London’s lockdown 3.0. has left us to our own devices. Education, our social lives, and communication have all moved to the digital sphere and if screen time has left you craving some fresh air, we have rounded up some of the best walks and bike rides around East London.
East London may be a stone throw away from central London but there are lots of green spaces on your doorstep where you can make the most out of your government-approved unlimited exercise time in your local area.
This is who we are walking trail and virtual experience
Feel connected to the Royal Docks through this interactive walk where you can listen to five stories to change the way we see our world. Get lost in the mazes at Thames Barrier Park, enjoy the view of Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers and listen to the five human stories as you go. If you unable to make it in person you can also follow the trail online. More information via thisiswhoweare.co.uk
Connected by Light
Connected by Light brings a splash of light and colour to the Canary Wharf estate through nine light installations created by some of the UK’s most renowned light artists. Get your Zen on as you feel the sound travel through you with pieces like Murmuration from SquidSoup which features several hundred networked orbs, each containing lights and speakers. Or up your selfie game in Crossrail Place Roof Gardens where artists Baker & Borowski have turned the space into an Alice in Wonderland inspired magical neon wonderland that combines bright colours with lighting to magically playful effects. Still not convinced? Check out our top five reasons to visit here. Connected by Light is on until 27 February daily with installations switching off at 10pm. More info via their website.
Musicity x Royal Docks
Love music? Love architecture? MSCTY has combined the two with this series of commissioned soundtracks which highlight the architectural and cultural heritage of the Royal Docks through the creative imagination of local artists. In addition, sound artist and academic Debbie Kent has created an audio walk connecting the locations across the area so you can explore, and experience sounds as you walk, cycle or exercise. More information via their website here. You can also enjoy the music through this musical journey in Woolwich Foot Tunnel.
Bow Creek Ecology Park & East India Dock
Spot some rare wildlife on your weekend stroll at Bow Creek Ecology Park and the East India Dock Basin. East India Dock Basin is all that remains of the docks of the East India Company, famous for shipping spices in the late 19th century. All budding birdwatchers can spot kingfishers, black redstarts and nesting common terns. More info via the website here.
The Line Public Art Walk
Running from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Greenwich Peninsula, The Line is London’s first contemporary art walk combining inspiring artworks alongside nature and heritage. Uncover a variety of sculptures and installations on the walk including the recent addition by Thomas J Price, ‘Reaching Out’, which is one of very few public sculptures of a black woman in the UK. More information as well as an interactive map can be found on the-line.org.
Wanstead Park was once a sculpted landscape and deer park surrounding the great Wanstead House. Though the house is gone but the park remains. You can go on a socially distanced stroll and enjoy spotting the wildlife including a variety of birds and small mammals. Wanstead Park is a perfect spot to enjoy the first signs of spring, take in some fresh air and relax away from the urban sprawl. More information can be found via their website.
Hackney Wick Street Art walk
Hackney Wick is London’s outdoor gallery. In this trendy part of East London art spills out from gallery walls into an everchanging display of murals and sculptures. Brighten any day of the week with a walk along the canal towpath, around Here East, Fish Island and all around the Crate Brewery.
Walthamstow Wetlands is the capital’s largest urban wetland nature reserve, providing a special home to many important wildlife species. The nature reserve encompasses 10 large reservoirs, which deliver water to 3.5 million Thames Water customers. It is large enough that you can be socially distanced without much effort and it is an oasis of nature in London. More info here.
Docklands People walk
University of East London collaborated with Trinity Arts Gallery on this community-based project which celebrates the diverse characters, architectural structures, and heritage within the Royal Docks. Docklands People is available to view online now and an offline window exhibition is taking place behind glass at Lower Dock Walk until 31 February 2021.
London’s oldest public park has plenty to do for adults and kids alike. With two playgrounds, a splash pool, ponds and tennis courts as well as lots of open spaces and a canal walk, this brilliant green space is great for a stroll. You can also venture further afield along the canal towards Broadway Market and London Fields or in the opposite direction towards Hackney Wick. More information on the park’s opening hours (as well as ongoing guidance on what is permitted) via their website here.