Walking beside the river, with views of the Palace of Westmisnter, the sun setting, and the sound of the traffic – that last bit cannot be right? It is true, traffic noise and the smell of diesel are the two most intrusive things to ruin a romantic walk – that’s what participants on the Loved Up London Wednesday After Work Walk decided.
This walkshop format has been developed by Andrew Stuck of Rethinking Cities & the Museum of Walking over the last five years and has been featured at various international conferences, but this was the first opportunity for Londoners to have a taste, a smell, a listen… The walkshop encourages participants to use every sense in investigating the environment around them, and armed with props and prompts to ready their senses, they work hard to develop the principles of what makes a place or walk romantic.
The route devised included a walk beside the Thames, a glance at a Museum of Gardening, a route through the famous Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, and a finale in the Harleyford Road Community Garden and the secret passage that takes you through to Bonnington Square. It was a terrific celebration of private, public and community garden and park design to coincide with Love Parks Week.
There appears to be an appetitie for discovering romantic urban places and the plan is to run the Loved Up Londonworkshop again, next time north of the river.
This article first appeared on the Rethinking Cities website.