Visit National Parks posters

These three new vintage style posters are inspired by travel advertisements that were used to promote travelling to British countryside in early 20th century, when the train travel for many was nearly the only option to have access to great outdoors. Although the times have changed and travellers may prefer to explore the countryside on a car, taking the train is still one of the most sustainable and comfortable way of travel, as well as sometimes even a more scenic option.

The fictional art posters invite to visit Britain’s fifteen national parks by train and include a stylised map of train stations that are access points to the national parks. The 38 stations can be travelled from towns and cities or even act as connections between parks. Why not to travel the Tenby to Taunton coastline or take a train from beautiful Windermere to Ribblehead Viaduct? The golden age of railways may have passed, but the the new age of train travel is now!

London nature walking week – in photos

Location: London National Park City*  (London becomes NPC in July 2019)
Travel Dates: 18.06 – 25.06
Walking distance: ~120 km/75 miles

Looking back to this week in London I covered around 120 km of streets and paths (140 km according to my walking app and 100 km according Google maps). Overall I visited approximately 36 parks and green spaces, walked by Thames and Regent’s Canal, passed many green squares and gardens and saw large variety of nature and wildlife.

This week helped me to really appreciate the variety of London’s green spaces and accessibility to outdoors and wildlife as well as understand the challenges of nature walking in city environment. It also provided valuable research for my walking maps.

I also met many interesting and creative people…. thank you all for inspiration!

Day 1 – Central London/Thames Path (North Bank) (21 km)

AM/noon – Brompton Cemetery and Barbican Estate
PM – From Charterhouse Square to Somerset House

Starting from Charterhouse Square, now open for public

Found a green rounded garden with seating next to Museum of London

Looking at lush foliage in Postman’s Park, quiet green space near Barbican

Walking through St Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard Garden greenery

It’s getting really wet now, so I’m hiding under the umbrella

Peeking into Middle Temple Gardens, not open for public (at least not from Thames side)

Day 2 – Central London/South Bank (20 km)

AM – Kensington/Hammersmith
PM – From Waterloo to Barbican

One of the many private garden squares in Kensington

Walkway in railway tunnel at Waterloo, South Bank

Day 3 – North London (32 km)

From Golders Hill Park to Canary Wharf

At the start of the walk by gates of Golders Hill Park

Passing the Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath 

The impressive sign in Highgate Wood gates

Entering to Queen’s Wood Nature Reserve

Walking along Parkland Walk that runs along a railway line

From here I left the path and continued in Hackney Downs

Impressive London Plane trees in Hackney Downs Park

Passing beautiful wildflower meadow in London Fields Park

Spotting this beautiful brick building covered with foliage on Regent’s Canal

Taking a detour from the canal via Victoria Park

Back on Regent’s Canal path and surrounded by greenery

Modern landscaping of Mile End Park, running along the canal

Finally arriving to Limehouse Basin.. tired, but happy!

Colourful boats mooring at Limehouse Basin

Quirky seagull statue on Ropemakers Field

Turning to Thames Path for a ferry back to Central London from Canary Wharf.. It’s been a great day!

Day 4 – Central/Royal London (21 km)

From Victoria Tower Gardens to Primrose Hill

Starting the walk today with coffee and green view in Victoria Tower Gardens

Found a quiet space in Jewel Tower gardens in Westminster

Spotting marching pelicans in St James’s Park

Walking path just for myself in Green Park.. look at the crowds on the left!

Lovely and tranquil Queen’s Meadow in Green Park.. next to busy junction

The Italian Gardens Cafe with living roof, taken over by nature

Henry Moore’s nature inspired Arch in Kensington Gardens 

Arrived in Regent’s Park wilder area

Regent’s Park’s wildlife garden with useful tips for gardeners

Passing wildflower meadow in Regent’s Park

Crossing the bridge over Regent’s Canal next to London Zoo

After a short climb the view over London from Primrose Hill. This is the end of my walk!

Day 5 – South London (27 km)

From Wandsworth Park to Bushy Park

Starting the walk from Wandsworth Park by Thames

Walking through the nature on Putney Heath

Spotting a windmill on Wimbledon and Putney Commons

Arriving to Richmond Park… hooray!

Fallen trees in Richmond Park providing shelter for Stag Beetles and rest for walkers

Half the distance done and feeling great!

Winding trail ahead in Richmond Park

Richmond Hill/Terrace Field with stunning views over Thames towards Surrey

Back on the Thames Path for the next 10 km

After a while passing the Teddington Lock

Approaching Kingston Bridge in the distance

Passing quiet Canbury Gardens, it’s late on Sunday evening

Made it to Kingston Bridge..

.. and looking exhausted. 5 km to go!

Finally in Bushy Park at Hampton Wick Gate!

In leafy and quiet Bushy Park and breathing in the freshest air in London

Meeting the herd of deer in Bushy Park.. a perfect end of the day!

Day 6 – Central London/South Bank (15 km)

From Tower Bridge to Waterloo

100 km behind me and on one of my favourite Thames walk

Tranquil wilderness spot in Potters Fields Park

Detour through Borough Market

Crossing Waterloo Bridge with green views over South Bank. The walk is done and my week in London is finished.. until next time!

Conclusion: My walking week in London proves London is great destination for walkers, who appreciate the variety and culture of the city, but still want to see nature close by. London has many species of wildlife and provides unique environment for wildlife spotting. However navigating in urban environment can be stressful at times and the routes are not always straightforward. Large parks have plenty of space to enjoy nature, but the main paths are often crowded and traffic can be heard nearly everywhere. I loved to see few smaller squares and parks in city centre opening up for public in recent years. I sometimes felt unwelcomed outside city centre, yet again few people stopped to help me. Some paths lacked facilities such as fresh drinking water or toilets. If not to account these few issues, London’s urban forrest is very special city environment and I hope more people will choose London as nature walking destination.

Next: I would explore certain area, instead of taking linear path. London has lot of cultural variety and North feels completely different than South or Docklands. I would love to take time discovering different areas in depth as each area is unique.

Park Connection Map second version

As the first Park Connection Map received lot of positive feedback and many wonderful suggestions to include more parks, I designed the second map with 80 additional open spaces and three new lines. I would have liked to fit in even more suggestions, but as you can see below, the map is getting quite busy! Maybe next version will cover even more green ground.🤞

For those who did not see the first version, this is a creative park connection map connecting parks, open spaces and waterways. The idea of the map is to create a green ground network that can be cycled or walked, based on the idea of classic London Tube Map. The aim of this map is to inspire people to spend more time overground and on healthier green infrastructure. 🍃

The six original ‘lines’ connect Royal parks and City parks, link open spaces in North and South London and follow Thames and Regent’s Canal. The three new lines run along Lea and Brent river and create a BeeLine. Suggested by TiCL.me map makers, BeeLine is a corridor of safe havens for pollinating insects linking London’s green spaces and gardens. 🐝

As a seedling of an idea the Park Connection Map gets watered by the inspiring ideas of National Park City and its aim of making London greener, healthier and wilder, with contributing suggestions from outdoor lovers and green organisations. 🌱

 

Greenground Map v2

Greenground Map v2 PDF

Park connection map in Londonist

Londonist.png

Lovely M@ [read: Matt] from Londonist shared the park connection map alongside with great suggestions to his readers for the long weekend. His article The Greenground: A Tube Map Of Parks And How To Get Between Them highlights the map with a challenge to a reader ‘Imagine a ‘tube map’ showing the parks of London, joined together in ways you might want to walk or cycle.’ and invites to ‘Get out there and explore!’

Helen’s map isn’t intended as a detailed navigational aid, but more as an inspiring prompt to encourage exploration. A walk from Highgate Wood to Clissold Park via Woodberry Wetlands, for example, strikes us as a smashing way to spend a Sunday. Likewise, we can imagine a very pleasant cycle ride from Wandsworth Common to Richmond Park, taking in Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common.

Matt himself is a keen explorer who has taken few outdoor adventures out and about London. He has even compiled his own London Walker’s Tube Map based on most prominent walking routes.

A London Walker's Tube Map by Matt Brown
A London Walker’s Tube Map by Matt Brown

Londonist – Things to see and do in London is an online source to latest news in London, what’s on and events, the best London food and pubs, history and trivia, what’s free and cheap in London. Twitter Account

Creative park connection map

Greenground Map

 

Idea The idea behind this map is to connect parks using environmentally friendly transport like cycling and walking . The creative ‘greenground’ network is made of six lines – Thames, Regent, Royal, South, City and North which connect parks in similar way tube lines connect stations. The map also suggest outdoor activity points such as kayaking on the canal and swimming in the park. This map idea is inspired by the National Park City Foundation green concept of making London the world’s first National Park City.

Why? This map could help to organise routes in accessible way, helping the green commuter to navigate from park to park in the order they are depicted on the map. Each of the lines could be cycled and walked and Thames line suggest River Bus connection points.