diamond geezer

 Thursday, December 30, 2010

dg 2010 index

Ten memorable London jaunts in 2010
1) The Lost Rivers of London: You have to be slightly mad to go exploring all of London's buried waterways, one per month, over the course of a year, and then blog about them. So I did. Because Londoners love hearing about lost rivers, in depth, so it seems. Here's the full set: Westbourne, Falcon Brook, Counters Creek, Neckinger, Hackney Brook, Effra, Walbrook, Pudding Mill, Stamford Brook, Earl's Sluice, Peck, Tyburn, Fleet (and here are 300 photos)
2) Open House: The usual fascinating collection of not-usually open buildings, including London Underground HQ at 55 Broadway [photos]
3) Thames Tunnel: A walk through the oldest underwater tunnel in the world, a few weeks before they started rerunning trains through it? Magic.
4) Lord Mayor's Show: It's not the most exciting annual spectacle, to be honest, but I enjoyed viewing the entire parade from the gallery round the dome of St Paul's Cathedral [photos]
5) Ring of Steel: A guided walk round the City of London's camera defences opened my eyes to terrorist paranoia in the Square Mile [photo]
6) Major Roy's cannons: The Ordnance Survey began by surveying a line across Hounslow Heath, the endpoints of which are still marked by cannons at Heathrow Airport and Hampton Hill. Who knew?
7) Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans: A bonkers arts project, to bring melodious chimes to Canning Town. Most of the locals failed to notice, but I lapped it up [video]
8) Dagenham Dock: Possibly London's most pointless bus station, now accessible via East London Transit [photos]
9) East London Line: An Overground ride down the reopened line from Dalston to New Cross (and beyond) [photos]
10) North Greenwich riverside: I used to love a good stroll along the industrial Thames between Greenwich and the Dome. Now they're turning it into homes and building sites and flats, it'll never be the same again. [photos]
Runners up: Four London windmills, Two Albert Squares, Crossrail E15, Jewish Museum, bus route 45, Leighton House Museum, Elephant Parade, Cup Final, Osterley Park, Epping Forest Centenary Walk, Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, Cycle Superhighway 3, Green Line Coaches, Walk The Line, new Metropolitan line trains, Hackney Wicked, Stratford platform 3a, London Loop 4, Coombe Conduit, Green Chain 11, bus route 10, Sunflower Seeds, Wandsworth Museum, One New Change, Tube Week, Chesham shuttle, Woolwich to Erith, libraries, Eel Pie Island, route 66, Bow snow, Olympic Stadium floodlights.
Random boroughs: Richmond, Kingston, Westminster, Newham.

Ten favourite Out-of-London destinations
Portland Harbour1) Not-London 2012: Not content with living on the doorstep of the Olympic Stadium, I made a special visit to four Games venues outside the capital (Eton, Broxbourne, Hadleigh and Portland) plus two cradles of the Olympic Movement (Much Wenlock and Stoke Mandeville). I particularly enjoyed my day out in Weymouth and the Isle of Portland (which doubled as a summer holiday this year) [photos]
2) Edinburgh: Och, is there anywhere better to celebrate Hogmanay? And as 2010 began, brr, was there anywhere colder? [photos]
3) Tenterden: For 10/10/10 I trekked to this similarly-named Kentish town and then took the steam train to Bodiam Castle. Top day out [photos]
4) Berney Arms: A rare trip to England's remotest railway station (in the Norfolk Broads) followed by a riverside walk to the next station - Great Yarmouth [photos]
5) Canterbury: Now there are High Speed trains from London, this cathedral city's not so far away. From the Romans to Bagpuss, blimey the place is fascinating [photos]
6) Chichester: Another cathedral city, this time in West Sussex, plus more fine Roman remains up the road in Fishbourne [photos]
7) Rochester Sweeps Festival: May Day on the Medway meant more morris dancing than I'd ever seen before [photos]
8) Bletchley Park: Britain's wartime codebreaking HQ, also home to the National Museum of Computing.
9) Aldeburgh: I lived in Suffolk for years and I never went. Put that right this year [photos]
10) Harlow: An Essex new town shouldn't be fascinating, but Harlow's sculptures raise the place out of the ordinary.
Runners up: Shoeburyness, Camber Sands, Chequers, Crab & Winkle Way, Royal Ascot, Poppyland, Folkestone to Dover, Battle of Britain Memorial, Bray, Wrexham & Shropshire, Ironbridge, Polesden Lacey, Kelvedon Hatch.

Ten other favourite posts from 2010:
2020 vision, London Fashion Week, Magnificent Maps, Minister in Charge of Scissors, Camden Green Fair, iGeez, snickers, First they came for the quangos, onesquare.com, the London night sky in November.

Half of my ten favourite photos of the year:
(or all ten here)

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