This weekend I embarked on a journey with DriveNow, a cool and flexible car sharing service taking over East London with their BMWs and Minis. I wanted to share a half day itinerary, which you can use to explore Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest, while using the DriveNow cars. What is the best about using the service? You can park anywhere within the DriveNow zone for free, do I hear you humm with happiness? I find parking in London to be one of the biggest pains in my life and finding this service made my exploratory day hassle free and fun, rather than stressing out how much am I going to end paying for parking tickets.
I picked up my beautiful Mini convertible from Farringdon station. The cool part is you can pick up the car from one location and return it wherever you want within the zone. You an easily see the zone through DriveNow‘s app which is super easy to use and free to download. It was a shame it was snowing yesterday, so I could not fully enjoy the perks of having a convertible 🙁
Stop 1: De Beauvoir Town
I have always wanted to visit this little spot nestled within the London borough of Hackney. Cute houses, vintage cars – OMG the dream. However, given that I live West it is always tough for me to commute to that part, so I never actually go. Having DriveNow, allowed me to have the freedom and flexibility of roaming around that area for the day with no stress. It takes about 10 minutes to drive from Farringdon to the town, then you can park literally anywhere there and explore the cute area.
Stop 2: Geffrye Museum
The Geffrye museum is right in the middle of Kingsland road and it is beautiful. Park on Pearson street and just walk up for 2 minutes to explore the grounds. The best time of year is autumn when the walls of the museum are covered in colourful ivy. However, winter suits it too. The museum is currently closed for renovations (inside) but you can still roam the beautiful grounds undisturbed.
Stop 3: Hoxton Brick
Head up on Kingsland road and you will see this funky coffee shop. It was an experience all together. The interiors, the foreign, non descriptive music boasting from a 50s radio, the pages of books on the walls – it made the coffee we had a whole extravaganza from a parallel universe.
Stop 4: Grace and Thorn
A 2 minute drive is Hackney Road and the famous Grace and Thorn flower shop. This place is a must visit if you are into concrete interiors, greenery and cool design. You can park your DriveNow behind the shop, and drag all the plants you wish with you and drive them home.
Stop 5: Hackney City Farm
Just opposite Grace and Thorn, is Hackney City farm. We all know, I love a good furry friend, so we headed over to play with goats, donkeys, ducks and pigs mingling on the grounds of the farm. I got to pet a loving goat which just demanded cuddles the moment I went near the fence. The farm has a coffee shop and a souvenir shop, so you can relax in there and have a bite if you are hungry by now.
Stop 6: The doors streets
We then headed to what I call door streets just off Columbia Road. Columbia road is not within the parking zone, however you can park slightly further north and walk down for 10 minutes. I love this area, not on a Sunday when the flower market is on because then it is just plain crazy. Mingling around the streets on Saturday gave plenty of opportunities to spot doors and cars.
Stop 7: Hackney market
We ended our exploration by heading back North and strolling around Hackney market. It has food, jewellery, veggies and flowers. It also provides for a colourful crowd and loads of doggies coming from their walk in the near by park. If you head there, try the pancake shop, it looks insanely good. There was a huge queue when we went and we did not wait, as it was snowing outside but if it was not, I would have loved to get my hands on those yummies.
I hope you enjoyed your day with us and DriveNow. It was such a cool and hassle free experience to be able to just drive and park, and not worry about admin. Give it a go, the cars can be rented by the minute, so you can be really non committal 🙂 Also, do not forget that these services help ease the traffic on the streets and help the environment, so you are doing something good by using them as well – win/win I say. X