Tuesday, December 30, 2008
dg 2008 index
Ten memorable London jaunts in 2008
1) Eltham Palace: Oh my word, the Courtauld's suburban hybrid of Art Deco and the medieval is an utter delight. Do go.
2) High Street 2012: It's only my local road, from Aldgate to Stratford, but in August I saw it in a new (and highly detailed) light. [photos]
3) Rotherhithe Tunnel: You have to be mad to walk through this exhaust-fumed roadway (so I indulged in a bit of centenary madness).
4) Linked: An audio walk alongside the M11 link road, from Wanstead to Leyton, remembering the everyday stories that were buried beneath. Have you been yet?
5) Terminal 5: I turned up on day 1. Thank goodness I was only interested in taking a look around, not flying anywhere. [photos]
6) The 1908 Olympic marathon: 100 years on I followed the route of the first 26 mile 385 yard marathon, all the way from Windsor to White City. Bonkers, but great. [photos]
7) Beijing Torch Relay: What an unmitigated disaster, from the hordes of overzealous flame protectors to the dismal no-show outside my house. Never again.
8) A ride on the last unpainted "silver" tube train: Farewell to maple-floored carriages, and farewell to those dangling bobbly plastic grippy things.
9) Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture: A charming mini-museum of homely creations, just outside Cockfosters.
10) Hoover Building: The outside's impressive enough, but for Open House it was possible to take a tour around the rather special interior. [photos]
Runners up) New Year fireworks, Waterworks Nature Reserve, Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, Silvertown parks, Arsenal, RAF Museum, 43 bus, Kray country, independent bookshops, Regents Canal, Upminster Windmill, Ronan Point, City Hall, Telectroscope, 135 bus, Oriental City, Beverley Brook Walk, Westminster Abbey, Tobacco Dock, Trinity Buoy Wharf, Fairlop Fair, HMS Belfast, Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London Open House 2008, Shepherd's Bush stations, Landskip, Westfield, 16 bus, Hoxton Street, East London Woolworths, St John's Gate.
Random boroughs: Brent, Redbridge, Ealing, Harrow.
Ten favourite Out-of-London destinations
1) Shivering Sands: The four-legged Maunsell Forts, eight miles off the north Kent coast, are best visited by speedboat from Herne Bay. Desolate, startling and wonderfully atmospheric. [photos]
2) Bexhill: If you have a camera, I urge you to treat it to a day out at the De La Warr Pavilion. Sunny days preferred. [photos]
3) Rye: A south coast jewel, a cobbled timewarp hilltop, a place of beauty and refinement, and too easily overlooked.
4) Rutland: I enjoyed a grand day out in Britain's littlest unitary authority, featuring horseshoes, a very cold boat trip and a semi-drowned church. [photos]
5) Tilbury: Take a walk along the grey northern banks of the Thames estuary from one historic sea fort to another. I picked perfect weather and basked in the industrial isolation.
6) Isle of Wight: How about a day trip to England's largest island, including a ride (in Ryde) down the pier on a tube train?
7) Thanet: I found Margate unexpectedly intriguing, with its Shell Grotto and (now charred) rollercoaster, but the highlight of my trip was discovering The 39 Steps on a private estate north of Broadstairs. [photos]
8) Coventry: Two historic cathedrals, ooh lovely, and a fascinating motor museum.
9) Box Hill: The southeast's favourite climb, rising up from a biker's takeaway to a National Trust restaurant.
10) Chartwell: Churchill's charming Wealden home, at the end of London's most southeasterly bus route.
Runners up: Southend, Henley, the Otford Solar System, Norwich elephants, Oxford, Milton Keynes.
Ten other favourite posts from 2008: 1996, Amy Winehouse, steam, Eggstreme Early Easter, dharma geezer, commenting competencies, Londo, next train indicators, remembrance, redundancy.
Half of my ten favourite photos of the year:(or all ten here)