During the summer we, Dave and Pete from Back to Front design collective, met outside Farringdon Station on the fringe of the Borough of Camden with only one thing on our minds: to walk its circumference and pick up other collective members along the way.
We set off anti-clockwise towards Kings Cross, knowing that everything on our left for the next 16.9 miles calls Camden its home. The roads we followed throughout the journey started to feel like a moat around a fortress of different cultures, histories and a special kind of energy only available to Camden. To our left we saw signs adorned with the Camden Crest, to our right the neighboring rivals of Islington, Haringey, Barnet, Brent and Westminster. We took a slight diversion via Golders Hill Park Zoo to pick up Omar, who was admiring the toucans. We meandered down Blackberry Path (a path that lives up to its delicious name, especially in the heart of the season) to the sound of tennis lessons and the uncommon sight of archery.
We joined Matt at Kilburn Station for the last part of the journey. Along the way we noticed old and new street signs giving away glimpses of previous borough boundaries - Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras, whose names can still be seen emblazoned on the crests of buildings. These are currently seen as major landmarks of Camden, but before 1965 they were boroughs in their own right.
Matt’s knowledge of the boundaries was like a live podcast whilst we wove our way through the bustling crowds of Shoot Up Hill, merging historical anecdotes with a rich multi-cultural visual mix of London at its best. As we approached the closing of our circumference we soaked up the opulent houses of St John’s Wood, brushing shoulders with tourists in Regents Park and Soho before cutting through the back streets of Holborn, with spent feet, back to where it all began.
If you are ever in the neighborhood and fancy a wander, here is a map of the circumference of Camden!
Back to Front is a design collective based in London and Cape Town.