One of the highlights of my holiday to Sri Lanka was hiking around the legendary Sigiriya Rock. Also known as the Lion Rock, Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress that was built by King Kashyapa during his reign from 477 to 495 AD. However I did not follow the usual tourist path and walk up Sigiriya Rock itself, which is expensive and crowded. Instead I did some other hiking in Sigiriya area during which I appreciated more magnificent views of the rock fortress and surrounding countryside.
I starting doing the TFL Capital Ring Walk to discover more of London whilst getting fit. The London TFL Capital Ring Walk covers 78 miles of open space and natural reserves circling central London. It is divided into 15 sections that explore some amazing and lesser known areas of the most famous capital in the world. starting in Woolwich.
Whether you are a visitor to London or you have lived there your entire life, the best way to discover all the interesting nooks and crannies of this amazing city is through the TFL Capital Ring walk. The TFL Capital Ring Walk successfully covers 78 miles of open space and natural reserves circling central London, running through some very pretty as well as industrial London neighbourhoods. The TFL Capital Ring Walk is divided into 15 sections with walks of varying difficulty, starting in Woolwich via areas of historical interest and great natural beauty including Crystal Palace, Richmond, Osterley Lock and Highgate.
Section 14 of the TFL Capital Ring walk is from Hackney Wick to Beckton District Park. When I did this walk, I was already very familiar in and around London Fields and Hackney Central (who hasn’t ended up at the Dolphin on a big night out?) but I had never explored the rest of Hackney.
The walk begins at Hackney Wick station. As soon as I stepped off the tube I felt like I was back in Bethnal Green or Shoreditch, but about 10 years ago. It was great not to see a chainstore in sight! We turned left from the station and walked across the bridge to the furthest bank of the canal, passing a lot of cool street art along the way.
I never realised what an awesome place Hackney Wick is. As we walked along the canal toward Stratford, we passed many canal boats converted into pop-up shops and bars, and funky converted warehouse venues serving interesting food and drinks and playing music. The area was lively with people socialising and rowing rented canoes along the water.
Walking along the canal you can see the infamous Stratford Arcelor Mittal Orbit sculpture as well as the Olympic stadium. We kept walking towards Stratford High Street, stopping at the Print House for a quick coffee break. The coffee here was amazing and the staff were very friendly. Particularly because I spilt my coffee everywhere after only one sip and they helped to clean it up and offered me a new latte on the house!
After a quick rest we continued up Stratford High Street and then crossed the Meridian line and took a turn right to walk along The Greenway. Our walk ended in Beckton District park, a lush and and green handsome area only a short walk from Royal Albert DLR station.
Download the map here.
The best way to discover a city is on foot and the highlight of my recent trip to New York was joining an incredible meetup crew to do a ridiculous New York hike! We met 10am at the Starbucks on 181st in Manhattan before setting off across the George Washington Bridge. 12 hours later we had made it to the famous Colgate Clock in Jersey City. The entire walk covered over 18 miles and we saw some amazing views of the New York skyline along the way.
If I had to recommend just one point of interest to visit when in London, it would be the Tate Modern. Not only does it exhibit cutting edge performance, installations and modern art, but it is a terrific space that spurs both disgust and creative thought. It is also connected to one of the oldest London icons, St Paul’s Cathedral by the chewing gum strewn Millennium Footbridge. The Switch House is a new 10 story extension to the Tate Modern museum and a welcome addition to London’s famous skyline. It officially opened in June 2016 after seven years in the making and whilst it is not the prettiest of sights, it signifies an exciting new phase for the Tate.
I began working my way through the TFL Capital Ring Walk, a series of 15 walks designed by Transport for London. It covers 78 miles of open space and natural reserves circling central London. Section 15-1 of the TFL Capital Ring Walk starts at Beckton and goes through Woolwich, ending in Falconwood. During the walk we saw city buildings, stunning Thames views, industrial sites and beautiful woodland.