The London Spiral is a walk around London following the path of a spiral that begins at Kings Cross Station and circles out over 6 loops around the whole of the city until it reaches Gravesend, 24 miles east of the centre at the start of the Thames Estuary.
The London Spiral took shape in 2014 partly in collaboration with Charlie Fox of arts company CounterProductions and Detours2 who had conceived of a long-distance walking path for London, a Metropolitan Trail called InspiralLondon, in 2013. Charlie was inspired by and participated in the GR2013 trail in Marseille France, when it was the European City of Culture, and from there he created this original idea for a trail through London and shared the idea with a number of invited artists and urban explorers and other individuals, as a collective activity, of which Tim Ingram-Smith was one.
Tim was at that time beginning a project to get to know the whole city of London in the same way that he felt people in his homeland of Scotland get to know that country, by travelling across it and by walking. Tim was looking for a structure, and although ultimately he did not continue with InspiralLondon, he did participate in the early exploratory walks, and design of the spiral route.
Kings Cross was confirmed collectively as the starting point of the spiral for many reasons including its kinetic energy, the flow of people walking, its sweeping circular walkway, its connection by rail to Marseille and to Edinburgh, and its ‘spindle’ sculpture by Henry Moore that stands on the piazza outside the station. Gravesend was chosen as the destination not only for the resonances in its name, but as the last crossing point of the Thames (although government plans are in place to add a new crossing downstream) the last place where a walk could cross and continue; as the spiral is entirely bound in its growth by the available crossings of this ancient river.
Charlie’s InspiralLondon is seeking to make a full trail with waymarkings and official status. For further information visit inspirallondon.com where you will find more about the project, join workshops, enjoy the artists’ work, or simply experience the trail by following the accessible map.
The spiral is divided into stages, each stage is an afternoon’s walk and an interesting section of London, not following the usual arterial roads. The whole spiral is approximately 200 miles.
The growth of the spiral is determined by the downstream crossing points of the Thames …read more.
red & orange – stages done
blue & purple – to come
The walks take place on the second Sunday of each month. They start and finish near a tube or train station, and, being London, there are plenty of places to escape or stop or investigate further. So far we’ve done 30 out of 36 stages – just the outer loop to go!
phone: 077932 00932