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Published March 10th 2014
In the footsteps of #55
Chilled out cafes and little shops selling things you cannot get somewhere else in Clerkenwell, and the calm and traditional streets of Holborn – this summarises the best part of the walk following bus route 55.
First there is Leysian Mission, right at the Old Street roundabout. It used to belong to a Methodist organisation set up at the end of 19th century by students of the Leys School, who were concerned about the housing conditions in East End of London.
It had vibrant evangelical and social ministries and encouraged alumni from the Cambridge school to reach out to the poor.
Another mark from the past on this walk is Ironmonger Row Baths - built in 1931 as a public wash house and later upgraded to a Turkish Bath. Currently it is a SPA and gym.
Building of the Lysian Mission, credit Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa
You could call the walk a trail of Clerkenwell coffee houses as one comes after another.
There are such places as Shoreditch Grind with a view for the Old Street junction, J A hidden in a cul de sac, Timber Yard, Workshop and Look Mum No Hands set up by coffee and bike fanatics. Last one offers not only good coffee but also fixes bikes.
J A Cafe at Sutton Lane; credit Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa
If you choose shopping options, you should visit furniture showroom Vitra. They organise sales of the furniture from the display and you can get a designer chair for ₤1 or a modern armchair for ₤99 which previous price was around ₤1200!
Another cool shop is Magma, which is full of modern books for children and about design as well as some funny design stuff to put in your home. Many different small boutiques you can find at Leather Lane.
For those who prefer to avoid the commercial part, Clerkenwell and Holborn offer some quiet streets - Saffron Hill and Herbal Hill – can easily put you to sleep.
You can also visit the Italian Catholic church or concentrate in the Museum of the Order of St. John. There is plenty to choose from!
Museum of the Order of St. John; credit Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa