A footloose adventure: What are the best walks in London?

London might not seem like a walker’s paradise at first glance but – perhaps unsurprisingly given it has so many trees and green spaces – it’s brimming with places for you to discover on foot. 

Plus, your quest for the finest walks in London needn’t be a daunting one, because we’re here to be your guiding light on this adventure. So, lace up your shoes, grab your curiosity, and let’s find the hidden gems of this captivating city, one step at a time.

Central London Walks

Jubilee Walkway 

Media from annehasselknippe

Distance: 24 kilometres

One of the most enchanting aspects of the Jubilee Walkway is how it seamlessly weaves together London’s past and present. This walk takes you on a journey through the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. 

While the big-name attractions are undoubtedly amazing, it’s the hidden gems along the Jubilee Walkway that really make it stand out. 

Keep an eye out for lesser-known, yet equally enchanting sites like Cleopatra’s Needle, the Winston Churchill statue, and the quirky Leake Street Tunnel covered in street art.

Westminster Walk

Media from mytravelsnofilter

Distance: 16 kilometres

The Westminster Walk is like a living history lesson. You’ll wander past Churchill’s War Rooms, where the decisions that shaped the world were made during World War II. It’s like stepping back in time and eavesdropping on some of the most critical moments of the 20th century.

Need a breather from the hustle and bustle? St. James’s Park is a verdant oasis along this walk. The swans, the lush greenery, and the charming lake make for the perfect pit stop.

Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

Media from life_at_sams

Distance: 11.2 kilometres

Named after the beloved Princess Diana, this walk is a living tribute to her enduring spirit. It’s a walk designed not just to showcase London’s charm but also to honour the memory of a much-admired figure.

This isn’t just a random walk. The Memorial Walk cleverly strings together various landmarks associated with Diana’s life, like Kensington Palace, where she resided, and Hyde Park, a place she cherished. 

Southbank

Media from misiddons

Distance: 3.2 kilometres

The Southbank is a hotbed of cultural prowess, boasting the likes of the Tate Modern, the National Theatre, and the Southbank Centre. Art, theatre, and music aficionados will find themselves in heaven with a plethora of performances, exhibitions, and installations.

Hungry? Thirsty? Fear not! Southbank is lined with an array of delightful eateries and watering holes. From gourmet street food markets to riverside restaurants, there’s something to tickle every taste bud. 

London Wall Walk, ​​The City 

Media from alphabravofoxtrot

Distance: 2.8 kilometres

Get ready to feast your eyes on remnants of the ancient past. From the Roman Amphitheatre, which was discovered only in 1988, to the imposing ruins of the London Wall itself, it’s a living museum woven into the fabric of modern London.

If you’re a fan of museums and galleries, the London Wall Walk is a dream come true. It’s peppered with cultural gems like the Museum of London, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s history and art collections that’ll make any art connoisseur swoon.

South London Walks 

The Wandle Trail, Croydon to Wandsworth 

Media from dineilevans

Distance: 20 kilometres

This trail brings together the best of both worlds. It’s a riverside paradise that drifts through diverse landscapes, from idyllic parks to urban streetscapes, giving you a glimpse into London’s multifaceted charm.

What makes this walk more intriguing is its historical significance. The Wandle River has a rich industrial past, once powering mills and factories along its banks. You’ll spot remnants of this history, adding an extra layer of fascination to the journey.

Vanguard Way, Croydon

Media from thoserunningsisters 

Distance: 11 kilometres

The Vanguard Way unveils its charm right from the get-go, with the first section leading you to Chelsham Common. This leg is a breeze and can be comfortably completed in half a day. A perfect teaser for what lies ahead.

Feeling the stride? Well, if you’re an early riser and brimming with enthusiasm, why not push further? The second section beckons, with the Limpsfield Chart as your goal for the day. 

It’s a journey that’ll unveil some of the most exquisite natural wonders and maybe even a surprise or two.

Crystal Palace Park to Nunhead Cemetery

Media from brad.shoots.film

Distance: 8.7 kilometres

Starting off at Crystal Palace Park, famous for its quirky yet charming dinosaur park, this section is an absolute gem.

Moving through Sydenham Hill Park, One Tree Hill, and the serene gardens of the Horniman Museum, you’ll be treated to nature’s tranquillity and picturesque spots perfect for a peaceful stroll.

And the grand finale? Nunhead Cemetery might not be as famous as some of London’s other great cemeteries, but it’s a hidden beauty. Its atmospheric and serene nature marks a surprisingly poignant end to this walk, leaving you with a sense of awe.

The Line, Greenwich & Stratford 

Media from katfishpool

Distance: 6.9 kilometres

The Line is an art extravaganza waiting to be explored. Starting its three-mile journey from the iconic O2 in Greenwich and winding its way to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, this contemporary art walk has been weaving its magic since its launch in 2015.

Packed with visual treats from an array of artists, some big names like Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley will surely ring a bell, while others might be fresh discoveries. 

Sydenham Hill Wood, Sydenham

Media from pardoscka

Distance: 6.6 kilometres

This woodland is a vibrant ecosystem brimming with over 200 species of trees, plants, animals, fungi, and an orchestra of birds. Sydenham Hill Woods is a haven for nature enthusiasts, a living museum of biodiversity just waiting to be explored.

The formalised walk through this historical wonderland begins at Sydenham Hill Station, inviting you to wander through this natural treasure trove towards the serene gardens of the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill and onwards to the picturesque Dulwich Park.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walks

Media from nigel.dunnett

Distance: 3.2 kilometres

Don’t blink, or you might miss one of the thirty delightful pieces of public art adorning the park. From a touching 9/11 commemorative mural by New York artist Miya Ando to other striking artworks, this walk is a visual treat.

Now, if art doesn’t float your boat, fear not! The second walk is a nature lover’s dream. With a grand 560 acres of parkland, this stroll is all about embracing the beauty of nature. 

Picture yourself on the lookout for rare birds of prey, catching sight of delightful kingfishers, and being surrounded by a menagerie of beautiful flowers.

East London Walks 

Lea Valley Walk

Media from matejapr

Distance: 25.10 kilometres

What’s intriguing about this route is the way it seamlessly blends the rural beauty of marshlands and green spaces with sudden glimpses of ultra-modern architecture. 

As you amble through, expect to be treated to serene landscapes punctuated by moments of stark modernity, particularly when Canary Wharf makes its impressive appearance.

So, if you’re seeking a stroll that’s a balance of the old and the new, a fusion of rural calm and urban sophistication, the London segment of the Lea Valley Walk is your golden ticket. 

Regent’s Canal, Little Venice to Limehouse

Media from alba.est88

Distance: 13.8 kilometres

Little Venice, oh, what a charmer! This is where your canal adventure begins, and trust me, it’s every bit as delightful as its Italian namesake. Packed with colourful houseboats and charming cafes, it’s a picturesque start to your riverside escapade.

This waterway was a game-changer back in the early 19th century, serving as a vital route for goods transportation. Even today, it retains its historic charm, flanked by remnants of its industrial past and Victorian architecture.

Epping & Theydon Country Walk, Epping Forest 

Media from matt__cork

Distance: 9.6 kilometres

Can you believe it? Epping’s story stretches back to a staggering 7500 BC, and stepping into this forested paradise might make you feel like time has stood still. 

Hornbeams tower above you, creating a verdant canopy, while the soft leaf mulch underfoot is like walking on a natural carpet.

The beauty of this journey is that it’s not just a trudge through the woods: it’s a step back in time that’s easily reachable from London, perfect for a day’s adventure or a weekend retreat.

Art in the Park Trail, Stratford

Media from present_moment_views 

Distance: 4.8 kilometres

This trail is a testament to the evolution of the park itself. It was conceived as part of the park’s development, a brilliant idea to seamlessly weave art into the landscape, making it a living, breathing part of the environment.

The trail takes you past steel structures that seem to merge with the river, making it an intriguing and unexpected part of the art experience. There are also poems, large-scale artworks, and even the (in)famous ArcelorMittal Orbit – a unique sight that’s hard to miss.

North London Walks 

Hampstead Heath Circular, Hampstead

Media from seizetheheath

Distance: 9.7 kilometres

Ever feel like you’ve suddenly left the city behind? That’s the magic of this walk! As you tread through the heath’s expanse, the hustle and bustle of the city fades away, offering a blissful escape right in the heart of London.

Brace yourself for some jaw-dropping sights! The Parliament Hill viewpoint offers stunning vistas that’ll have you reaching for your camera. And there’s Kenwood House, a historical gem in this green oasis, adding a touch of grandeur to your journey.

Parkland Walk, Finsbury Park 

Media from londonundergroundknowledge

Distance: 5.5 kilometres

Imagine this – you’re in the heart of London, but it feels like you’ve stepped into the countryside. The Parkland Walk is a four-and-a-half-mile stretch that cuts through the urban landscape, creating a lush haven of greenery and tranquillity.

Keep those eyes peeled, because this trail is a wildlife haven. It’s not just about birds, you might spot bats taking flight in the evening and perhaps even a curious Muntjac deer making a brief appearance.

Canonbury Walk

Media from colette.makambila 

Distance: 4.8 kilometres

Ever wanted to stroll alongside a river without leaving the city? The Canonbury Walk lets you do just that as you trace the path of the New River, adding a touch of scenic splendour to your urban journey.

What’s a good walk without a delicious ending? Upon reaching Newington Green, treat yourself to the local cafes and nearby pubs. Grab a well-deserved bite to eat and, why not, a refreshing pint!

Alexandra Park Walk, Wood Green

Media from madcow69

Distance: 2 kilometres

It all kicks off at Alexandra Palace Station – an easy start for your visual escapade. From there, the journey seamlessly unravels into the Victorian-designed landscape of the park, a green haven waiting to be explored.

Despite the mile-long stroll, the park offers a treasure trove of spots to linger. The beauty of the surroundings invites you to spend much more time than expected, soaking in the views and the serene ambience.\

West London Walks 

Tamsin Trail, Richmond Park 

Media from bean_adventuring

Distance: 12 kilometres

A circle walk? Pedestrian? Never! The Tamsin Trail may follow the park’s edges, but it’s a gateway to a world of exploration without the worry of getting lost. It’s a perfect starting point, unveiling the park’s many facets.

If you thought it couldn’t get any better, think again. The Isabella Plantation is an absolute charmer. Blooming azaleas adorn this woodland paradise, making it a picturesque stop that’s more than worth a detour from the trail.

Chiswick Riverside Walk 

Media from bean_adventuring

Distance: 11.5 kilometres

The journey begins at Chiswick Station and leads you to the grand Chiswick House, an 18th-century Palladian masterpiece. 

Surrounded by sprawling gardens, it’s a piece of living history. These gardens are believed to be among the earliest landscaped gardens in the UK – a true gem of the country’s heritage.

You’ll pass Hogarth House, Hammersmith Terrace, and Kelmscott House. Kelmscott House holds the legacy of the renowned textile designer William Morris, who called it home for almost two decades, leaving a rich imprint in the neighbourhood’s historical tapestry.

Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon 

Media from bragganalogue

Distance: 6 kilometres

Say adieu to the buzz of Wimbledon’s town centre! This walk is your ticket to muddy bridleways that add a dash of adventure, perfect for a country-style escapade right in the heart of the city. (Pro tip: Don those boots if the rain gods have been generous!)

As you tread the paths, you’ll encounter the surprising Cannizaro House. Once an 18th-century manor, it’s transformed into a luxurious hotel. But here’s the kicker – it boasts a star-studded past with guests like Alfred Lord Tennyson, Oscar Wilde, and the Last Maharajah of the Punjab!

Long Walks in London

London Loop 

Media from london_strollers

Distance: 241 km kilometres

Ditch the run-of-the-mill paths and cosy up to this grand circuit that takes you on a whirlwind tour of London’s outskirts, showing off the city’s wild side. 

Think less crowded streets and more untamed, scenic routes – we’re talking woodlands, riverbanks, canals, and ancient historical sites that might just blow your mind.

What makes this journey even sweeter? Accessibility! The well-marked paths and proximity to public transport make this expedition a breeze. Feel like taking a breather or exploring just a segment? No problem. Hop on and off like a pro, thanks to the brilliant transport connections. 

The Thames Path 

Media from gazzerboon

Distance: 128 kilometres

The Thames Path takes you on a journey worthy of kings and queens. Starting a stone’s throw from the grandiose Thames Barrier in the east and meandering all the way to the opulent Hampton Court in the west, it’s like a red carpet rolled out along the river’s edge.

Capital Ring Walk

Media from catherinebardrick

Distance: 126 km kilometres

This walk is an invitation to immerse yourself in lush greenery, offering a refreshing escape right in the heart of Wood Green.

The park boasts a stunning panoramic view that’ll make your jaw drop. From up high, you can see the city’s skyline and the park’s natural splendour blending into one picturesque sight.

Jubilee Greenway

Media from giu_darktower

Distance: 60 kilometres

London’s Jubilee Greenway is a true gem among the city’s many attractions, and its origin story alone adds a layer of charm to this already incredible walk. 

Created in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, this trail seamlessly weaves through London’s rich history and contemporary vibrancy.

Now, let’s talk about royal connections, Buckingham Palace is a must-see, but the Jubilee Greenway doesn’t stop there. It pays a visit to the elegant Kensington Palace and Regent’s Park, where you can soak in the regal atmosphere while surrounded by natural beauty. 

Ultimate Guide to Leake Street Tunnel in London

Previous Post

Subterranean wonders: Your ultimate guide to Leake Street Tunnel in London

Next Post

Cheers to charm: What are the best pubs in Primrose Hill?

Best Pubs in Primrose in Hill