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MAIDA VALE Bakerloo Line(Harrow & Wealdstone)                            

This short route to see some quirky architectural details can be expanded to include Little Venice via Warwick Avenue and Camden Town. Total distance about 3 miles     
As you leave the red-tiled Tube station (1915) make sure you don't miss the mosaic of the Underground logo at the top of the stair well. 
There are also some interesting lamps outside the station. To begin the walk, turn left to have a look at Randolph Avenue. 

Pass the somewhat pompous archway of Elgin Mews South to reach a run of six-storey terraced houses. The amount of care lavished on the detail of these is quite extraordinary. Begun in 1862,  they boast a wide variety of architectural ornamentation including barley-sugar twist columns and a series of different plaster heads over the windows.(Builder: Richard Thomas). 

The houses are in excellent condition following restoration in the 1960's by the owners (the Church of England Commissioners) who mercifully decided on conversion into flats rather than demolition. 

At the end of these ornate terraces comes rather more conventional nineteenth century housing - but the entertainment is not yet over, for No. 106 has a splendidly curvaceous chimney.  Continue along Randolph Avenue. At the junction with Sutherland Avenue cross by the zebra, then use the traffic island to get to the amazing Warrington Hotel on the corner of Warrington Crescent.  Although much of the property in the area was owned by the C. of E., it had a decidedly dodgy reputation in the nineteenth century and the Warrington was rumoured to be an up-market brothel. 

After you have admired the spectacular porch, retrace your steps* to Maida Vale Underground, but at Elgin Mews cut through to Lanark Road. Turn left (passing a somewhat odd door) and go left again round the corner to get to Abercorn Place where there is a shopping parade with more twisty columns and elaborate polychrome brickwork. How dreary much of our twenty-first century building seems by comparison.

*Alternatively, walk a few minutes down Warrington Crescent to Warwick Avenue Tube station where you can pick up my route for the Little Venice area

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This is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the link above and see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!

© DR