Wednesday 19 January 2011

How do you walk London? The Left-Right System. (aka The Right-Left System)

Someone close to my heart has a marvellous system for walking round London.

She invented it herself, although I'd be interested to know if anyone else is a follower of this methodology.

Essentially, you pick a direction for your walk, then decide whether you're going to go left then right at every junction, or, alternatively, right then left.

Then you stick to it.

That would be a simple 'diagonal' through the London streets, except for the variables ...

You have to stay on your original side of the road (ie. you cannot cross the road in order to take a turning) except when you see a zebra crossing (in which case, you must cross the road, if you are waiting to turn in that particular direction). Example below:

A pelican crossing is identical, but you can only cross if the pedestrian light is on green at the time you reach the crossing. No waiting!

At crossroads with traffic lights, a similar lighting rule applies - you can only effect a right or left turn if the green man allows it. If, for example, you want to go right, but the first green man showing is for straight ahead, then you carry on in a straight line.

It swiftly becomes a peculiar, semi-random trawl through London, effecting divergent walking results.

(You are allowed to reverse out of dead-ends; and, no, you don't have to walk backwards, although it might make it more interesting.)

I am almost tempted to start a Left/Right London Walking Club; there would have to be a splinter-group for Right/Left, which I don't really favour.

It would need a better name.

The Almost Random Walking Club?

Anyone interested?


  1. Possibly more effective in solitude but I think there is a good idea in there. How about setting off in opposing directions at a crossroad in 4 pairs, each consisting of a LR and a RL and mapping the convergent points between each walker?

  2. It would be challenging in large numbers, I agree :-)

  3. Tempted!

    Possibly you'll like this:


  4. Cute, but I think the above is about as organised/motivated as I get ... anything more smacks of effort ...

  5. I love walking through London - it is the best way to come across hidden gems. You miss so much when you jump from Tube to Tube. I like this idea as well - kind of more like a game.