Welcome to my blog – East London Outside
I am Nel, a London-living mum of two, trying to get outside whenever possible to enjoy the great outdoors in the East End. Although we live in the inner city I didn’t want this to stop me and the kids enjoying nature, finding ‘wild’ places and generally having fun in the elements.
I’m sharing our micro-adventures in the hope that it inspires others, particularly with small kids, to do one or more of the following:
- explore outdoors in the fabulous East End
- get outside in your own neighbourhood
- hunt out the pockets of wild, even in the city
- tell me about your time outside – I’m always on the hunt for things to do and places to go!
Being a parent is amazing but hard! The second time I went on maternity leave [once I had survived the first crazy six weeks of newborn plus toddler plus stitches!] I found I needed something to distract me from the sleepless nights, unbalanced hormones and mountains of laundry.
I love the outdoors and know getting outside always makes me feel refreshed so I set myself a mat leave challenge. My idea was simply that I had to go outside everyday. I could do as much or as little as I liked, but each day I needed to venture out with the baby. The toddler joined us on days he wasn’t at nursery.
Some days we went to the park around the corner, other days we explored our neighbourhood and further afield, looking for places to enjoy being out of doors. I documented our micro-adventures on instagram – really just as a record for me to look back on and to encourage me to keep up with the challenge.
Looking back over my insta grid I realised we have (re)discovered lots of brilliant places and things to do around the East End and beyond. This blog is an attempt to compile our experiences and the information we found out in case others are looking for inspiration too.
London National Park City Ranger
In April 2021 I became a London National Park City Ranger.
London became the world’s first National Park City in July 2019. London National Park City is a place, a vision and a movement to improve life in London. We’re doing this by enjoying being outdoor more and helping to make our city greener, healthier and wilder.
I’m working on a number of projects across London to help green the city, make it more accessible for all, and to promote London’s identity as a National Park City. This is a large-scale and long-term challenge to improve life in the city through many small and achievable actions. I will be developing some events and actions for Tower Hamlets specifically in the coming months.
Individuals, families, groups and organisations can make their own contributions to the London National Park City’s aims, either formally or informally. The Mayor of London has committed to protecting and increasing green spaces and is providing funding to help with planting. You can contribute by simply making your part of the city a little wilder or enjoying a new part of the city’s great outdoors. The more people who do these things the better.
Check out the London National Park City website for more information, inspiration, events and details of how to get involved.
All photos are my own unless otherwise credited. Permission must be sought before using any image from this site.
Places to explore
What’s the score? A quiet community garden created by Malmesbury Residents Association and located just north of Bow Church DLR. With an emphasis on fruit trees and bushes it’s a little edible haven amongst the houses. See my Insta post for more Access … 5 minutes walk from Bow Road Underground and Bow Church DLR…
What’s the score? A park with playground, which is tucked away and surprisingly peaceful given it is surrounded by Bow Bus Garage, the A11 and the A12! It nestles alongside the Nunnery Gallery and Cafe so perfect to combine with a bit of culture and a cracking flat white. Access … The no 25 and…
What’s the score? At just over a mile long this canal is perfect for a gentle waterside stroll along the southern edge of Victoria Park. If you want more, it connects to the Regent’s Canal in the west, and the River Lea in the east. But it’s also rewarding to simply amble the short stretch…
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