About two years ago, someone asked me to describe the five best things to do in London. And one of them was Dorney Lake. And I still stick by it.OK; it’s not quite London Town, but it’s not too far away, and on a nice sunny day like today (well it was before it rained), this is an absolutely fantastic place to a) have a picnic b) go for a bicycle ride c) just sit by the water’s edge and contemplate. Or any combination of the above.
Dorney Lake is a superb place to spend a few hours peacefully on a nice day.
(Taken with my moby at the end from which the TV cams will watch Olympian rowers win in 2012)
I have a little regret mentioning it now. As it’s probably best kept secret or else everybody will want to go there …
London’s equivalent of the feeling you get when you exit to the street from Penn Station in Manhattan for the first time on arrival to the heart of New York City can be had at Canary Wharf. The ascent up the escalators in the fabulous Canary Wharf tube station is definitely something every visitor to the city should do. I wouldn’t say it’s as breathtaking as Manhattan; but it’s definitely spectacular. London’s Docklands is still very new; and because of that the architecture is a lot more clinical; and in the early days (when the landscape wasn’t so filled out) it was actually quite cold and bleak. But now it’s “matured” and feels like a city.
But there’s one piece of civil engineering genius that really integrates the human being into the architecture of Canary Wharf; and it’s a low wall that spans most of the width of the square in front of the tube station entrance. The two powerful ingredients of a) sunshine and b) a low wall will have human beings attracted to it like ants to honey.
Provide a wall and sunshine. People will sit.
(Taken with my cameraphone outside Canary Wharf tube station in London’s Docklands)
Canary Wharf in the sunshine rocks.