The Mall is a tree-lined road, straight as can be, that connects Buckingham Palace with Trafalgar Square. It is exactly 0.5 nautical miles between the Victoria Memorial and the Admiralty Arch (Trafalgar Square is on the other side of the Arch). We walked the length of the Mall on the second leg of our journey from Brompton Road to Trafalgar Square.
The Mall is Britain’s ceremonial road. It is closed to traffic on Sundays, holidays and on ceremonial occasions. It has a reddish color to give the effect of a red carpet. London’s V-E Day celebration in 1945 was at The Mall, as was Queen Elizabeth’s Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilees. And in 2011 a million people crowded The Mall to see glimpses of Prince William and his new bride.
The Mall runs parallel to Pall Mall and to Piccadilly farther north. And it forms the northern border of St James’s Park. Some of the buildings on the north side of The Mall actually front on Carleton House Terrace which is between Pall Mall and The Mall.
No, there is no shopping at The Mall. Both The Mall and Pall Mall get their names from the game of pall-mall, or in French paille-maille, that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a precursor to the current game of croquet. Incidentally, The Mall is pronounced “mawl” but Pall Mall is pronounced “pel mel.”
We walked though the Admiralty Arch to Trafalgar Square which is the terminus of The Mall and the subject of my next posting.