#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 25- a weekend stroll through Shoreditch / Hackney

The sun has finally decided to make an appearance this weekend and I used the opportunity to spend a lazy Saturday in Shoreditch / Hackney with some friends. Even though my picture-taking activity was on the low side, it was so much fun that I thought I share our route with you nevertheless. So here it comes…

Your lazy weekend tour through Shoreditch / Hackney

Note: for the “market” part of the stroll, the market will depend on whether you go on Saturday (then you’ll experience Broadway market, left picture) or Sunday (Columbia Road Flower market, right picture). Both streets are also great without the market, as there are nice shops and good food opportunities anyway!

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A walk through Poplar – Brutalism and Beyond

Last week Sunday at this time, I was in the middle of sunny Poplar to take another guided walk. Poplar, you might ask- why? It’s easy. I have been to the area on two occasions in “interactive games” – one time at a treasure hunt with A Door In a  Wall in the Lansbury Estate and one time at an immersive Macbeth Theatre event in the Balfron Tower. In both occasions, i had become curious on what is behind these (on the first view) so grim masses of concrete.

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Balfron Tower is part of the Brownfield estate and one of Poplar’s most popular buildings.

Luckily for me, Andrew Parnell of Footprints of London is offering an architectural Walk through the social housing estates of Poplar, called “Stock Bricks to Brutalism: Housing Design History in Poplar” – so this was the perfect opportunity to learn more. Not that I am any expert in Architecture – far from it. But I am interested in seeing the design of housing, see patterns and ideas behind the planning and – how it has turned out in reality (and as Poplar Shows, the planned effects have not always been reached).  Continue reading

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 20- Walk the Circle Line on Sunday!

Good morning! The weekend is almost here and the lovely folk from Walk London (the organisers of the great free walk weekends a few times a year!) have contacted me to share their next walking event with you. Its a walk along the Circle Line (or for non-Londoners, the yellow tube line) and its taking place This Sunday, 13th March, from 10:00 am.

I think you can’t just walk around London enough and this is a perfect opportunity to start (no time this weekend, here are some other tips to start walking in London!). The walk suits all abilities, as there are 4 starting points on the route (see map below in red), so you can choose the section nearest to your house or your favourite section and since its a circular walk, you can either go for the full 14.5 miles or just drop out at any point in time. And, the route is a “highlights of London” walk- it will pass through many of London’s historical landmarks such as Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge as well as many hidden gems, beautiful parks and charming neighbourhoods.

Circle Line map

You can find an interactive version of the map here (as soon as its public access, I’ll embed it into this post but for now we need to do with the static version :))

The starting times for the four sections are 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm  in: Fitzroy Square Gardens, St Botolph-without-Bishopgate Gardens, Christchurch Gardens and Kensington Gardens.

The Walk is for free, but you need to register – click here!

At the same time, the walk is a charity event for Sport Relief, so if you feel like supporting to this worthwhile cause, feel free to raise funds or donate. Any donation will help a young person, living with a disability in the UK to take part in sporting activities – so the money you fundraise can make a significant difference to someone’s life.

Happy Walking!!

 

 

 

 

 

Free Walks This Weekend – That’s London Baby’s recommendations!

If you are still wondering what to do this weekend, or if you finally wanted to go on a guided walk and you have put it off for whatever reason, this weekend offers a great opportunity to get walking!

Walk London is having their annual winter weekend of free walks (there are further weekends in Spring and Fall). That’s more than 40 guided walks through all areas of London, all funded and paid for by TfL. Many of those are normally paid walks. They come in all sizes and interests – short walks, touristy walks, special topics (e.g. literary or spy walks), central location, outside, long walks….there is even one section of the Capital Ring covered!

They even created a map, showing the starting points of all walks:

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#litfest launch -A walk through Shakespeare’s London

Imagine you walk on the Southbank, just passing the Globe Theatre- you blink with your eyes and as you open, the scenery has changed. Out of the Globe Theatre sounds a massive noise – a crowd yelling and commenting on the latest play, some firecrackers exploding. Next thing you see is a bear being paraded through the field, cheered on like a modern day celebrity. Welcome to 1603!

#litfest launchThis is the walk that Dr. Matthew Green took us on by presenting one chapter of his book “London- A Travel Guide Through Time” during the launch event of the Literary Walks Festival (#litfest) on Monday night (my first blogger’s invite, yeah :)) Who knew that Bear fighting was one of the most popular past times of the Londoner’s back then, only to be rivalled by a visit to one of thousands (!) “Tobacco Houses” where the “Tobacconists” indulged in consuming the “holy herb” in an almost meditative fashion…

It was a great “walk” we took and I am looking forward to “walk” through different time periods in the book. However, I hope that I will make it to at least one of more than 50 walks of the #litfest! In case you need some more inspiration, read Rob’s Sneak preview post on the festival here.

Happy walking (or reading)!

A sneak preview of the Literary Footprints Festival

Happy Sunday everyone! Time for a new guest blog, this time from London Baby’s favourite London Guide. Rob Smith is a London walking guide with Footprints of London  and his guest blog looks at Literary Locations in London. In October Footprints of London are holding the Literary Footprints Festival – a series of walks celebrating London’s literary heritage. Continue reading

Exploring London in weather that is not so good…

I hope you saw this coming… when That’s Ramallah Baby wrote about things to do in London when the weather is good, of course I was also at the same time thinking about things to do when the weather is the opposite! It looks like the good weather in London is over for at least a couple of days – not surprisingly at all! However, there are still so many things to do that I absolutely love, and sometimes I even look forward to bad weather because it feels like you cannot do them when the weather is good.

1. BFI archive – for free! 

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