The Best Walking Routes In London


As a city, London has some of the best green spaces on offer and what better time to explore them than now? From short strolls in East London to long walks by the Thames, here are the ten of the best trails in the capital.

The Theatres Walk 

Distance: 6 km 

Walking Time: 2 Hours

The Theatres Walk, which passes by some of the most famous cultural hotspots in central London, is a great option for lovers of the arts. Starting at the Coliseum Theatre, home to English National Opera, the route goes through Covent Garden and passes the Royal Opera House, St Martins Theatre, Soho, Shaftesbury Avenue and Chinatown, before ending in Trafalgar Square. Bookmark this route for an early morning walk to skip the bustling crowds, or head there during the evening to see the city lights.  

Stoke Newington to Hackney Wick

Distance: 6.5 km

Walking Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

This short, easy walk follows the River Lea through Stoke Newington to some of East London best sights, including Springfield Park nature reserve, Walthamstow Marsh and Hackney’s cool industrial estate. Enjoy the pretty waterside views and stop off at Mother café in Hackney Wick who will offer a takeaway menu through their window hatch during lockdown.  

The Line Walk

Distance: 7.7 km

Walking Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

As the capital’s first dedicated public art walk, this trail runs between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the O2. Start at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford, the famous sculpture from the 2012 Olympic games, and follow the route which passes a range of famous artistic landmarks, including works by Thomas J Price, Joanna Rajkowska and Larry Achiampong. The trail ends in North Greenwich at A Bullet from a Shooting Star (a sculpture of an upside-down electricity pylon). 

Hampstead Heath Circular Trail
The Line Walk
Stoke Newington to Hackney Wick

The London Wall Walk

Distance: 2.8 km 

Walking Time: 1 Hour

Established by the Museum of London in the 80s, the London Wall Walk is a historical route which passes remnants of a medieval wall dating back to Roman times. Passing 21 stops, the trail starts at the Tower of London, passing Aldgate and Moorgate, before ending by the museum. History buffs should pay particular attention to the ‘Bastion’ at stop 14 which played a significant role in the Norman Conquest.

Jubilee Walkway

Distance: 24 km

Walking Time: 5 Hours 

For a longer walk, try the Jubilee Walkway route which passes some of London’s most famous landmarks, including City Hall, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. Look out for gold discs throughout which signpost the path and mark historical events from the last century. With countless places to stop off for a takeaway drink, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

Distance: 11.2km 

Walking Time: 4 Hours 

This charming walking route passes through four of London’s royal parks – St James's Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens – many of which commemorate the life of Princess Diana. Celebrating her affection for open spaces, the signposted route has 90 plaques to mark historical references and royal residences, including Kensington Palace, St James's Palace and Spencer House. Bookmark this walk for a sunny day to appreciate the Princess Diana fountain in Hyde Park.

Hampstead Heath Circular Trail

Distance: 9.7 km

Walking Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

There are several walking routes to take here, but for beautiful scenery, head for the Hampstead Heath Circular Trail. Starting at Parliament Hill, follow the path past the ponds to Millfield Lane. From there, the continues to Poets Lane (named after Coleridge and Keats who frequented the area), Kenwood House, and the ancient Wylde Wood. Via Golders Hill Park, make your way to the summit of Hampstead Heath, before finishing at Pryors Field. The trail is popular with dog walkers, so don’t forget to take your four-legged friend.

Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk
Jubilee Walkway
Richmond To Ham House

Thames Path Walking Trail

Distance: 16.8 km

Walking Time: 6 Hours

For a challenging walk, set out on the Thames Path walking trail – one of the longest walks in the city. The full trail is 294 km long and takes two weeks to complete (finishing up in Windsor) but several of the city routes can be completed in a day. The Putney to Tower Bridge walk is a good option for a day’s adventure – starting in Wandsworth, the trail passes 16 bridges over Battersea, London’s South Bank and Chelsea, before ending at the Tower of London. The trail isn’t waymarked so it’s essential to take a map to navigate your way around. 

Richmond To Ham House

Distance: 4.6 km

Walking Time: 1 Hours 30 Minutes

This scenic walking route is ideal for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Starting at Richmond Station, the circular route goes past Richmond Hill with a beautiful view of the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral. From there, it continues through Pembroke Lodge Gardens and leads on to the historical Ham House – a National Trust estate dating back to the 17th century. On the way back to Richmond, the path continues through Petersham Meadows – another scenic stop. Finish with a takeaway coffee at one of the many cafés on Richmond Hill.

Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery

Distance: 8.7 km

Walking Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes

As part of TFL’s Green Chain Walk, the route from Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery is one of the best in south London. Starting at Crystal Palace Station, the route continues onto Westwood Hill and Sydenham Wells Park. Stop off at the gardens at the Horniman Museum, then follow the path through the main gate to Forest Hill Road. From there, you can go through Honor Oak Park or follow directions towards Dulwich Park for a longer walk. The route finally ends at the beautiful Nunhead Cemetery – one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ in London. 

*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice first. Please ensure you are aware of the social distancing guidelines in place as well as rules on meeting up with members of other households outdoors. ​


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