My local area

What do you think of as your local area? In a huge city like London people often consider their local area to be their postcode (which a few years ago was even identified as being linked to gang violence in London, Sheffield and Birmingham). I've lived in Leyton (E10) for the past twenty years, and if someone asks where I am from I always say Leyton. However, I realised recently that what I think of as my local area is anywhere within walking distance; and walking distance for me means Leyton, Leytonstone, the Olympic Park and parts of Walthamstow and Hackney. My 'local area' is a broader term than 'home' it seems.

These past few weeks I've often been too tired to go into town (what I always call central London – is that big city terminology too?) on my days off, so I've stayed in my local area. We don't have the big museums and galleries which I love so much, but there are still excellent cafés, parks, wine bars, gorgeous views, great pubs, restaurants, interesting shops and quirky bits of local history to enjoy.

It's incredibly resorative to sit in a local pub – just a few minutes down the road – with a friend and a pint, and have a catch up for an hour, before walking home to hang out the washing you put on before you left. Spending a few hours out of the house in my local area is an effortless and easy way of unwinding on a day off. Do you love local too?



6 thoughts on “My local area

  1. I’ve always said ‘into town’ to mean the centre of wherever I’m living (with the exception of our last village, because it wasn’t a town!). I consider my local area to be quite wide, when I lived in cities it was, like you, places I walked to and hung around in. Now it’s my town but also other nearby towns and cities I can get to easily on the train, because they open things up for me a lot more.

    One of my sisters lives in Hackney, so possibly in your local area!


  2. I consider local everything within walking distance too, so for me that is the whole of Alnwick. Into town is going to Newcastle, which I did last weekend and it was exhausting……


  3. I agree, and even though I’m a country girl at heart I love my little bit of London, and I really feel I live in a village! It’s so lovely to pop round to a friend for a cuppa, chat with shop owners I’ve known for years, and wave my kids off on their walk to school! Jenny x


  4. I think my local might be a bit smaller than yours since I live in a village and tend to think of that as local and other places that require car/train as “not local” even though they are relatively close. It is easy to walk around the village but the roads between it and other villages have high hedges, no verges and speed limits of 40or 50mph so rather dangerous and unpleasant to walk.
    I love living in the country but on days when my husband has the car it can feel a little isolated, sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to walk to a choice of coffee shops.


  5. I’ve lived all over the country but most of my adult life has been here, although I still don’t feel as if I’m ‘from’ here. We have great pubs and restaurants and beautiful places to walk, and friends on the doorstep which is fabulous, but I’ve always been quite envious of people who live where they were born though, those who have roots from going to the local primary school, their parents all being friends etc, as I’ve never had that. Having said all of that, i do feel very fortunate to live in the beautiful Cotswolds!


  6. Thanks for another interesting post. My ‘local’ area depends where I am. At home, it’s anywhere I can walk to, which effectively means the whole of Bath plus quite a bit of the area to the south and east of Bath along the Two Tunnels Path or the Kennet and Avon canal towpath. But then when I’m in Bristol, there are parts of that which feel like my ‘local area’, because I’ve visited them so often and explored and know them so well. And then there’s London, where most of central, east, north and south (but definitely NOT west) are all my ‘local areas’, again because I have lived there and walked and cycled and explored extensively.
    I guess what they all have in common is walking. It kind of feels like anywhere you walk regularly feels good and feels local, especially as you gather favourite haunts to return to and anticipate.
    With that definition, nothing at all beats local.


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