Walking in Woking
After months living nearby, at least I got the opportunity to visit Woking. One of many satellite cities for the capital, you can go to Woking from London with SouthWest Train (and sadly nothing else, as both Google Maps and Rome2Rio tell me).
Anyway, why do you need to go to Woking? There are two “main” reasons for me to visit Woking.
Shah Jahan Mosque
And I’ve fulfilled those two reasons, so all’s well with the world.
Do you know HG Wells? If you don’t, I guess it’s better for you to at least try reading some of his writings. His writings are in public domain now, so you can easily read/ download them in Project Gutenberg (or even in Kindle, but I’m not a big fan of Amazon so let me scratch this). The most iconic one, definitely The War of The Worlds (but personally I prefer The Invisible Man myself)
He wrote a lot of his stories when he lived in Woking. Though he didn’t like his Woking life that much (and had the Martians (not THE Martian) destroying the city in The War of The Worlds), the city ended up famous because of him.
Anyway, this year (2016) marks 150 years after the birth of H.G. Wells. It should be the right time to visit the city, especially after the publication of this lovely Wells in Woking walking map, guides, whole websites, (seriously I like the design, kudos to the winner of the design contest).
I got to stay with my friends in Old Woking, so I needed to walk for about 30 minutes to Woking, but after reaching Woking Station, Wells Walking Tour also signed.
I guess if my city has a theme I will make everything follow the theme
Old Wells’ house. I guess it is pretty interesting to live in a house that has some history, but not too much because visitors are annoying
Shah Jahan Mosque
This is the first mosque in the United Kingdom! Built-in 1889! Surely a historical site. It’s not that hard to find, and design-wise it’s stunning. Though it’s pretty small, so it’s utilized just for male-praying area. Got confused because I tried to visit during Dhuhur to pray, and spent a few minutes circling the mosque to find “Ladies Ablution”. Apparently both the ladies ablution area and the ladies praying area are in the white building in the south of the mosque. It’s also housing a lot of administrative working area/ children playing area/ etc.
After rounding up in a circle around the mosque, apparently, ladies praying area is in another building
Woking as an area has a lot of Muslims, also signed by the Peace Garden (which was apparently locked, you said it’s open seven days a week, website!), a Muslim Burial Ground for twenty-four Muslim soldiers died during WW I and WW II.
If you’re interested in visiting the mosque but not a Muslim (and you feel really shy, it’s alright though, I passed by someone visiting as well), you can also visit during their open house. They have an open house every year, for 2017 it’s in 5 February 2017.
Actually, there’s also another interesting place to visit if you’re a history buff (because it’s not people who’re planning to visit because of its current condition). The ruins of Woking Palace is the remains of the home of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. It’s closer to Old Woking compared to Woking, but if you’re around and interested maybe!
Overall, pretty fruitful visit. If you like science-fiction or a Muslim looking for historical mosque, I recommend visiting!