There’s no question that London loves an art installation project. In the past five years we’ve had elephants, eggs, Olympic Mascots and telephone boxes dotted around the city. And every time I have adventured around the city collecting them by taking photos. I’m not sure what it is about me that loves the kind of combined concept of art and a treasure hunt and collecting but I simply cannot resist the urge to capture every one.
So when my friend, Em, told me the National Literacy Trust had scattered 50 park benches around the city in four trails each one depicting a British literary classic I was immediately intrigued.
On Sunday Em and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and hit the Greenwich trail. Greenwich is one of my favourite parts of the London. Not only is it home of the amazing Cutty Sark but it’s also where you’ll find the beautiful Greenwich University campus, the National Maritime Museum and the Meridian Line inside the breath taking Greenwich Park. And it’s where Mr O and I had our wedding reception. Fun fact: If you watch Thor: The Dark World you can see the pub where we spent our first evening as a married couple for just a few seconds.
Collecting the twelve benches on the trail was both fun and a challenge. As it was a lovely Sunday quite a few benches were being used as actual benches and we had to kindly ask them to move out of the way. Everyone was really friendly but we had some really entertaining confusion when a couple of Spanish teenagers thought we wanted to take a photo of them on one of the benches.
The best part about following this trail was really exploring the park in its entirety. I’ve been to Greenwich Park loads of times but this was the first time I made my way all the way to the back of the park where we discovered the most incredibly beautiful flower garden. It’s got to be one of the most perfect, captivating picnic spots I have ever seen and if you head down one of its tree-lined trails it feels like you’re miles away from the city.
Here are the 12 benches we snapped.
The Railway Children by One Red Shoe
Samuel Pepys’ Diary by Michel Petit-Jean
The Canterbury Tales by Beth Quinton
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed)
Frozen in Time (Captain Scott’s Autobiography) by Charles Bezzina
On the Origin of Species by Jane Veveris Callan
The Jungle Book by Ruth Green
Elmer the Elephant by David McKee (original illustrations) Created by Giles Boardman
Samuel Johnson’s Wild World (A Dictionary of the English Language) by Scriberia
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Deven Bhurke
The Time Machine by Di Ralston
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury (design) Created by Gerard Strong
Which is your favourite?
Have you read any of these books?