The park is quite long and narrow and is squashed between a main road and the canal. The first thing you’ll notice is that this park has recently been redesigned. I’m not sure how it used to look but it’s very modern now. Interesting lines, delicate plants and reeds. The lawn is thick and cosy but is not really flat at any point-so don’t bother bringing a football. The ponds look like something between a millionaires private garden and a 21st century nature reserve. Not too many trees but that seems to suit this sort of modern park.
Add-Ons (“Beyond The Greenery”)
At one end of the park there is a proper leisure centre, complete with climbing walls. You won’t find much else here because it is mainly about walking down paths or along the canal. There is a bit of art here and there (some sculptures on one of the little hills). We also saw signs to a café but couldn’t find it.
The modernity of the parks design hits you immediately and at first you feel weird because its not a typical London park but the more you walk round it, the more its subtle beauty filters in. Like any great landscaping, great care has been taken with the details. Good lines, muted colours. The curved metal bridge over the strange little duck pond (with plastic ducks too!) seemed to lull you into a calmer state. Across the canal new apartment blocks are rising which all adds to the whole futuristic feel of the place. If you’re looking for strange modern tranquilly then walk this green Mile!
Tips, Tricks & Traps
The best tip is to walk along the canal then keep popping in to look around any new area you find. Then when you reach the end come back along the bridges, that way you get the upper and lower perspective of the park (which are quite different).
Another thing to avoid is the North strip. Its drab and ordinary. Everything mentioned above is the Southern Strip of the park (beginning at the Tube station).
It’s pretty easy, take the Central Line to all the way to the Mile End station, and it’s right next to the station.
The quality of the grass wasn’t very impressive. First when we entered the park it didn’t even look like a park to me, it was more like a neglected big private garden with a very lazy owner, but we found out that there was some planting going on that’s why it was so messy. As we were walking up to the hill the green areas started to appear and it looked more like a park to me. There were some cute/different plants around that stole my attention with their beauty.
A pond under the bridge and the long metallic wall above the pond, makes it look kind of interesting. When I was so focused on the canal. I hit some metal and coloured stoned sculptures when we about to leave. The metallic donkey one is my favourite, it took me back to my childhood. I wanted to jump on it as I used to do when I was a child.
This park has a weird atmosphere. I didn’t feel like I was in a park. It’s more like being in some design artists’ park that you just don’t need to pay for the tickets, because the park is surrounded by new modern buildings and sometimes I was confused whether I was still in the park or in a some kind of private design competition. I am not quite certain but it might be because there are lots of newly built flats too close to the park and you feel like you are visiting their big garden with their permission. And also the canal in a park is something unusual to me. I felt like the park was built for the canal, like a accessory to it.
Tips, Tricks & Traps
The most important thing is to carry on wandering around until to the end. A couple of times I was overwhelmed by the canal and started walking alongside side of it, and realised that actually the park is at the other side and I haven’t seen everything yet. And I kept reminding myself, “focus on the work”.
And also it’s important that there is no a picnic areas in the park, so you better go with small group for a picnic or do it somewhere else. Just take a walk in the park.