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Best Places to Walk in London

If you enjoy walking, London is one of the best places you could be. Whether you are looking to experience the busy city or a scenic park, there is a walk for you. 

We know that London is a vast city with many options to choose from, so we have created a list of the best free city and nature walks for you to explore. These walks contain a lot of London’s famous landmarks so that you can truly experience the culture of the capital.

London – 7 of the Best Park Walks

1. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

This spot has a walking route to suit everybody. If you’re an art lover, their Art in the Park walk takes you through the area’s mesmerising collection of art. This route covers 30 artworks, so the distance depends on how much art you wish to see. The entire walk will take you roughly a few hours.

If you prefer looking at nature as you stroll, then you should try the Parkland and Wildlife route. On this 2-mile walk, you can expect to see stunning flowers, kingfishers, and the occasional otter. This option takes approximately an hour to complete.

Don’t forget you can also stop for coffee and cake on your travels, as this park has a variety of cafés surrounding it, as well as two options within the grounds. On the north side, you have the Timber Lodge Café and on the south side, you will find The Last Drop.

2. Epping Forest Centenary Walk

This option is perfect for those who want a long, scenic journey that lasts the day. The entire walk lasts between 7-8 hours and is 15 miles long. During the route, you will see nature in abundance, Hollow Pond and Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge to name a few.

This walk is perfect for picnics as there are so many lovely spots to rest. If you fancy going out for a drink or a bite to eat during your walk, there are plenty of nearby establishments. At the walk’s halfway point, you will find the Royal Forest Pub and the Butler’s Retreat café. 

On the route, there is not any waymarking, which means that you should plan the route before you go, or you could use GPS on the day to avoid getting lost in the vast woodland. You should not attempt this walk when it is dark.

3. Richmond Park – Tamsin Trail

This 2,500-acre park has always been a popular choice amongst Londoners. The area’s peaceful trees and stunning views of the city always make for a relaxing day out. There are so many walks that you can do at this park, but the Tamsin Trail is the most used path. 

On the route, you will find the historic King Henry’s Mound, which is a burial chamber built during the Bronze age, which supposedly the King later used as a hunting spot. If you’re lucky, you can sometimes spot families of deer too! 

Richmond Park is a well-loved spot for taking amazing Instagram photos, as the park provides the perfect backdrop of nature and the big city. The Tamsin Trail is just over 7 miles and will take you approximately 3-4 hours to complete.

4. Richmond Hill to Ham House

Once you arrive at Richmond Hill, you will see a view of the city so beautiful, that it is legally protected by an act of Parliament. After you have taken in the gorgeous setting, this walk takes you past King Henry’s Mound (the walk’s halfway point), to the decadent 17th-century Ham House. 

This is a National Trust building that sits on the bank of the Thames. You can visit to see lavish 17th-century rooms, gardens, and a priceless art collection. There is also a charming coffee shop located on the grounds.

The walk is 4.5 miles long and it will take approximately 2.5 hours to complete, depending on how many times you stop to enjoy the views.

5. Green Chain – From Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery

This walk will take you through some of the peaceful sights of the southeast. The Green Chain route stretches across 50 miles of peaceful forests and parks and has 11 different routes to pick from. The Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery is a medium length walk and fail-safe way of sight-seeing without the business of the city.

The journey is filled with wildlife and famous landmarks, namely Eltham Palace and the Horniman Museum and Gardens. As a 5.5-mile route, it will take you around 2-3 hours to finish the walk.

6. Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

If, like many, you were touched by the life of the late “Princess of the people”, then this route should be on your list. In 2000, this route was created to showcase four of London’s most lovely parks: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, and St James’ Park. 

On the route, you will also pass both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. This route is a popular choice amongst tourists, as it is a great way to experience a few of London’s lavish buildings and gardens. There is also a Diana Memorial playground for kids where you can find the Broadwalk Café.

The Memorial route is 7 miles long and will take between 3 and 4 hours to complete.

7. Hampstead Heath – Sandy Heath & Pergola Trail

Hampstead Heath is an 800-acre woodland park that is hidden within Zone 2 of the city. There are so many trails within this vast park, but this route is a favourite because of its peaceful views. You will also get to see the unsung hero of the zone, the Edwardian Pergola; a set of romantic 20th-century gardens.

The Sandy Heath and Pergola Trail commences at Golders Hill Park, goes through the Pergola, then Pitts Garden, before circling back to the start. This 1.7-mile route can be finished within 2 hours.

If you fancy a bite to eat, you can check out the Parliament Hill Café or the Golder’s Hill Park Café.

London – 7 of the Best City Walks

1. Greenwich Town

You could spend hours in Greenwich and still have more to see thanks to its beauty and culture. Starting at the town centre in Greenwich, you can peruse the indie shops and Greenwich Market, as well as St Alfege Church. You can then make your way along the picturesque River Thames, which is a perfect spot for some pictures. 

By walking alongside the river, you will be taken to the glorious Cutty Sark boat. Past this, you can freely walk through the romantic grounds of the University of Greenwich. The University has appeared in many films and TV shows because of the palace-like beauty of its 19th-century architecture.

If you have time whilst in Greenwich, you can also cross the road from the University and you will see the Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. By walking between the two buildings, you will enter Greenwich Park, which is enough to take anyone’s breath away. A walk around Greenwich Park will take you between 1 and 2 hours.

In the park’s centre, you can walk up the hill for around ten minutes to find the famous Greenwich Observatory. This has a museum, café, or you can stand on the hill to see a stunning view of Greenwich. Many people stay on this hill for some time just to take in the surreal beauty of the area.

This art walk was designed for anyone who wants to quickly become familiar with some of London’s culture, making it the perfect option for any of the city’s newcomers. The route takes you between the O2 stadium in Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford. The walk is a journey of visual artworks that appear amongst famous landmarks of the city. 

The best part about The Line is that you get to fly over the city in the Emirates Air Line cable car, where you will get an incredible view of the city.

This is a 3-mile walk that will take about 2-3 hours, depending on how long you spend looking at the gorgeous artwork. 

London has always been known for its mesmerising cityscape. This 90-minute route was designed by the City of London Corporation to highlight the city’s impressive architecture. It begins at St Paul’s Cathedral and takes you through 2 miles of the capital’s most famous buildings. You will see popular sites such as the Shard, the Heron Tower, and Bloomberg Place. The route finishes at the City Information Centre, in the heart of London.

Once you’re at the Centre, you will find many places to stop for refreshments. Some popular locations are SOHO Coffee Shop and Carter Lane Coffee House.

This route is perfect if you want to see some landmarks and make a whole day of it. There are five sections to complete in the Jubilee Walkway, and each is packed with interesting sites. There are two popular sections, the first of which is the City Loop. This circular route takes you through landmarks such as The Museum of London and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The second option is the Jubilee loop, where you’ll find the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, amongst other famous sites. Both the City and Jubilee loop are 2 miles each, each taking roughly one hour to complete. 

The West End has to be one of London’s most lively and inspiring areas. The Theatres Walk was designed by londonforfree.net to take you on a tour of the best theatres and beloved areas such as China Town, Soho, and Covent Garden. 

On this walk, you’ll find a variety of different eateries, and some affordable choices include the Café de Nata in Soho and the Lau Pa Sat, located in China Town. You can complete this walk in 2 hours, but you will most likely want to stop in each area and experience the vibrant surroundings. 

The last walk is designed to show off the city’s museums and history. It starts at the lovely Charing Cross Station, then goes past locations such as Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and The Strand, before finishing at the legendary Tate Modern gallery.

If you love to be cultured, this route is perfect, taking you past the following landmarks:

  • The National Gallery
  • The London Transport Museum
  • The Royal Opera House
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

This final walking route is just over 4 miles long and can be finished within 2-3 hours.

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