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!
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
Day 2 – Central London/South Bank (20 km)
AM – Kensington/Hammersmith
PM – From Waterloo to Barbican
Day 3 – North London (32 km)
From Golders Hill Park to Canary Wharf
From here I left the path and continued in Hackney Downs
Day 4 – Central/Royal London (21 km)
From Victoria Tower Gardens to Primrose Hill
Day 5 – South London (27 km)
From Wandsworth Park to Bushy Park
Day 6 – Central London/South Bank (15 km)
From Tower Bridge to Waterloo
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.
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. 🌱
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.
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
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.