Updated: Aug 23, 2021
‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ - Samuel Johnson
London has so much to offer locals and visitors alike with it’s natural spaces, parks and pretty river trails. Walking is one of the simplest ways to maintain a healthy body and mind and in 2020 we underestimated our privilege to run freely and we realised the value of the little things, such as going on a long walk to take our mind off things. We also discovered those hidden routes we’d never stopped to explore before and what better way to get to know a city than through walking! We wanted to put together a list celebrating London’s beautiful walking trails.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to riverside walks in London! Especially when it comes to the Thames Path (we won’t suggest you do all the 185 miles of it!) but this very picturesque section of it takes you from Putney all the way to Kew Gardens. Wizz past Bishop’s Park and Craven Cottage (Fulham’s football club), Harrods Village (former Harrods Furniture Depository) and the London Wetlands Centre. This path also serves the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race!
Once you reach Hammersmith continue along the river around Barnes, Chiswick and finally Kew Bridge. The distance is approximately 6.5 miles and average duration of around 3 hours.
Hampstead Heath covers around 800 acres and this circular walk explores this grassy public space in North London. There are spectacular views of major London landmarks to be enjoyed from the summit of Parliament Hill. The walk is approximately 5.14 miles and we’d recommend taking your time as this is one of the best walks you can go on if you enjoy hidden wonders such as the Edwardian Pergola, Pitt’s Garden and the forested landscapes of Sandy Heath! We’d recommend Kenwood House for a sweat treat and a cup of tea to refuel!
This 2.5 mile route takes you along Regent’s Canal with it’s picturesque boats in all it’s glory. This was once one of London’s best kept secrets! On your route you pass through the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, Regent’s Park and London Zoo! You could also take a detour and climb Primrose Hill for stunning views of the capital!
This is a great walk for those looking to spot wildlife as this is London’s longest nature reserve. The 4.5 miles route will take you through Queen’s Wood and Highgate Wood and it follows the course of the railway line that used to run between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. If you are lucky and dependent on time of the year you’ll be able to spot hedgehogs, butterflies, muntjac deer and even bats! Perfect for nature lovers that want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city!
Another great option for woodland wandering is Sydenham Wood Hill, the London Wildlife’s Trust’s oldest nature reserve. The reserve is home to over 200 species of trees and plants as well as rare fungi, insects, birds and woodland mammals. Spot the abandoned railway track and ornamental bridge, a real hidden treasure! This 4 mile walk will take around 2 hours ending at Dulwich village where you can treat yourself to some much deserved refreshments!
Splendid route perfect for Royal family enthusiasts that will take you through four stunning Royal Parks – Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St James’s Park. The route is dedicated to the memory of Lady Di and there are 90 individual plaques guiding you along with a distance of 7 miles. Beautiful way to spend a sunny day exploring Central London and it’s magnificent parks.
‘An oasis in suburbia’ this historic parkland was created by the Hatfield family in the 19th Century. The walk takes approximately one hour to complete and it’s full of interesting places to see along the way including The Stable Yard, The Snuff Mill and The Rose Garden. The park is located on the banks of the River Wandle and it stretches approximately 1.5 miles.
This beautiful 4.5 mile circular walk links natural trust Ham House and Garden with Richmond Station. The walk features iconic viewpoints, combining the urban bustle of the town and the rural riverside trails and with some overlap with the Tasmin trail.
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"There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife....You do the walk, yeah, you do the walk of life"