Despite the vagaries of the British weather, London is a wonderful place to stroll through whatever the weather. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a destination in mind or are just out for an aimless meander through the park – a London walk is such a great, easy way to improve your wellbeing. So breathe some fresh(ish) air into your lungs, and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding you on Secret London’s favourite London walks.
1. Parkland Walk, North London
Our first entry in this roundup of London walks follows the course of an old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. It provides four and a half miles of tranquillity, and a chance to enjoy a green environment in the very heart of the city. London’s longest local nature reserve is covered with over two hundred species of wild flower, and supports a remarkable range of other wildlife. On your walk you could spot everything from butterflies and birds, to hedgehogs, foxes, and even the muntjac – a fairly elusive species of deer! More info here.
2. The Wandle Trail, South London
This 20km (14 mile) trail wandles around the River Wandle; from Croydon to the Thames at Wandsworth. Admire the flora and fauna along this typical chalk stream, where the nature contrasts but beautifully complements some of South London’s most industrialised landscapes. More info here.
3. The London LOOP, Outer London
Known as the M25 for pedestrians (plus the aesthetic, minus the stress), the London Outer Orbital Path is 150 miles long. It’s split into 24 easy-to-digest sections, covering everywhere from Kingston to Cockfosters, and will take you across various parks, woods and historic sites. Bushy Park, home to Hampton Court Palace, is a particular highlight. More info here.
4. Green Chain Walk, South London
This London route is split into 11 sections; spanning fields, parks and woodlands from Thamesmead to Nunhead Cemetery. If you’re a really, really enthusiastic walker, you’ve got plenty of ground to cover along the whole 50-mile path. Along the way you can enjoy such sights as the Art Deco glamour of Eltham Palace and the 18th century Gothic folly of Severndroog Castle along the way. The walk’s easy-to-follow signposts enable you to explore as much or as little as you like. More info here.
5. The Line, East/South London
The Line is London’s first dedicated modern and contemporary art walk. This one’s a bit of a cheat because, to do it from beginning to end, you do need to use public transport, but it does include a lovely stroll along London’s waterways, starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The works are slowly curated over time, with new works replacing pieces, meaning there will be a new sight to see each time you walk The Line. Past artists have included the likes of Damien Hirst, with currently displayed artists including Rana Begum, Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, and more. More info here.
6. The Thames Path, basically everywhere
Enjoy walks on both the north and south banks of the Thames – from the lost floodplains of Richmond, to the Dickensian stretches of the eastern marshes. And you won’t be short of sights, either: Tower Bridge, Hampton Court Palace, Albert Bridge, The Royal Docks, Battersea Park and Kew Gardens are just some of the showstoppers you will set your eyes on when walking along the Thames Path. (Of course, you could follow the entire route all the way out to the Cotswolds, but you’d have to be pretty mad to do that.) More info here.
7. The Jubilee Loop, Central London
The entire Jubilee Walkway is made up of five looped walks, but we recommend section five: The Jubilee Loop. This two mile route offers a final trip around Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch, The Mall, St. James’s Park, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. So, for a tour of classic London landmarks, this walk will certainly… keep you in the loop. More info here.
8. Victoria Park, East London
This beautiful spot is often honoured as one of the nation’s favourite parks – and it’s easy to see why. London’s oldest public park blooms with wildlife and beauty. On your walks through Victoria Park you’ll find The People’s Park Tavern, one of Hackney’s best pubs. It even boasts a gorgeous beer garden backing onto the park to make for the perfect post-walk pint! More info here.
9. Hampstead Heath, North London
Start and end at Parliament Hill as you take a six mile stroll around the heath that offers beautiful scenes, one of the most breathtaking views of the city skyline, and an optional visit to Kenwood House which is owned by the National Trust. (Recognise it? It just so happens to be a filming location for the classic 1999 film Notting Hill). Choose the right route and you’ll also pass Hampstead Pergola, London’s most spectacular hidden gem. More info here.
10. Regent’s Canal, from Paddington to Limehouse
Our final entry onto this list of our favourite London walks is a real humdinger. You’ll follow the course of a 200-year-old canal, which will take you on a diverse journey through the city, all the way from Paddington Basin to Limehouse Basin. Wander leisurely through Little Venice, taking in the adorable house boats. Pass through Regent’s Park, where the canal is overlooked by London Zoo’s huge aviary. And check out the quirky craft stalls and street food in Camden Market. More info here.
So there you have it – the best London walks for an Winter weekend wander. Whether you’re wanting to explore landmark sites or spot some wildlife in woodland, then this list should have you more than covered!