4 February 2020

Weekly Walk: White City to Olympic Park

I tweeted last week's walk and copied it to The Ramblers. In response they asked if I had tried their app; I had not, so I did.

A quick application of filters for distance and location and I found the Olympic Walk which at around 20km suited me perfectly. It also helped that the starting point, White City, was somewhere that I could get to easily by tube allowing me to start out early using my Oystercard.

The start was not good. The 65 bus promised in 7 minutes when I left home took over 15 and I was already late. Then there were all sorts of mix-ups on the tube at Richmond and no announcements to help. Most of us ended up sitting on a train on platform 5 safe in the knowledge that, while late, at least it would be the next one to leave only to see the train we had abandoned on platform 6 depart before us. There was a minor mix-up at Hammersmith too but as we were only going a couple of stops the change in destination did not concern us.

Despite these problems we arrived at White City just after 9am.

I had some familiarity with White City from my several visits to the BBC studios there, mostly to watch recordings of Two Pints..., but I was not surprised to see a lot of new building following the BBC's departure.

The route took us South, East and North for some reason until we hit the canal at point 2. We had walked the canal for around there to Limehouse before , and I had walked the central section many times, so the next couple of hours were easy.

We stopped for a coffee (and cake!) at Kings Place by Kings Cross just because I used to work there. It also gave us the opportunity to pop into two art galleries there, though a corporate event claimed most of the lower floors.

Back on the canal it was interesting to pass through the borders in to the mass housing of the East End and then the less dense housing of the outer areas like Cambridge Heath. Living in South West London this was the Far East to me and we went through places rarely visited.

The departure from the canal and from previous journeys happened at Victoria Park and the park was my highlight of the walk. We made the decision to take other walks in the area.

From there it was a short hop to the Lea Valley which we had also walked previously, including as part of the Capital Ring. We like canals and rivers and had no objection to walking here again.

The end confused me. I just assumed that we would arrive at Stratford but, instead it was at another station, the less well known Pudding Mill Lane. It is not obvious why there is a station there as there is nothing else nearby, and certainly not a pub, so we had no choice but to catch the DLR to Stratford,

Our search for a pub there was hardly our least successful and we found a couple in the High Street. Ye Olde Bull was empty, did no food but had a decent pint. The Anchor Tap across the road was a better bet and we got something with halloumi and avocado to eat. The craft beer advertised outside was London Pride! It did the job.

From there a fast, and very busy, Jubilee Line took us to Waterloo and an even faster train completed the journey back to Richmond. I was home in plenty of time to go out again for that night's theatre.

I used the Ramblers app all the way (though I took a shortcut in Islington that it did not seem to know about) and found it helpful and easy to use. I would much rather have a route map and a dot showing where I am than a set of written instructions as a map is much easier to follow, it just needs a quick glance, and if you do wander off route it is easy to get back on. I will definitely be using it again.

No comments:

Post a comment

All comments are welcome. Comments are moderated only to keep out the spammers and all valid comments are published, even those that I disagree with!