Over the royal wedding holiday weekend, Time Out offered free downloads of its city guide applications. I’ve got a trip coming up, and generally I find TO’s guides to be the best of the lot, so I downloaded a few – including the London one, out of curiosity.
Sat on my sofa at home in Charlton, I had a play with the London guide. Despite nestling in cosy zone 3, the app kept telling me I was “outside the city limits” – even though there were still attractions within walking distance*. I consulted its map, and saw that Charlton was, indeed, outside these arbitary “city limits”.
I could understand it for a largely residential area that is largely off the mainstream tourist trail, but what about Charlton’s more glamorous neighbour?
So off I went to check out the view and the crowds at the top of the hill in Greenwich Park.
Surely one of the most famous views in London – and one that will be beamed around the world next summer – would be on the map?
No, it wasn’t.
I should make clear that Greenwich’s attractions (and, indeed, Charlton’s – well, The Valley and the Thames Barrier) are included in the guide itself. But the map manages to leave off most of south-east London, and east London too.
Want to explore the Docklands or the Olympic Park? You won’t find them here… which in the latter case, is a bit sad considering Time Out is the official travel guide publisher for London 2012.
So where does this map show, then?
So that’s all the way out to Kew in the west, but no further east than Bermondsey – and while north London attractions like the Freud Museum get a look-in, Greenwich’s wealth of sights are shut out of the map, along with other south London things to see like the Horniman Museum.
With the Olympics, new transport links and the continuing growth of the Docklands helping shift perceptions of London eastwards, it seems a shame Time Out’s app is stuck firmly in the old days of looking west and north – particularly for a company associating itself with London 2012.
(*including, brilliantly, the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fountain in Hyde Park – whose entry is confused with that for the Princess of Wales pub on Blackheath.)