Woburn Walk is a charming pedestrian street that is surprisingly found just opposite Euston Station.
Designed by architect Thomas Cubitt, it is often described as Victorian, but as it was built in 1822, it’s actually Georgian, and it is one of the first examples of a pedestrian shopping street in the Georgian era.
Its name comes from Woburn Abbey, the main country seat of the Dukes of Bedford, who developed much of the area. The street is well-preserved, including the black painted bow-fronted shops windows.
What’s possibly curious for a street that would elsewhere be filled with achingly expensive shops selling things hardly anyone can afford – is that here it still has a newsagents and cafes and it totally accessible to the average wage packet. Although it’s probably just a coincidence, I rather liked that the newsagents were once the home of the radical journalist, George Holyoake, which seems perfectly appropriate.
The Irish poet W. B. Yeats also lived in the street between 1895 and 1919, and a the same time, Dorothy Richardson lived in the house opposite. The buildings along Woburn Walk shares the same design with the adjacent Duke’s Road, that however was built open to traffic. Woburn Walk was always pedestrianised.
It’s a remarkably charming little alley, that runs off a main road so should be busier than it is, but at least it’s busy enough to keep the shops open, which is a good thing.