Here's one of our new adventure walks....
.....along the Regent’s Canal to the coolest Saturday food market in London, have a swim in a stunning heated outdoor at London Fields, then run through the glorious Victoria Park and discover a London secret.
Start: Haggerston Overground station
What to bring: swimming togs
Leave the station and cross Lee Street to walk down Stean Street all the way to the Regent's Canal. Take the steps down and turn left onto the leafy tow path, past colourful canal boats loaded with logs, bikes, window boxes full of herbs and flowers.
Just after Acton’s Lock, take the steps up from the canal to Broadway Market at the edge of London Fields. On Saturdays this is a bustling market with everything from fruit and veg, fresh fish, meat, delicious bread, cakes and cheese, cooked food stalls plus vintage clothes and bits and bobs. We like Sporeboys who cook up the most scrumptious fungi sandwiches and a fungi risotto. Children might prefer the sizzling burgers on a nearby stall rounded off with a very chocolatey crepe.
Midweek the street is much quieter but easier perhaps to wander in and out of the shops which you won’t find on any other high street: the lovely Rebel Rebel florists, Fabrications a textile gallery and haberdashery that runs craft courses, the lovely Broadway Bookshop, a real London jellied eel cafe and an independent toyshop.
If you brought your swimming things walk across the road at the top of the market to London Fields and the Lido. This has had a fantastic makeover and is London's only 50-metre, heated outdoor pool. The cafe also serves good snacks.
Otherwise head back down to the canal and carry on a little bit further until you reach Canal Gates which lead into the rather splendid Victoria Park, nicknamed the ‘People’s Park’. Laid out by the do-gooding Victorians, it was created as green space for the benefit of the people of the East End who suffered appallingly from industrial pollution, overcrowding and high childhood mortality. The park has everything you could possibly want: a lake, a boating pond, bluebell woods and an old English Garden.
Head into the park and follow the path round to the left hand side and keep going until you get to the rather grand Royal Gate. If you want a detour, leave the park and walk up Lauristan Road, an enclave of cafes and shops with a relaxed villagey feel. It has has a particularly good deli, www.thedelidownstairs.co.uk, a great fishmonger and the wonderful Ginger Pig Butcher www.thegingerpig.co.uk. We bought some delicious pies to eat.
Head back towards the park and turn into Royal Gate East, back into the park. Cut across the grass at a diagonal, heading to the eastern end. Keep going, enjoying the grassy expanse. Turn around to see a different view of London’s skyline, with Canada Tower, the Gherkin and the Shard standing tall in a row. Just beyond St Marks Gate is one of London’s little known secrets: the beautiful, strangely abandoned stone alcoves from the real old London Bridge rest here for no obvious reason. Apparently they were brought here in 1860.
Follow the path to the next exit at Cadogan Gate. Cross the footbridge over the A12 and walk straight on up Wallis Road to Hackney Wick Overground station and home.