Love on the Line

Okay – here’s a charming, romantic little Greenwich tradition for St Valentine’s Day. Any ideas where it is? No?

How’s about I zoom out a bit from Graham’s photo…

Got it yet? Yeaaaaaah. I guess it doesn’t take too much working out to fathom that this small but growing collection of padlocks declaring undying amour for one’s true love is on the Meridian Line just outside the Observatory:

Graham, author of On the Line and whose excellent website is, frankly, everything you’ll ever need to know about The Greenwich Meridian (check out the fabulous-but-doomed Millennium Tree Line page, for example) has a whole collection of photos of the very spot over the years, but the padlocks are a relatively recent addition. Perhaps it’s teenage tourists, perhaps local lovers – perhaps a bit of both. Who can tell. Beats carving up trees, I say, both harmless and sweet.

For some  perverse reason they remind me a little of the Skateboard graveyard on Hungerford Bridge though I don’t know of a website where people leave electronic billets doux for the Greenwich Padlocks. Do let me know if there is one.

A few weeks ago, Graham was a bit worried because some workmen were doing ‘stuff’ to the railings and he thought the padlocks may have been removed. But I went up to check and it seems that Royal Parks are a romantic bunch. The locks are still there.


Happy Valentine’s Day folks.

the attachments to this post:

love on the line graham 2
love on the line graham 2

Love on line graham 1
Love on line graham 1

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love on the line 5

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love on the line 4

love on the line 1
love on the line 1

8 Comments to “Love on the Line”

  1. Steve says:

    Wait until love locks catch on the way they have elsewhere in the world.

    There’s some pictures here that show what the railings might look like given time

  2. Pip says:

    Yes, I was just going to point out that a whole bridge in Paris (Pont des Artes) is covered in them. I think it’s quite sweet. Until you get people cashing in and trying to sell overpriced padlocks to loved-up sweethearts there…

  3. Chris says:

    I thought it all started on the Pont Vechhio (sp) in Florence.

    Wrong again it seems!

  4. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    Oops, missed the previous link!…

  5. Capability Bowes says:

    There’s a mountain in China (sorry, geography never my subject) with a viewing platform on top. People have been padlocking these onto the railings for decades and then throwing the key off the viewing platform – it symbolises their love continuing until the key is put back in the lock to open it. Needless to say the chances of finding the key again are minimal. Wonder what one does when you break up?

  6. Se4 says:


    Just to let you know, this idea of love padlocks first started in Rome, Ponte Milvio, after the main characters of a successful novel (Federico Moccia’s “Ho voglia di Te”) and, later, chick flick, put a padlock on a lampost there, as a sign of promise. The real lampost was so much covered in padlocks that it actually felt down!!!

  7. Darryl says:

    I’ve seen these in Hamburg as well, on a viewing platform in a riverside suburb called Blankenese.