I finally had the opportunity to visit Eel Pie Island recently, thanks to Carl Goes’ newest book launch. Carl Goes London Islands is the latest travel guide by Sasha Arms – and what better fitting place than the quirky Eel Pie Island?
If you haven’t already heard about Eel Pie Island, I can tell you now that it’s the perfect place to take a slow wander around on a hot day before the weather takes a U-turn again. The island is famously named after the eel pies which were once served by the inn on the island back in the 19th century.
It’s also well known for once being home to popular jazz and blues venues back in the 60s. The legendary Eel Pie Island Hotel once hosted famous musicians such as David Bowie and The Rolling Stones. These days, the small island is home to around 120 inhabitants and artists. Nowdays, the public can visit only a few times a year during an open weekend where they can browse artists work.
I enjoyed taking a leisurely stroll around Eel Pie Island; despite it being so small there was so much to see. I felt like I’d stepped into an alternative wonderland and would have never of guessed I was in London!
I met briefly with author Sasha Arms to talk about Carl Goes London Islands and the process behind the book – she told me she’d been working on it for almost a year in terms of doing research, visiting as many of the islands as she could and discovering all the stores behind them.
What I liked most about Carl Goes London Islands is that it’s not just a travel guide. Inside the book, you’ll find stories with quirky and inspiring characters who have chosen to live on these islands. I was also fascinated to discover how many islands there are in London! There is a lot and Sasha has even spoken about the ones that are unable to be visited directly or ones that are only accessible to those who live there.
This information – though obvious – is super helpful. I know many people would want to visit an island from a book and probably wouldn’t even stop to think about if the island is even accessible or if they’re privately owned or not!
There are so many travel guides to London out there which is why this one particularly interested me – I consider myself quite an expert on London as it is and would rarely find the need to pick up a travel guide for the city, so to find a book that I’d actually use and that really inspires me is great!
If you want something a bit different to do this summer, I’d without a doubt consider picking up a copy of Carl Goes London Islands and using it as a guide to explore the alternative side of London you probably aren’t already aware of. There’s also a bonus tip at the back of the book; a sneak peak into a path that you can take to get a decent look at nearly all of the islands featured.
Have you visited Eel Pie Island? Would you buy a copy of Carl Goes London Islands to help guide you around some of London’s best kept secret islands? Let me know!