As patron of the award-winning open space, Lumley, who is best known for her role as Patsy in the television series Absolutely Fabulous, has recorded an audio tour of the park.
The recording that covers a 1.5 mile route from the north end of the park to the south can be downloaded as a podcast for MP3 players and mobile phones. It could potentially help partially sighted visitors explore the area, as well as disabled, the infirm or those with prams.
Michael Rowan, the Director of Mile End Park, said he was delighted that Lumley had become involved: “It’s fantastic, she’s always been a good supporter of the park and we’re lucky to have her on board.” Rowan explained how the audio tour is broken down into sections, so visitors don’t have to walk the whole route at once.
Members of the public said how much they enjoyed the audio tour. Christine Reece, 23, of Lewisham, is a huge fan of Joanna Lumley: “I loved her in Absolutely Fabulous, I’d definitely recommend it [the guided tour] to my friends as a way of getting fit as well as learning more about the park.”
Similarly Alex Keithly, 38, of Tower Hamlets, was pleasantly surprised: “It was pretty good. My wife told me about it but I was a bit reluctant to go with her. It was interesting to listen to, it’d be good if they did it with more parks around London.”
Mile End Park was created in the 1940s, as part of a plan to offer city dwellers access to green spaces. Formerly home to industrial buildings and residential areas; sections of the park are separated by roads, waterways and rail links.
Situated in the heart of East London, Mile End tube station is the closest tube link. Buses 25, 277, D6, D7 and N25 pass close by and there is a dedicated cycle track through the park.