Victoria Park

It’s a lovely summer day and, therefore, time to explore something new again! Another item on my bucket list of places yet to see in London is Victoria Park, which is in north-east London, stretching across Bethnal Green, Bow and Hackney, and not in the Victoria district in Central London, as one might think. So it takes time to get there, but finally I arrive at the Hackney Wick Overground station. Here’s what I see as I get off the train:

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The graffiti on the buildings around the station is actually pretty cool, better than I’ve seen in many other places in London.

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To get to the park I need to cross this fancy-looking footbridge over the high speed East Cross Route. I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but this place doesn’t give that feeling of friendliness that generally surrounds me in London. It’s not that it feels dodgy or dangerous, not at all, and this doesn’t even have to do with the people, as I hardly meet anyone on my way, but it’s rather the place itself that doesn’t feel so welcoming.

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Here I am in Victoria Park. It has trees around its perimeter and along some alleys, while the central part is basically a very large lawn, used for different sports and as a playground.

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It’s a relatively hot day, so I’m trying to keep in the shade of the trees.

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This is the Splash Playground, which is a water play area with sprinklers and fountains, and as you can see, kids are enjoying themselves, splashing and playing in the water.

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Right next to it is another big play area, with high ropes.

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The park is very well equipped for all sorts of fun activities, and not only for the little ones – that, for example, is a skate park, currently being used by BMX bikers, but presumably suitable for skaters as well.

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More pictures of the playground, which absolutely made me wish I were a little girl again and could join the other children and have a great time!

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But I’m a big girl, so I get to enjoy the Old English Garden instead (well, not really – there’s nothing special about it, plus a good deal of its vegetation has burned in the sun).

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What I witness here is a game of the greatest sport of all times! Excuse my sarcasm, please, but if there is one thing I will never be able to understand and appreciate, that’s got to be cricket!

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I’m suddenly reminded of childhood again, seeing those leaves on the ground. I think, those are poplar leaves, and I haven’t actually seen them for a very, very long time – basically since childhood, when they always had important roles in the games I played alone or with my friends. So I’m feeling nostalgic!

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There is an event happening today, Victoria Park Day, which is a festival with many games and activities, mainly for kids.

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The western part of Victoria Park is separated from the eastern one by a road, after crossing which I find myself next to the West Boating Lake.

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It is a typical park lake, with an obligatory café next to it. I always like these cafés right on the waterside, and as usual, when I come across one, I’m not feeling hungry or thirsty.

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As its name suggests, the lake has boating activities, and, if my eye-sight is not wronging me, paddling as well.

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Does this goose really have a highly concerned facial expression, or am I just imagining things?

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I really wonder what the purpose of that fountain is – if it’s merely for aesthetic pleasure or it performs any specific function. At least, tired and sweaty boaters could use it as a shower when the pass by!

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At the end of the park – surpise-suprise! – there is the Regent’s Canal. I guess, there’s just no way to avoid it when you are anywhere in the north half of London. But I’m not complaining, as I really like it!

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That lock there is the Old Ford Lock, which forms a junction of the Regent’s Canal with the Hertfort Union Canal, and is the top one of the latter’s three Old Ford Locks, the other two being under Cadogan Terrace (middle lock) and at the junction with the River Lee (bottom lock).

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Well, that’s just a table and chairs on someone’s waterside terrace, but it really looks nice and cosy.

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I walk along the Regent’s Canal towards Mile End Park, intending to cross it and take the tube at Mile End.

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That’s the park itself, and although there should be some nice pavilions somewhere, I’m already too tired of walking in the heat, so can’t be bothered to deviate from my path.

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This is supposed to be a lake, formed by a little inlet of the Regent’s Canal, but it seems to have all dried up and is currently more of a puddle, suitable for little dogs to bathe in.

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If you’ve seen my earlier posts, you’d know that I’m always fascinated by modern residential developments with an interesting architecture and, importantly, large balconies. Except this time I don’t really wish that I had a flat here, since I am not particularly in love with this area. It’s nice to come and see it once, but it definitely is not going to make me want to come back or feel nostalgic about it once I leave London.

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I am now on Mile End Road, heading right to the underground station.

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