“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
For as long as I remember, I've loved wandering around, discovering new places, talking to strangers and recording my adventures. When I was in school I would often bunk off and end up exploring aimlessly- markets, museums, city streets and suburbs (sometimes I'd travel out further afield to places like Stonehenge and Brighton). I loved getting lost and I loved learning through my explorations. Over a decade on, my love for exploring is still as strong as ever, only now, I'm making a living (or attempting to) through it- through leading wandering tours and sharing special places and stories with others. I have a lot of them!
Saira Niazi, Founder & Guide
About Living London
Over the last decade, I've explored, photographed and written about over a thousand hidden London gems, from secret gardens and quirky art galleries to derelict factories and colourful bingo halls. Through my explorations I’ve met and collaborated with hundreds of interesting Londoners- from Nepalese, Irish and Pakistani elders, to skaters, writers, artists, urban explorers, conservationists, a lighthouse keeper, a mudlark and the city's resident storyteller! I've also worked on tons of heritage, oral history, youth, urban regeneration and community food projects as well as in some of London’s most frequented attractions, including the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the London Wetland Centre.
I record my findings on my blog which I created with aims to inspire and inform people about the incredible places, communities and stories that make London so special.
I also lead wanderings in different areas of the city. Living London ‘wanderings’ are walks that connect wondrous hidden gems in an area- they offer Londoners the opportunity to explore areas that remain relatively unknown & bring London’s hidden gems to life through storytelling and anecdotes of people and place. Click here to read my manifesto!
I've also worked on lots of other wandering projects in countries including Pakistan, South Korea and Australia. I've documented some of my world wanderings through photography and writing. I've also written many books over the years and worked on many different creative projects- you can find out more about some of these on my personal blog: http://sysprints.blogspot.com/p/past-projects.html
British Wilderness Wanderings
I love nature and wandering in rural England. I’ve embarked on many solo wanderings across the UK, traversing stretches of long distance trails including the South Downs Way, the North Downs way, the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path, the South West Coast Path, the Ridgeway, the Saxon Shore Way, the Grand Union Canal Walk, the Thames Path and the Suffolk Coast Path. As great as it is to wander in the city, there’s nothing quite like fresh air, empty beaches, peace and quiet and a sense of connection to the natural world. I lead guided walks for groups in areas across the North Downs and South Downs. To find out more or to inquire about a group booking for a guided walk in the countryside, drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org