeking to promote biodiversity by reclaiming waste ground for nature reserves and gardens.
It is within parks such as Lloyd in Walthamstow and Morden in recent years that wildlife and their habitat is taken seriously , Peckham Rye Park and Common is another green space that has been transformed by the local authority and local residents.
But as the author points out it is not just the large green expanses that offer a peaceful haven, even deep within the city with Grosvenor Square Garden and Princes Square there are places to sit and reflect.
Perhaps one of best places to reflect on our mortality is in a churchyard or cemetery, Abney Park is a good illustration of the way that many Victorian cemeteries have turned into a woodland memorial park and local nature reserve. Many churchyards in London are particularly picturesque and often have well tended gardens.
For those who want a little more than sitting quietly , the author offers a selection of places to increase your wellbeing which include Yoga , Meditation, Tai Chi and Spa’s .
After discussing the pleasure of sitting in churchyards, the next section covers the inside of Places of Worships. Central London is fortunate to have a large number of churches that offer some sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the street outside. St George’s Hanover Square and All Saints Margaret Street both offer some spiritual respite from the crowds of Oxford Street.
In London, two of the greatest pleasures is finding Places near water and Places to sit and the book offers a wide range of spots to enjoy.
Finally we are treated to Places to Stay, rather than large impersonal hotels, the author looks at a number of Bed and Breakfasts or lodges which offer a refuge even in what could well be described as noisy areas.
The book is well written and informative with each location illustrated by a short description and a photograph. The author is also an artist and uses those talents to find locations that may be quiet but are also aesthetically pleasing .
One of the major surprises of a book like this is that we often imagine in a major city there are very few quiet corners but actually when you look around you realise there are actually quite a large number. Many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet corner which they frequent, however this book offers a wide range of quiet corners.
Anyone who spends any period of time in London whether a resident or a visitor realises it can be extremely stressful and overpowering, this book offers an antidote by providing information about those all important sanctuaries where we can relax and recharge our batteries.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy , visit the publishers website here
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