Rewalk InspiralLondon 2024-25

News from the Re-Walk Festival: There are four seasons of walking this year in 2024 as part of ReWalking the whole 300 miles of InspiralLondon Trail in 2024-25. Follow the remapping and retelling of the 36 segments of the trail – and be a part of the Trails history as it reaches towards its 10th Anniversary.

In 2015 an intrepid group of walking artists finished mapping a new spiral trail, tracing a pathway through 30 London Boroughs. As we near the trails 10th anniversary InspiralLondon invites new communities, individuals, and groups to re-discover their city through this unique inspiralling walk. During this year, 2024 and into 2025, we will re-walk, and re-tell, the story of this 300 mile trail as we re-spiral through London.

Extract from Walking Segment 1 – Kings Cross to Camden Town

On December 18th 2021, inspirallondon returned to the centre and the beginning of the trail at the site of Spindle, a Henry Moore sculpture placed on the eastern edge of Kings Cross Square. This monumental bronze offers a prehistoric intuitive glimpse of the double helix now given other form outside the Francis Crick institute, just a few hundred metres away, as well as reminding us of the double celtic spirals that inspired the trails’ design. Perhaps that’s where the sculpture is now, as the giant bronze has entirely vanished – stolen or in storage – leaving behind only the large circular void of the plinth. The label for the sculpture is still prominently displayed. While I wait for other Inspirallers I unfurl a map of the Trail, with all its thirty-six segments coiling out from this plinth and use a roll of luminescent gaffer tape to stick it to its horizontal surface. Shortly after 6.15pm, our group forms a small static crowd, that attracts some curious passers-by.

On my invitation, we form a circle and slowly walk anticlockwise nine times around the plinth before spiralling eastwards to trace again the Trail’s first tight coiled segment. Through the hidden courtyard of Varnish Works and the neat curve of Keystone Crescent. A street that elicits some surprise (and as a location used in the film Paddington, a curiosity) we continue into the heart of a new, developing London, that overlays with ersatz consumerism. This is the Trails Tale to mix and blend, to sometime confuse as it runs in a spiral backwards through the whole of London’s sprawling over-development. Why so Paddington when we are so near Kings Cross and the strange twisted streams of railway lines that split the city in two here, by St Pancras and Euston? Beneath our feet now, lies Battle Bridge ground, the supposed sight of Boudicea’s triumphant stand against Roman civilisation, as we spiral past the edge of Regent’s Canal and Kings’ Place, home to the Guardian newspaper. Then crossing on the south side of the canal, on our left the looming construction of Amazon new European headquarters, just a hoarding in 2015 but now a warning of what awaits this ever regenerating London.

I look up across the water from the new bridge at Camley Nature Reserve and point out the strange architectural gem that sits proud above this eccentric confluence of water. Above the noise and bustle of St Pancras International, this decorative Victorian water tower has a vaguely Venetian feel[i]. When the Railway was upgraded, this small railway building was carved up into large pieces, each weighing one hundred and twenty tonnes, then relocated and reassembled to make way for a new Channel tunnel rail track. This repurposed building represents something of the resilience and the madness of our selected histories. The cost of this relocation and its eccentric location is slightly improbable. It now houses a bar and meeting place for St Pancras Cruising Club. This question of why this, and not that, is constantly prefigured when one walks through a mega-city, even one as small, sedate and old school as London now appears. Perhaps that is its genius – still relying on its Victorian infrastructure. It’s greatest period of expansion and collective envisioning. Most of the Parks, and green space, mature trees, all the sewers, the rail and tube transport that we find so charming were laid down in that period – up until the first Great War. Then the car came to cut it all up again, to rearrange the DNA of the city, with its brutal concrete.

This is why Inspirallondon is such a vital and radical way of walking the city – always grounded – and searching for correspondences or re-inscriptions hidden within the layered city. Just as we are now, on a winter evening during Covid, telescoped back to this other Boating Club. Caught between Kings Cross and the Eurostar, at the wonderfully evocative and resistent St Pancras Cruising Club, we can see suddenly re-illuminated the dormant webs that crisscross space. These unexpected links we had no idea existed until we begun to walk the trail. And so this small band of urban explorers, turning to the ground again. Searching among the shadows and in the curved inspindling of shared histories, experiences, or collective knowledge, we begin to return together something of the lost and hidden energies of Kings Cross to North Bloomsbury. Like Ghosts or steeling phantoms, by the small plaque to Mary Woolstonecraft on the edge of the New Somers Town Estate, among all the mirrored labyrinth, and beneath the hollowed Gasometer, we spiralled this night together, a small frail group of wanderers, vulnerable, open, from dawn to dusk reversed but enraptured…

Standing on the centre of the plinth, swivelling gently I read from Anne Robinson’s Darks:

Kings cross city

bell scala battlebridge wharf cally road

pink panther kings road Hoxton basclef limehouse

angels lmc Deptford smithfields hackney hardtimes

mayfair madness wag and westworld

soho street sound perverts heaven bound

telegraph queer boys shuffle in irons

blow the dandy dust from off your shoulders

And fall away the years

Frailty in the dawn

Grass is yellow

Old, died


Frail and wavering

Against the dark

Of dawn

Half gone

Our bodies are so soluble

Runs like rivers

Mould themselves on air

And rise away as gas

But best of all burning

Heart sun

(From DARKS – A queer stumble through time, Anne Robinson 2018)


[i] The water tower was built in 1872 to supply water to the rapidly growing steam railway network at St Pancras, the Waterpoint is an extremely significant Grade II listed building and is managed by St Pancras Cruising Club.

The first full collective meeting for artist-led mapping of the new Inspiral walk trail through
and out of London took place at the Shed, Stave Hill Ecology Park, on Sunday 6th July 2014.
The day after our explorations in Gravesend on the Saturday 5th July 2014. Artists shared
work and discussed Detours in Marseille Provence, an international artistic exchange project
hosted by counterproductions, Atelier Juxtapoz and Café Gallery Projects. Soundcamp and
Detours 2/InspiralLondon collaborated on a live broadcast from the Thames estuary at
Gravesend (near to Tilbury Docks, London) on the morning of Saturday 20 June 2015 from
10.00-12.00 BST, linked to fluid states north (Amager, Copenhagen: ‘Soundcamp streamed
explorations of the south shore Thames, the crossing via passenger ferry to the north bank
and further soundings from the north side of the River near to the fort, along the tidal
foreshore. This whole estuarine landscape comprising wetlands, reedbeds and mudflats
directly impacted by changing sea levels, evokes shifting lines between marine and urban,
and human and nonhuman communities.’