It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee; that's 60 years on the throne as Monarch of the UK. Everyone is pretty excited, except maybe her son, and there are celebrations planned galore. Between the 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee it's hard to know where to go first.
So walk, don't run. Because the Jubilee Greenway is a 60 km. (37 miles) walking and cycling route. And the Queen was on hand to unveil the first commemorative Jubilee Greenway Disc. There will be 59 more of them installed along the route--one for each year of her reign.
Plus there will be another 430 markers to make sure no one gets lost. A special grouping of 60 more discs has been installed at the main entrance to the new Olympic Park.
Now a hardy tourist can walk from the West End of London, as in the gates of Buckingham Palace, to the gritty east end, all the way to the Olympic site. Whew, we are tired already.
The Jubilee Walkway Trust is the group behind the initiative. The first bit was put into place to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977, then it gradually was extended along the Thames River banks. Once the Olympics were announced, the Trust swung into action and dreamed up the extension for 60 km.
It's a long and a lonesome road. There are ten stretches of the walk, each one ranging from 2 to 5 miles, and each one revealing new and wonderful things about London.
Once out of the downtown area of London, the Regent's Canal stretch of the walk is a wilderness in an urban setting. It is a wonderful way to experience nature, wild and tamed, in the heart of a city.
The Islington stretch provides a fascinating look at how London is changing; passing many new apartment and office developments whilst still keeping the old atmosphere.
Then finally it reaches the new Olympic Park. The new Olympic Park will be one of the largest parks to be created in Europe in modern times, and certainly the biggest one ever made for an Olympics. There will be 4,000 semi-mature trees, more than 300,000 wetland plants and more than 10 football fields’ worth of nectar-rich annual and perennial meadows designed and sown to flower during the Games.