Our ‘Food & Culture’ tour of Dalston and its markets is a labour of love – and a product of love for the area. It just got a great review on Funzing this week; but it’s not really about us it’s really about connection to the community.
We’ve been hanging out at the places involved for a long time, and chatting to the East London characters who make this particular part of Hackney. So this review is celebrating connection and community in the way we celebrate it on our walking exploration – and what happens when you introduce someone to those powerful things.
“This was the best experience I’ve had in London for years” says the review. That’s good. We’ve had lots of great reviews in more than a decade of working in travel and loving the people it connects us with, people like Elizabeth here. But what’s even better?
That – as she so eloquently points out – you can take someone who’s been living here for a while and show them a side of their own borough they weren’t aware of: “We got such amazing insight into the local area, I learned a ton and I only live down the road in Hackney.”
Some think you can’t tour in your backyard, that you have to journey somewhere far to find wonder, to discover the good stuff and be enthralled and inspired. But there’s a different way to travel – to go deeper and richer in your own surroundings. There are so many stories here waiting to be told, so many people waiting to be met.
Occasionally when suggesting to a local that they come for a walk they’ll tell us “I’ve lived here for years, I know Hackney.” But we can all know it a little better. There’s something special about standing in a spot you’ve been to before and knowing it’s where dramatic and/or historic events took place. There’s a joining of dots on the cognitive geographical and historical map in our heads.
It’s uplifting finding unexpected gold down an alley or hearing an inspirational story about the people behind a place you’ve driven past on the bus without thinking about. It’s stirring to hear about the people making a difference to our city and even trying to save our planet with local initiatives.
So even if you feel you know Hackney, we’d like to invite you to explore. To be curious. To go deeper. To connect. It could be the best experience you’ve had in London in years?
Hackney Tours thanks all the people doing great things in this borough who inspire these tours – without you artists, creators, activists, volunteers, characters etc we’d have nothing to talk about.