Under normal circumstances, London on a Monday morning is a bustling city teeming with life. But circumstances are decidedly not normal, although it's possible that normality will start to return in the coming weeks. And although residential areas and suburbs have a level of activity, the centre of town, the focus of arts and culture, does not. A global heart of art, theatre and music has become grey and still.

So here's an invitation for you to accompany me and my camera on a socially distanced walk around London’s cultural core and see it as you have never seen it before – and, let's hope, will never do again. We’ll start our trip in the middle: Trafalgar Square, looking South towards Northumberland Avenue (with the Thames just out of sight behind). The only person there was the man cleaning the fountains.

Trafalgar Square, from the north © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Trafalgar Square, from the north
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Behind us, the National Gallery would usually be looking down on a throng.

National Gallery © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
National Gallery
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

As we walk towards Charing Cross and Villiers Street, a restaurant window tells the story of a city in suspended animation.

Restaurant window, King William IV Street © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Restaurant window, King William IV Street
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Across the river on the South bank, a solitary jogger populates the walkway by the National Theatre.

National Theatre © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
National Theatre
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Red and white tape over the benches reminds us of the pleasures of a brief rest on a warm day.

Benches near the National Theatre © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Benches near the National Theatre
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Carrying on along the river towards the East, here’s the walkway by the Sea Containers Building. When you take all the people out of the city, its contours seem to change.

The south bank of the Thames by the Sea Containers Building © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
The south bank of the Thames by the Sea Containers Building
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The morning rush hour at Blackfriars Station is a distant memory.

Blackfriars Station: south bank entrance © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Blackfriars Station: south bank entrance
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The Tate Gallery still shouts out its message of the value of art.

The Tate Modern, seen from the Millennium Bridge © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
The Tate Modern, seen from the Millennium Bridge
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The serene beauty of St Pauls Cathedral and the way it matches the lines of the Millennium Bridge are all the more stark when the bridge is empty.

St Pauls Cathedral, seen from the Millennium Bridge © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
St Pauls Cathedral, seen from the Millennium Bridge
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

In normal times: one of the busiest commuter areas in the city. I could never have imagined it empty of people in daytime.

Blackfriars Station - north bank entrance © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Blackfriars Station - north bank entrance
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

The Playhouse Theatre won't be playing the Seagull any time soon. Northumberland Avenue traffic will start to return, but probably won't reach its former rush hour madness.

The Playhouse Theatre, from Northumberland Avenue © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
The Playhouse Theatre, from Northumberland Avenue
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Let’s finish this circuit where we started, back at the Luytens fountains in Trafalgar Square. The mermaids care nothing for any of this.

Mermaid fountain in Trafalgar Square © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Mermaid fountain in Trafalgar Square
© David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd

Photographs taken on Monday 11th May 2020.