A tribute to the capital’s alleys, ginnels and snickleways.
3. Brydges Place
Where? Connects St Martin’s Lane (next to the ENO) to Bedfordbury.
What? Catherine Brydges of Chandos, wife of the Fourth Earl of Bedford, must have been delighted to have this back passage named after her. It’s a lengthy thoroughfare of extremely mean width. Expect tailbacks whenever folk of ample carriage attempt to pass through. Perhaps because the passage is lined with rear entrances to pubs and eateries (and even a private club), the expected waft of tramp’s piss never quite materialises.
Why use? You’re a Londoner, you’ve stumbled into the dreaded tourist precincts, and you’re stuck in a chaotic sea of confused theatregoers. If you want to move anywhere, you have two options. (1) Wait for the capricious drift of plate tectonics. (2) Learn to use passages such as this. Knowledge of the numerous shortcuts of the West End is invaluable if you want to get around at anything approaching normal speed.
Also good for? (1) Giving portly pursuers and hammerhead sharks the slip. (2) Low-budget reenactments of the Star Wars trench finalé. (3) Low-budget reenactments of the Star Wars garbage compressor scene.