Thoughts | Walking around London

Finally found a quiet moment to sit down and write another post. In between assignments at the moment, so here goes…

There is nothing like London to fight away those January blues, even if it shows itself primarily from its grey, cloudy and rainy side – there is simply too many great things to do and see to worry about that. After my time on Hampstead Heath I spend the rest of the day walking around London with an old friend, we managed to walk some 25 km before it was time to part ways. It might seem like a long walk, but to be honest it is rather business-as-usual for a day in London for me. I love walking around London with no real goal in sight, just exploring.

In the past we have primarily explored the South Kensington area and Greenwich, but this time we met up at the Brunswick Shopping Centre. From there we headed past King’s Cross to see the redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard next to Central St. Martin. Architect Thomas Heatherwick has given the place new life, adding a surprising roof detail that ties the old Victorian buildings together, adding a modern twist. *pun not intended*

A view of Thomas Heatherwick's redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard and the Gasholder apartment complex behind it. The Gasholders complex is a redevelopment of round gasholder structures from 1867. The apartments are housed in a round structure sitting inside the columns of the original structure.
A view of Thomas Heatherwick’s redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard and the Gasholder apartment complex behind it.
A view of the original steel structures that Thomas Heatherwick has included in the redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard.
A view of the original steel structures that Thomas Heatherwick has included in the redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard.
A view of a walkway taking visitors past the Coal Drops Yard to the Gasholders apartment complexes and on along the Regent's Canal Towpath. The vibe is very New York City 'Highline'-esque. The inclusion of vegetation works well with the brick and steel constructions surrounding the place.
A view of a walkway taking visitors past the Coal Drops Yard to the Gasholders apartment complexes and on along the Regent’s Canal Towpath. The vibe is very New York City ‘Highline’-esque. The inclusion of vegetation works well with the brick and steel constructions surrounding the place.
A view of the upper walkway at the Coal Drops Yard. There are plant beds and wooden benches made out of large wood slab benches. The vibe is very New York City 'Highline'-esque. The inclusion of vegetation works well with the brick and steel constructions surrounding the place.
A view of the upper walkway at the Coal Drops Yard. The vibe is very New York City ‘Highline’-esque. The inclusion of vegetation works well with the brick and steel constructions surrounding the place.

From there we had a look round a former gas holder structure next to the yard. They have been turned into apartment complexes and a park by architects Wilkinson Eyre. A great area for seeing interesting redevelopments of industrial architecture.

A view of the Wilkinson Eyre Architects redeveloped Gasholders apartment complex next to the Coal Drops Yard. The Gasholders complex is a redevelopment of round gasholder structures from 1867. The apartments are housed in a round structure sitting inside the columns of the original structure.
A view of the Wilkinson Eyre Architects redeveloped Gasholders apartment complex next to the Coal Drops Yard. The Gasholders complex is a redevelopment of round gasholder structures from 1867. The apartments are housed in a round structure sitting inside the columns of the original structure.
'Words On The Water' book barge moored down stream east from the Coal Drops Yard. The boat is an old barge that has been build out in all directions selling books and records. It's kitschy, but the best kind.
‘Words On The Water’ book barge moored down stream east from the Coal Drops Yard.

Next we headed east along the Regent’s Canal Towpath until we got to the point where the canal goes into the Islington Canal Tunnel. From there we walked through Islington. After realising that we were on our way out of town we started to head back towards the city centre, with a quick pitstop at Pret a Manger for sustenance. We ended the day at the brink of the Thames near Bank Underground Station. A long day with great conversations and interesting sights.

View of a house in Islington with a tree out front, it's leafless but covered in red berries.
Beautiful brick façades in Islington

I love walking around London seeing how life is lived in the places not easily accessed with the tube. I love walking around London seeing the architecture and the opportunity to imagine the multitude of lives lived in the different places. If you have the chance, try picking a random tube station away from the main sights and walk from there – there is so much to see and explore.

Featured photograph by Sasha Andersen showing a view of Thomas Heatherwick’s redevelopment of the Coal Drops Yard.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.