Ways to Walk in London

Hidden Places and New Perspectives

Alice Stevenson

Published by September in Hardback (£12.99) on 02-04-2015

The artist and illustrator, Alice Stevenson, has spent the last few years walking and exploring the huge, sprawling megacity that is London. Within all the hustle and bustle, Alice has discovered a way of walking that is restorative, enriching and enlightening.

With her artist’s eye and an open mind, she journeys across this mesmerising city, from North to South, East to West, observing the tiny, hidden details and finding inspiration in its unlikeliest corners. Alice’s experience, perception and intimate knowledge of London come together to create a beautiful, unofficial guide to the city, where overlooked architecture is celebrated, unusual perspectives are discovered and paths away from the customary haunts are trodden.

After the painful end of a relationship, a journey from Kentish Town to Hampstead Heath, bathed in winter sun, underscores the healing effect of walking. A linear route to and from Finsbury Park offers rare perspectives along an abandoned railway line. The opposing shores of Docklands and Greenwich feel like moving between moments in history – the slick, glassy gleam of the city versus the elegant lines of the World Heritage site, linked by the ‘unreconstructed’ and claustrophobic underwater foot tunnel.

From Garden Squares to bookshops, from the Essex Road to Forest Hill, from Woolwich to Cheyne Walk and further, to the outer reaches of London, Alice notes the detail – a ‘silvery blur’ of window, the solid red of brick walls, geometric detritus under foot and triangular silhouettes of roofs against the sky.

The text is complemented by Alice’s gorgeous, distinctive illustrations which perfectly captures those moments of beauty and urbanity, contemplation and revelation. WAYS TO WALK IN LONDON is a wonderfully fitting tribute to the complexity of this city – even in one of the most dynamic and bustling environments in the world there are places to escape to.

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