The total length of Stage 3 from the Thames at Waterloo Bridge to Finsbury Park station is an achievable 7 miles walk, but the architecture and character of the City compared to its immediate neighbour to the north, the borough of Hackney, is so dissimilar, with the reach by the Thames so packed with corporations and ostentations while the neighbourhood north is quirky, low-rise and easy going, that it might well be preferable to consider the stage in two parts – part 1 from the Thames up through the City of London, and part 2 Hoxton through De Beauvoir Town up to Highbury and Finsbury Park.
Why should there be such a boundary between the City of London and the Borough of Hackney?After all geographically there is no difference between them, and indeed there has been some bleeding out of big business and headquarter buildings into the adjacent streets, but overall there is such a distinction between the City and not-the-City, that you can pretty much make out the old city wall, right there on Sun Street.
Starting from Liverpool Street Station, wriggle through the high towers to Sun Street, and follow Appold Street, which has a satisfying curve and some major banks, but rapidly by Curtain Road the landscape is funky agencies and trendy stores. Follow Curtain Road to its end, then duck into (what is now a very tidy though I don’t remember it that way) Hoxton Square for a quick detour.
Follow Hoxton Street due north, and it’s easy here to be tempted by food stalls and art happenings. At the top of the market the road has veered left so take a right at Whitmore Road to stay north bound.
Cross the Canal and into De Beauvoir town. From here all the way to Finsbury it’s pretty much residential property, at various price points, all well laid out.
Any street north will do, bearing very slightly west, Ardleigh Road is the diagonal we’re looking for, then Mildmay Park to the little square of Newington Green. Veer off at Green Lanes and proceed til Clissold Park is on the right. Cut through the streets of Highbury to Blackstock Road, and follow this to Finsbury Park.
Distance 4 miles.