Carl Goes London Islands is one of a series of alternative travel guide books, and a collection with which I am rather taken.
These books cover a selection of destinations and have plain soft binding with just the title on a simple coloured field. They would stand out on the bookshop travel shelves, although I am not even sure they are available anywhere but online (see link below).
Carl Goes London Islands is a book particularly close to my heart. The book launch was held on Eel Pie Island, which is well-known in Twickenham, at least. It is perhaps one of the most famous Thames islands and it has a colourful history. This was a venue for small but well-appointed music events in the ’50s and ’60s. It has hosted such names as The Rolling Stones and David Bowie.
Leafy idylls and are surprisingly well-inhabited
There are more islands in the Thames than one would imagine. They are not always evident from roads near the river, or even from footpaths alongside. They are mostly leafy idylls and are surprisingly well-inhabited by a particular stripe of person who wants independence with a breath of fresh river air. The islands seem to attract artists, musicians and writers, and all seem to take inspiration from these unique surroundings.
There are up to 200 islands on the River Thames and each has its own character. Some of them are accessible only by rowing across. There are footbridges to connect others to the ‘mainland’, and there are some islands that are blessed with car access …or is that actually a blessing?
Carl Goes London Islands would make the perfect gift for walkers. There are location maps for each island and even sketches indicating bridges, etc., where appropriate. There are pages filled with profiles of the people who have chosen to live on those water-rimmed tracts of land.
Buy Carl Goes London Islands for Christmas and spend those dark winter evenings reading the stories of the inhabitants, and make plans for spring walks along the towpaths. One can walk for surprising distances by the river, and a hike along the Thames gives a new perspective to living in and around London.