Of all the things I've seen on my many London walks, coming face to face with a stag in a very foggy Bushy Park, has to be the most unexpected and surreal.
A few weeks ago, Tube Challenge World Record Holder, Geoff Marshall, came up with the brilliant idea of renaming all of London's 270 tube stations with other plausible names. He made the request via the Londonist, and I suspect got a few more responses than he was expecting.
He's now sifted through the more than 300 comments and distilled them into the map above. Having walked to all of them, I think he's done a pretty good job selecting the new names, although I do have a few disagreements. I made the following suggestions and am happy to see that several (in bold bellow) made the cut.
All three images were drawn by French illustrator Thomas Danthony. Whether you love or hate brutalism as an architecture style, there's something oddly compelling about these ghostly illustrations of some of London's best known brutalist buildings.
The last 48 hours have been interesting for me and this blog. It all started with this post: What Are The Best Things To Do In London That No One Knows About?.
One of the best things about London is discovering hidden gems in places you thought you knew. I've walked across Regent's Park dozens of times, but had no idea it contained a secret waterfall and hidden Japanese island garden, which most people seem to walk right past, until reading this blog post.
Both the waterfall and the Japanese garden are located in the Queen Mary's Gardens (in Regent's Park inner circle), most famous for its 12,000 roses. Simply enter enter via the Jubilee Gate and take the first path right and you should be able to find both fairly easily.
While the rest of Regent's Park was quite busy this weekend, this small section of it was remarkably quiet.
Yesterday, I thought I'd try and give Alex Chinneck's Floating Covent Garden installation artwork a visit before it was taken down. Given the photo above, you can see I was a little too late. While I'm disappointed I missed it, I have only myself to blame.
These sorts of things come and go so quickly in London, that you have seize the opportunity when it arises.
Fortunately, can still see 3 of Alex's other installations around London:
For those of you who missed it, last weekend was Open House London 2014, which offered a chance to see inside 800 buildings across the capital that are not normally open to the public.
The most popular options this year included: The Gherkin, The Cheesegrater, The Bank of England, 55 Broadway (London Underground HQ), Houses of Parliament, and 10 Downing Street, among others. As you'd expect, they were incredibly busy, which meant you either needed to get a ticket well in advance, or be prepared to queue for hours.
However, there's a whole world of interesting building to explore besides the most popular ones. Better yet, you can often see two or three of them in the time it would take you to see one of the others.
Just to give you an idea of the types of buildings you can get access to, here is summary from what I managed to see this year:
If you haven't already watched the video above, do it now! It solves the age old question: "Can someone actually run faster than a tube train?" Want to find if they can?
Then watch as James Heptonstall races a circle line train between Mansion House and Cannon Street while his friend Noel Carroll stays on-board and films the dramatic conclusion.
Update: For an even more impressive feat watch as the same duo complete the even more ambitious run from Moorgate to St. James's Park to beat the train. Not to take anything away from achievement, but it should be noted they don't follow the circle route directly, but instead take the most direct route. Still pretty incredible it can be done.
On Sunday September 14th, 2014 I completed walking the London Overground as part of my ongoing attempt at walking the Tube (done), Overground and DLR. I believe I'm the first and, at this point, only person to have walked all of the London Overground (unless of course anyone knows of anyone else).
In a slight shift of focus, I'm now aiming to be the first person to walk the entire Standard Tube Map, which means I'll also have to add the Emirates Airline into the mix (and more Overground if I don't finish before the end of this year). Fortunately, mainline trains and the tram network don't make it onto the map, which saves me walking them.
Overground Walk Stats
Total distance walked: 109.45 miles (176.14km) - 27% of the Tube's distance
Time spent walking: 34 hours and 52 minutes - 23% of the time spent walking the Tube
Total number of walks: 5 (although I did walk the former East London Line as part of my Tube walks)
Shortest walk: New Cross Gate to West Croydon via Crystal Palace - 13.32 miles (21.44km)
Longest walk: Walking the Overground Circle from Kentish Town West to Kentish Town West - 34.48 miles (55.49 km) - Will be the longest walk of this whole adventure
Average walking speed: 3.14 miles/hr - 20% faster than walking the Tube
Average walk length: 21.89 miles (35.23 km) - 28% longer than the average Tube walk
Average walk time: 6 hours 58 minutes - 6% longer than the average Tube walk
Grand total distance walked to date (Tube + Overground): 503.75 miles (810.7 km)
Blog Post Updates
You may have noticed that while this blog has been relatively active lately, there have been few posts about the Overground walks and none from my past Tube walks. The reason is that those posts take a long time to compile and I don't really have a lot of free time.
However, my goal is still to publish photos from each of my Tube walks, just without the long winded prose to go along with them. So look out for those and photos from the rest of my Overground walks (and upcoming DLR walks) here soon.
You can read more about my Tube Challenge here.
Here's something you probably don't see on your daily commutes, a nightclub on the Tube. The prank seems to have been created by Trollstation and the video above was caught on camera by reddit user BurnSpeed.
You can watch the full video below, including when the police show up: