Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Must Do Walks in London

Not a lot of major North American cities can say that, as urban sprawl has spaced us out so much that cars and extensive transportation networks are required to get from one attraction to another.

Not only is London a walkable city, it loves a city walk. This is one of my most favourite things about London and one of the things I miss the most about living in this city. From the Capital Ring walk (bucket list!), or better yet the London LOOP (another bucket list item), to plotting London's green areas with a City of London Tree Trail, and of course a Royal London walk.

I'm a huge proponent of walking a city, especially one you aren't familiar with, as you can see, smell, and experience it so much more on foot engaging your senses, than you can stuck underground or behind an engine.

Here are some of my favourite walks of London, perfect for an afternoon amble with no structure or schedule.


Richmond Park
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Richmond Park

Located south west of the City in the borough of Richmond upon Thames it was created in the 17th century by King Charles I. Today it is a nature reserve and the largest of the Royal Parks in London. This is a park that you can really experience the wildlife that roam freely within the high walls of the park there are 630 red and fallow deer on 2,360 acres of land. If you want more than just deer to look at, there are also several grade listed buildings within the premises. And not to be missed is King Henry's Mound, the highest point of the park with an unobstructed view of St. Paul's Cathedral 16 km away! Also, when you visit Richmond Park, Hampton Court Palace is near and worthy of a peek.

{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Richmond Park


East End Canals 
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: East End Canal

I might be biased with this one, as I lived in the east-end of London (no, not the cool bits, I was east of that) but I loved taking every opportunity to head to the canal for a nice walk, for my run, or getting from place to place even if it meant going a little bit out of my way. Much of interest is connected through the canal system; parks, markets, restaurants and pubs. But really being by the calm water, saying hello to the people on houseboats and being away from the London traffic.

{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: East End Canal

Little Venice 
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Little Venice

Also a canal walk, but a little more refined feeling than the graffiti lined canals found in East London. I started my walk at Edgeware Road tube station and had I not had plans to meet a friend in town I would have stopped at the adorable Waterside Cafe located right in the triangular basin. There's not much else going on in this neighbourhood, but the colourful moored houseboats, gorgeous buildings, and lovely tall trees make a stroll along this particular part of the canal worthy.

South bank 
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: South Bank

The South Bank has always been one of my most loved areas of London to visit. Whenever I was at a loss of something to do (which is hard to happen in London) or had someone visiting, I'd head down to the South Bank for some entertainment. Whether it's people gawking, markets, food or culture, the between Southwark Bridge to Westminster Bridge, South Bank has enough going on any given day to fill your time.

Also, I love being reminded that London has beaches, proper sandy beaches, although you'd rarely see a bikini clad individual here, there are often artists at work making incredible sand sculptures.

{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: South Bank

Camden Lock and Market
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Camden Market

{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Camden Market

Wandering along Camden High Street, through the lock, and around the market stalls of the Stables Market and Horse Tunnel Market. This area of London is eclectic and busy and a good way to spend weekend day. My preference is to head over early on a warm, sunny day and enjoy some cheap market lunch and a Pimm's.

Riverside pubs
{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Riverside Pubs

Rounding out my list of must do walks of London is of course a mini pub crawl of sorts. London has a great number of pubs to choose from. I'm a fan of a pub with a story or at the very least interesting decor. I've done this particular pub crawl several times and each time, with each passing drink I dream of being able to afford a flat in this adorably quiet neighbourhood, Wapping. Start your crawl with a tipple at Dickens Inn at St. Katherine's Dock. Be sure to get an outside seat in the summer to be able to appreciate the balcony views. Then head up Wapping High Street to Captain Kidd. This pub was named for the 17th century pirate, William Kidd, who had been hung nearby at the Execution Dock. The interior is to look like a ships hulk and there is a lovely patio facing the River Thames. Finishing at the Prospect of Whitby, which claims to be the oldest riverside tavern, dating 1520. A replica nose and gallows is visible outside the river side window. It was a favourite hanging spot for Judge Jefferys during the 17th century.

{Erin Out and About} Must do walk in London: Riverside Pubs

Three pubs not quite enough? Extend your tour by starting it at Wilton's Music Hall, located on Graces Alley, not explicitly a riverside pub, but it's super cool nonetheless. Originally built in c. 1743 and most likely served the sea captains that lived on neighbouring streets, it was turned into a music and concert hall in the 1800's. It went through a capital campaign and massive renovation which was completed in 2015.

Want one last drink after the Prospect of Whitby, continue on toward Limehouse at a leisurely rate to The Grapes. Sir Ian McKellen is a Leaseholder of this 500 year old establishment and not the only celebrity connection for this pub.


What are your thoughts on the walkability of a city?

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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2018 Travel Wish List

Travel. It's my favourite thing. Big or small, I want to do it all. But if I had to limit myself to just a few (hopefully attainable in 2018) these are top of my list.

{Erin Out and About} 2018 Travel Wishlist and Link up

1. San Antonio, Texas

When I was very young, my parents took me to Texas to visit their friends. All I remember from that trip was that the grass was very prickly and that a dog ate my Barbie (talk about traumatic). A dear friend of mine has moved back States side and now I have an excuse to travel down (the best reason to travel if you ask me) and see if everything really is bigger in the longhorn state. UPDATE!! Flight booked for Texas!

2. Halifax, Nova Scotia

After spending a brief time in St. John's, Newfoundland this past summer (posts to come) I realized I wanted to see more of the east coast of Canada. I also realized that I need to make 2018 the year I do some solo travel, what better place than in your own backyard.

3. Charlottetown, P.E.I.

To go along with the above reasoning. 2018; It's happening!

4. United Kingdom and Ireland

I did this trip last year and it was a blast. And since last year, I've had some friends move to new towns and I must go check it out. (Visiting friends is seriously the best excuse to travel).

5. Netherlands

I have a dream of doing another Provence girls trip but this time to the Netherlands.

These are just a few of my dream destinations for 2018. I mean they aren't completely out of reach, but really I'll take what ever kind of travel I can get my hands on.

What are your wishlist travel destinations for 2018?

{Erin Out and About} 2018 Travel Wish List

What are your travel plans for 2018? Do you like to have it all mapped out before January 1st or do you prefer to wing it?

At the beginning of each month, I like to take part in the monthly travel link up hosted on the incredible blogs by AngieEmma, Polly. You can join in too by leaving a comment below, checking out other posts on the link up, or adding your own post to the widget now until January 7th.

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Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 Done and Dusted

{Erin Out and About} Year in Review
Photo by MichaƂ Grosicki on Unsplash
This year has been a bit of a struggle. I went into 2017 with a bang and had some amazing trips, spent time with friends and found more fulfillment within my job. There were also some lows and struggles. Focusing on my theme, passion which I had set for myself last December, was one of my constant challenges and I was hard on myself about it. 

I continue to build and be mindful of previous year's themes; 2015 was explore (I'm heading into 2018 with a flight already booked!), 2016 was joy (I kept this little list close to me to keep finding my joy), 2017 was passion (did some exciting things with my passion of writing and this little passion project of mine). 

2018 I think is a year that I'm going to slow down, take stock, and make some big decisions. I hope this time next year I won't be in the same place I am now. I hope I'm happier, more balanced, and heading in a healthy direction. This is what I want to work on this year and that's why I think I have to focus on myself and self-care as this year's theme.

Do you set intentions, make resolutions, create a theme or just ignore all that all together and just get on with the year?

Along with setting my theme for the year I like to recap the past 365 days with a look through my instagram and pull out some of my favourite moments from each month. 


{Erin Out and About} Year in Review

January: Starting the year with some slow weekends. As the year went on, I got fewer and fewer of these. I look forward to starting this again in the new year.
February: Forever my favourite valentine!
March: Winterstations at The Beaches. It was sooooo cold, but I do love outdoor art.
April: Took a trip to the UK and Ireland. This photo is from the highly instagrammable restaurant (and loo), Sketch.

{Erin Out and About} Year in Review

May: Jazzy fish! Went to Ripley's Aquarium for some music and underwater creatures. I didn't think I'd like it as much as I did.
June: Mac and Cheese Fest! Long lines and over priced food. Might not go again next year.

{Erin Out and About} Year in Review

July: Got my art on this month and made a little bee in scratch board.
August: Attended the Toronto Cider Fest (and hosted a Giveaway).This I will for sure be attending next year.
September: Also a highlight of my year was going to Newfoundland. It was a great trip that included visiting St. John's, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and a friend's wedding in London, Ont.

{Erin Out and About} Year in Review

November: Spent some time at the AGO. It's a gorg building.
October: Oktoberfest. It's now a tradition.
December: Decorated this sweet little tabletop tree.  



Happy New Year!


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