Islands of Escapism

This article was previously published in Issue 20, ISLANDS (March 2019).

Illustration by Grace MacKeith


London, the city we live in, is found in perpetual movement and chaos. With sometimes too much, and never too little to do, a state of constant stress can arise. Nothing allows time to stop in this city. With the condensation of multiculturalism and through the current political period of uncertainty, it is sometimes a real necessity to detach oneself from this fast-paced society. Fortunately, the city offers islands that provide the sensation of time-stopping naturalist and brutalist spots; small nooks that allow for a drastic disconnection from dehumanized London can be found.


I decided to embark on an escapade to two isles of London that are only a few tube rides away: Regent’s Park and the Barbican. You might be thinking that these spaces are already widely popular and do not necessitate any further investigation. Although this might be partially true, I have come to the realization that they have not been explored in regard to the way they might aid one to disembody him or herself from the rest of society. My initial intention was to find people and question them about how they detach from the city. However, I realized that this method would defeat the purpose of my article as I would be breaking their tranquillity by intruding on their solitary ritual. Instead, I decided to document my personal experience in these two juxtaposing areas and find the best location to detach oneself from the city.