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 was 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, the 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.

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3 comments on “London’s Alleys: Woburn Walk, WC1
  1. 12 Woburn Walk also stood in for the Hampstead bookshop Richard E. Grant (playing Gordon Comstock) works at in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s “Keep the Aspidistra Flying” (1997), one of my favourite London movies.

  2. 100andthirty says:

    Thank you for this article. It encouraged me to make a short detour when walking along Upper Woburn Place on my way to Euston Square. i

  3. Amy says:

    This is one of my favorite places in London! I lived in a dorm nearby one year, and I always used this as a shortcut on my daily walks to UCL for classes. I would often look up at the Yeats plaque, as he’s one of my favorite poets. The trees in the middle are beautiful flowering almonds, stunning in the springtime. I remember they filmed “The Ruby in the Smoke” in this alley. We were delighted to see the shops changed over and dirt put down for the horses and carriages.

    Luckily, I think all the students/dorms in the area help keep the shops in business. (Oh, and the caryatids adorning the church around the corner on Euston Road are worth seeing as well.)

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