The Anonymous Widower

Walking to Victoria Park

Yesterday, I started to walk to Victoria Park to see the site where my son’s ashes were scattered on the anniversary of his death last week.

It is a pleasant walk along the Regent’s Canal.  A first surprise was this cafe.

Cafe on the Regent's Canal

Yesterday, the canal was busy with walkers and cyclists of all ages and type. So the cafe shouldn’t be too short of punters.

Good luck to them!  I think they’ll be the first of many hostelries on the canal.  After all, the canal will be one of the main walking and cycling routes to the Olympics at Stratford.

I also passed the new bridge that takes the East London Line over the canal, just south of Hoxton station.

The East London Line Crossing the Regents Canal

I use the line probably once a week these days and when they finish off Dalston Junction station, I will use it even more. If the line has a problem, it is that it is too successful and has started to get a bit crowded even in the middle of the day. But any good transport project, whether it is a railway, road or a bus route, should attract new customers and it would appear that the East London line has done this.

The Regent’s Canal forms part of the Jubilee Greenway as this sign shows.

Jubilee Greenway Sign on the Regent's Canal

The Greenway runs all the way from Buckingham Palace to the Olympics and then in a circle around London. With due respect to the Queen’s fitness, I can’t see her walking all the way at her age.  But it would make a wonderful celebration of her Jubilee to traverse the canal part of the route in a proper Royal Canal Boat.

The canal was busy with traffic, despite the fact that all boats need to transfer through the various locks. I took this picture as I walked through industrial Bethnall Green.

Sailing Through Industrial Bethnall Green

The picture wasn’t chosen deliberately, but it does show how the canal is a long green oasis cutting a bold path across London. Is that spring blossom on the trees?

But it wasn’t just expensive boats. I took this picture just after Acton’s Lock.

Kids on the Regent's Canal

The inflatable boat contained a group of kids and an instructor and they were having a great time, especially as they worked the locks.  What better way is there to learn the history of East London, than to experience it from the canal?

There are various works going on to make Jubilee Greenway, one of the ways to get to the Olympics. I particularly liked this well designed entrance ramp and steps to the towpath.

A Well-Designed Ramp and Steps

There is never an excuse for not using the best designs for even the most mundane things.

Note in this picture, you can see the slabs and bricks that cover the high-voltage electricity main, that takes the power to the City from East London. The boat moored at the end of the ramp is a workboat being used by the engineers upgrading this vital power line.

The Regent’s Canal follows Victoria Park for some distance and the park too, is being upgraded.  This picture shows the bridge connecting the Park to Bethnall Green.

Entrance to Victoria Park

My kids used to go to the Gatehouse School nearby and used to walk over this bridge into the Park. At the moment due to the works the park isn’t totally accessible.

Works in Victoria Park

It will all be done for next year, when the park will be used as an Olympic viewing venue with big screens, a new cafe and lots of grass to sit on. Perhaps one of the best ways to go to the Olympics, will be to take a picnic to Victoria Park and then walk to the Olympics Park.

In some ways it is one of my favourite parks, and I can remember wheeling our granddaughter through the park with C many times in her pram.  As it was also one of late son’s favourite spots it was entirely fitting that his ashes were scattered there.

I shall certainly use it as a venue to watch the Olympics, especially, as it is only about a hundred minutes walk from my house.  Or if I feel lazy, it’s just one bus ride away from my local stop.

This sign gives the history of the park.

Victoria Park Sign

I’m certain that Queen Victoria would be very happy about the state of the park she supported and allowed to be named in her honour.

March 31, 2011 - Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. A very interesting narrative and fitting for George, as you rightly say.

    Comment by Emma | March 31, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] Hackney Wick and then walking along the Greenway.  To walk all the way takes 90 minutes along the Regent’s Canal and Hertford Canal via Victoria Park.  There will also be a good bus service from just up the […]

    Pingback by Open House for the Olympics « The Anonymous Widower | April 13, 2011 | Reply

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