- Route 16 (49 mins)
Straight down the line this one. One and done.
And the sun’s out. Glorious. Not a cloud in the sky as I emerge blinking from Victoria’s bustling underground station. The 16 begins its journey in the shadow of the station, before twisting up past Hyde Park and heading north on Edgware Road past Kilburn to Cricklewood. Once on board, we quickly pull up alongside Grovesnor Gardens, packed with those lunching and lounging in the first genuine day of summer.
However, the roads are as quiet as the parks are busy and early progress is serene. At Hyde Park, a little boy runs round behind a tree to pee, blissfully unaware that by doing it out of sight of his mum and the two other people nearby, he is exposing himself to the top decks of three London buses. I have to remind myself not to take a photo. Three years of taking photos of Thomas, it can be easy to forget you can’t just go round snapping other people’s toddlers, especially with their pants down.
So just to be clear, I didn’t.
We circle Marble Arch and the Jelly Bean statue.
An appeal to Twitter fails to explain it, but it turns out it’s just a statue to make Marble Arch look a bit nicer. Then it’s north onto Maida Vale where, oddly, the trees have greened on one side but not the other.
It’s plain sailing thereafter, save for a moment of high drama as a car with plain-clothed police screeches to a halt in front of us and two burly characters hop out. Dreams of a raid on our bus are quickly shattered though as they saunter into a mobile phone shop and start chatting to the owner. Pah.
Kilburn passes and merges seamlessly into Cricklewood, where the driver orders me off, as if worried I want to accompany him into the depot. (Seriously, I can’t do that?)
So, spurned by the driver, I take advantage of the weather and walk back to Kilburn to not only pick up the Bakerloo Line, but also take in the fantastic murals that surround the station.
Job done. Here’s your map.