"The Surrey side" does not mean the most pleasant part
of London by any means. Of course, the Surrey side of
the Thames is meant; and a very crowded, busy, and poor
part of great London town is that bit of Surrey, most
of which lies within the north bend of the river—that
is, the boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth. This huge
London has a way of stretching out towards the villages
and towns around it, and, by degrees, taking them into
itself. Thus, Lambeth and Southwark and various other
places are now altogether in London, and have nothing
but their names to show that they were once villages at
some distance from the great city.
It is rather disappointing to enter London for the
first time by the London, Brighton, and South Coast
Bailway. Long before you get to London Bridge somebody
says, "We are in London now"; and you look out and see
nothing but rows and rows of mean-looking houses with
red-tiled roofs. By-and-by you are busy spelling out
the names on the factories; and you find out where
matches, and blacking, and wire blinds, and a hundred
other things are made. You learn, too, how the people
who live in that forest of red-topped houses get their
The glory of Lambeth is the Palace, a grand old
building on the bank of the Thames, which has belonged
to the Primates of England for seven centuries.
 St. Thomas's Hospital is the most imposing building on
this south side of the river. It is a large new
hospital, clean and airy within, and handsome without,
where everything is arranged in the most perfect way
for the comfort of the sick.
St. Thomas's is in Lambeth; Southwark, which also lies
along the river on the side nearest Kent, has, too, its
great hospitals, Guy's, and Bethlehem, or Bedlam as it
is called, the hospital for mad people.
South of Lambeth, and beyond the endless market gardens
where green vegetables for London are raised, we come
to a pretty country, with high breezy commons here and
there, and clumps of trees, and, among the trees, the
handsome houses of rich London merchants. Streatham, a
pleasant village at the foot of a furzy common, which
is surrounded by houses of gentlefolk buried among
trees, is one of the prettiest of these places.
Norwood, Upper and Lower, with roads bordered* with
villas, also hidden among trees, is another pleasant
Near Norwood is the Crystal Palace, a great structure
of glass such as might have come out of a fairy tale;
and, what with fireworks and fountains, and painted
savages lurking about in strange places, and music,
pictures, and every kind of delightful show, it is
indeed a fairy palace, and we are rather sorry for boys
and girls who have never been there.
These suburbs of London, the half-country places about
the town, reach south as far as Croydon, which is a
rather busy, crowded town, the largest in Surrey after
the London boroughs. Near it is Addington, where the
Archbishop of Canterbury usually lives.
 The North Downs enter Surrey from Hants by the old town
of Farnham. First comes a long, straight, narrow ridge
called, because it is so straight, the Hog's Back. Then
there is a break in the hills, through which the "
chalky Wey" passes on its way to join the Thames at
Wey-bridge. In this opening lies the pleasant old town
of Guildford, with its ruined castle, the county town
of Surrey. East of Guildford, quite close to the town,
the line of Downs begins again, spreading wider and
wider towards the north. When the hills reach Dorking,
they part again to make way for the little Mole,
another tributary of the Thames.
Dorking, all among hills and trees, lies in the
prettiest part of the Down country, and, on the other
side of the river, the Downs begin again with Box Hill.
This is a delightful hill, covered with groves of
dark-green boxwood, from which the winding Mole, and
Dorking, and many a pleasant village may be seen; the
London holiday-makers know it well.
From Box Hill, the line of Downs still continues
eastward until it gets within the Kent border. A line
it can hardly be called now, for the rolling Downs
spread to a width of eight or ten miles, past Epsom, on
whose breezy downs horse races are held, even as far
north as Croydon. This part of Surrey is very pretty;
there are trees in the dips, and the hills are
generally well covered with trees, from amongst which
peep out the handsome houses of the rich people of
London. There is hardly a prettier bit of railway line
in England than that between Leatherhead and Dorking.
 The Chalk Downs are not the only hills in Surrey; south
of these is a long line of high commons, sometimes
rising into hills, like Leith Hill, to the south-west
of Dorking, the highest in the county. These commons
are generally bare and dreary enough,—broad wastes,
covered with furze and heath. Godalming, where is the
Charterhouse School, is the chief town in this part of
Below the commons begins the pleasant woody Sussex
Weald, which lies between these North Downs and the
South Downs of Sussex.
THE "SURREY BANK"
WE can only speak of a few of the interesting places
on the Surrey bank of the Thames. Going up the river,
there is Kew, with its delightful Botanical Gardens.
Richmond is a pretty and pleasant town at the foot of,
and stretching up the slope of Richmond Hill, whereon
is a Park and a Terrace. From this terrace you look
down upon the Thames, as
"Soft and slow,
It wanders through the vale below."
Richmond has the remains of the old Sheen Palace, in
which Queen Elizabeth died. Sheen was the old name of
the town; it received its present name from Henry VII.,
who was Duke of Richmond in Yorkshire.
Higher up the river is the true Kings' town, Kingston,
where, standing in an open space railed in, is a famous
stone, upon which seven of the Saxon kings were
 crowned; for Kingston was a royal town in Saxon days.
"A quaint and pleasant old town it is still—the old
part that is—with in and out streets, and queer
corners, and houses meeting over narrow alleys.
One other place we must speak of. On the bank of the
Thames, close by the Berkshire border, there is to this
day a marshy flat called Runny-mead (or meadow). In the
days of King John, here lay the great barons of
England, while on the opposite bank the king and his
people were encamped. And king and barons met on an
island in the river, which thus lay between, the two
camps, to discuss the Great Charter. On this spot the
barons compelled the king to sign that charter which
has done so much to make the English a free and great
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