Shine 2013: fitness walks
Sign up and get in shape for Shine, Cancer Research UK’s night-time walking marathon in London
Light up the night along with an incredible parade of over 10,000 walkers on September 28 2013 for Shine, London’s night-time full and half walking marathon in support of Cancer Research UK. By joining this walk, you can raise money to help beat all types of cancer, or personalise your sponsorship to fund translational research into one of 12 cancer types - Shine is unique in enabling you to do this.
As well as being an inspiring way to raise money for Cancer Research UK, Shine symbolises the light their work can bring to the darkness of cancer. So sign up now and get going with these ten walks.
Start: Oxford Circus tube
End: Tottenham Court Road tube
Distance: 1.4 miles
Time: 30 minutes
A multicultural hub for immigrants in the early 1900s and a favourite haunt of artists, intellectuals and jazz musicians in the mid-twentieth century, Soho is now the heart of London’s gay community. Fashionable cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs have diluted the clip joints and sex shops that gave the area its seedy reputation in the 1960s, and it’s now one of the capital’s most lively places to go out.
Carnaby Street’s fashions made it the centre of Swinging London in the 1960s. Its glamour faded somewhat in the following decades, and for a while it was strictly a place for tourists to take snaps, but the revived pedestrianised street is back on the map today, full of cool boutiques and global brand shops.
As you stroll down Lexington Street towards cobbled Broadwick Street, you pass the Blake House tower block and a plaque marking where poet William Blake was born in 1758. On the corner of Broadwick Street and Poland Street, look for a curious statue of a water pump; this and the John Snow pub commemorate the Victorian doctor who ended the 1854 Soho cholera epidemic by tracing the source to a contaminated water pump at this spot.
Berwick Street Market
Fruit and veg traders have been pitching up on Berwick Street since the 1840s. You can still pick up a pound of something healthy from one of the many stalls – or perhaps just a banana to fuel the rest of your walk.
As Berwick Street runs into Walker’s Court, note erotic nightclub The Box Soho at No.11. This was formerly the Raymond Revuebar, one of Britain’s first strip clubs, opened by ‘King of Soho’ Paul Raymond in 1958. The Revuebar closed in 2004 as Soho tried to shake off the last of its sleazy image.
Mozart, John Constable and Samuel Taylor Coleridge all made a home on Frith Street, at numbers 20, 49 and 55 respectively. John Logie Baird also transmitted the world’s first TV pictures from his workshop at No.22 in 1925.
Old Compton Street
Bar Italia at the corner of Frith Street is one of London’s oldest espresso bars, and in good weather the pavement cafés along Old Compton Street give the place a relaxed continental feel. Called ‘Soho’s high street’, it’s the centre of Soho’s gay community and is lively night and day with a diverse crowd of people out having fun.
A welcome patch of green in this built up-area, and a great place to take a short break, sprawling on the grass here is as popular with local office workers as with footweary tourists. In the centre is a statue of Charles II by Caius Gabriel Cibber and an intriguingly weird mock-Tudor hut, built to hide a transformer for the Charing Cross Electric Light Company.
Founded in 1903, Europe’s biggest bookshop remains a family-run business and its knowledgeable staff will help you find what you want among the more than 200,000 books in stock. The first-floor café serves good home-made cakes and snacks and regularly hosts free jazz gigs.
Find out more about Shine 2013 by going to www.shinewalk.org/timeout, or simply sign up now and help make London shine. The entry fee is £35, which helps cover the cost of putting on the event. Registration closes at midnight on Sunday September 15 2013.
This alternative take on the London Marathon replaces the traditional 'run' with a more manageable 'walk', and moves the event from day to night.
- Lower Rd, SE16 2PA