City of the Dredd

Far more than Judge Dredd – old stone face himself – it was Mega City 1 itself that caught my imagination as a child reading 2000AD.

There’s something both thrilling and terrifying in the idea of this vast, anarchic, dirty, urban sprawl, that’s the size of a state.

Along the Regent’s Canal – North London’s side entrance

The best way to approach London, according to Jonathan Raban at least, is from the north. You should drive down via Archway to take in the fabled Dick Whittington hillside view of the city and descend deeper within, until you reach the river Thames, where London’s full glory will hit you.

My own arrival was rather prosaic by comparison: a dull coach journey up the M4 from Bristol, which ended up amid the traffic at Hyde Park Corner