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The Olympic Site and Culture Scene

The neighborhood's industrial past gets revitalized through new buildings and nature
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  We start our canal-side walk at Islington, the point where the Grand Union Canal emerges from a tunnel and gives you the chance to... more »

Tips:  This trip gives you a taste of the huge plan for the regeneration of East London tied to the 2012 Olympics. Bring your camera. Wear... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Angel Islington

Angel Islington, aside from being a stop on the British Monopoly board, is a historical district in the center of London. It has been on the map since the 19th century, well known for its shops, theaters, pubs and music halls, the legacy of which survives today in a buzzing cultural and shopping scene.

Angel is the savvy spot to start taking a ... More

2. Noel Road

Here, at No. 25 of this beautiful 18th century terrace, sixties playwright Joe Orton was murdered with a hammer by his former mentor and lover, Kenneth Halliwell. At No. 87 is the wonderful Victorian pub the Island Queen, which makes a great stop for drinks or food. Enjoy a décor of intriguing original features reminiscent of a classic... More

3. City Road Basin

This area is in a period of interesting change fueled by booming property prices. A canal basin waterfront of luxury flats and architecturally interesting office buildings offers a pleasing view.

A buzz is created by the activity around managed mooring facilities for narrow boats using the Regent's Canal. This zone of the canal is a particularly ... More

4. Gainsborough Studios

As you walk along this stretch of the canal you notice the swathes of one-time industrial buildings that have been converted into "yuppie" flats. An early conversion of this kind was the now "des res" of Gainsborough Studios where Alfred Hitchcock made his early films, including the British classic "The Lady Vanishes."... More

5. De Beauvoir Town

The De Beauvoir Town Council Estate is a famous example of postwar planning in a London suffering from bomb damage and economic hardship. There are also some fine examples of Georgian and Victorian buildings in this historically significant neighbourhood.

Southgate Road is a good place to take a look at these. Climb up the steps that connect... More

This was just a regular East London street with an occasional food market until the tide of gentrification took it and dressed it with achingly cool bars and shops. It has become is a favorite haunt of young urban hipsters. On Saturdays the street buzzes with the market and creative types out for a jaunt. The Dove pub is a lovely spot to stop for ... More

Victoria Park is a large expanse of fresh green lawns and trees, which form the lungs of East London. Designed in 1841 by James Pennethorn, it's a famous example of the 19th century Victorian parks movement that established the pattern of public green space as we know it today. A great place to relax, have a picnic or do some cloud gazing.
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8. The Greenway

The Greenway is a level, almost continuous and straight traffic-free route that carves through East London at a high level, offering some interesting views, not least of which is the Olympic Park area.

The Greenway is a bonded-gravel track that has been constructed on top of a sewer embankment. The surroundings are, however, thoroughly pleasant... More

Built using recycled shipping containers, the View Tube's yellow glow beckons from the end of the Greenway. This community project combines a café, education, arts and information spaces with a panoramic view over the Olympic Park and the rapidly transforming Stratford area of London. Stop to admire the future or rent a bike from BikeWorks ... More