This summer I have set myself the goal of rediscovering London and losing weight in the process. I came to London more than seven years ago. Back then it felt like the most exciting place in the world and that anything was possible. Weekends were busy checking out the markets, new exhibitions, pub crawls and BBQs in the park. But fast forward a few years and monotony has set in! Life has become too much work and not enough play, and I have gained a few kilos in the process.
So after a recent and very active camping trip to Whitby, I started researching walks closer to home and I stumbled upon TFL’s Capital Ring Walk. It covers 78miles of open space and natural reserves circling central London and starting in Woolwich. It is divided into 15 sections with walks of varying difficulty. My goal is it to complete all 15 trails by September and lose 10kilos.
I have started with section 14 of the ring: Hackney Wick to Beckton District Park. 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 had never explored the rest of Hackney.
The walk began from Hackney Wick station. As soon as stepping 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 super 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.
Flossy’s rating: 3.5/5
Download the map here.