Two thousand years ago, Roman navigators followed a great river to a series of islands, where the passage narrowed enough to install a timber bridge 100 metres from where a barista at the London Grind has just denied me almond milk for my latte. Instead, he slides a far more fashionable oat-milk latte along the marble bar. When in Roman London, as they say.
The coffee fuels me for a nine-kilometre walk along London’s first road, paved by the Romans in the first century. Marked on maps with the transit route name A10, the strip switches identity every few blocks as it stretches north from London Bridge through the City financial district, Shoreditch, Dalston and Stoke Newington, all the way up to Seven Sisters Road. Slicing east from west and connecting Vietnamese, Caribbean, Turkish and Jewish communities, the road is a cross-section of the city.