Royal Parks, along river Thames, park for families and some by the canals
PARK WALK IN LONDON: Three Mills to East India Dock. The distance from Bromley to the Docks is just 2 miles (3,2km). A little park walk and perfect to get you started, and for those who haven´t done a long walk in a while. Starting at Three Mills, Bromley-by-Bowe, a district in Tower Hamlets in South East London. Head on for the River Thames, passing highlights such as St Anne´s Church and Bow Creek Ecology Park as you walk. Ending at the East India Docks shops and restaurants at Canary Wharf nearby. Do not fear, there are more walks to add to your route.
Diana Memorial Walk
This is a seven-mile-long park walk, mapped by 90 plaques set in the ground. Diana Memorial Walk takes you within sight of famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life. She died in Paris 31. August 1997. You will pass through four of the eight Royal Parks on this walk: St James´s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
Stop for a drink: The Grenadier, 18 Wilton Row, Belgravia, London SW1X 7NR
Thames Path leads everywhere
Enjoy walk-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 Thames Path for 184 miles (294km) all the way out to the Cotswolds, but you’d have to be pretty mad. Follow Thames Path
London’s oldest royal park
It´s hard to believe, but this park was once a muddy swamp.
St James’s is the oldest Royal Park in London and close to Westminster, St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace. The pelicans are the park´s most famous residents, but there are also lots of squirrels who will eat from your hand if you´re patient enough.
St James´s is surrounded by some of the country´s most famous landmarks Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James´s Palace and Westminster. It´s not the quietest walk in the park – this is one of the busier tourist places in London.
Hyde Park for families and arguments
Hyde Park has a lot to offer, to see and to do. Learn about various memorials, fountains and statues. Visit the spectacular Rose Garden mixed with flower beds and strong scents. A range of sports and leisure and children´s playground. Walk the park and visit exhibition in Chrystal Palace and learning something about the eco-friendly part.
For more verbal action, visit Speakers´ Corner a Sunday morning. At this part of Hyde Park, public speeches and debates have been on since the mid 1800´s. Where tourists now cheer for arguments, nit-pickers and exhibitionists, they were amused by those who hung and dangled from the gallows. The gallows were in use until the last public execution in Hyde Park in 1783.
Richmond for Show-stopping views
The distance between Richmond Station and Ham House is 1 mile. This is one of the best park walk in London for show stopping views. Walk begins at Richmond overland/underground station. The first section is hilly, the second half of the walk can be muddy, so suitable footwear is needed. This is the gorgeous part of south-west London, that includes the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament. Once you arrive, you will understand why.
The route loops back to Richmond along the Thames, but consider some time to browse Ham House´s extensive gardens and impressive collection of 17th-century art.
Stop for a drink: The White Cross, Riverside (off Water Lane), Richmond, Surrey TW9 1TH
Little Venice to Camden Town
This is an easy and rather short park walk between Little Venice and Camden Town. Little Venice is situated between Edgware Road and Warwick Avenue.
In her 1934 detective novel Death of a Ghost, Margery Allingham gave the name “Little Venice” to a house overlooking the canal. The name caught on with estate agents after the Second World War and is still much used for the pricey properties in the locality.
Regent’s Canal makes for one of the most pleasant canal walks in London. Although an almost direct route from London Zoo to Camden Lock, this route is usually fairly quiet. It’s an especially lovely walk on a sunny day when the canal barges and boats are active.
It’s an easy park walk, about two miles, which makes you feel like you’re on the towpath of some countryside canal, rather than in the midst of the cosmopolitan capital. For those that like their street food, Camden is the better destination for a bite after your stroll.
You can reach Little Venice from Warwick Avenue’s Tube station with a five-minute walk.
Hampstead Heath, North London
Walk the park. In contrast to the finely trimmed gardens of London’s palaces, the enormous Hampstead Heath offers a wild, untamed walking experience with great views across the city. The Heath has over 30 ponds, huge bright rhododendron bushes bursting with colour, and a vast variety of wildlife.
It’s one of the biggest green areas in London – over 791 acres of woodland and meadows. Open and breathtaking, the park offers an experience of England’s wildness within the city. The reserve is home to plenty of wildlife, too; such as the largest pipistrelle bat roost in London, muntjac deer, terrapins and slow worms.
Walks start and end at Parliament Hill as you take a six mile stroll around the heath that offers beautiful scenes, the most breathtaking views of the city skyline, and an optional visit to Kenwood House.
Parkland Walk, North London
Follow the course of an old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace for 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: including everything from butterflies and birds, to hedgehogs, foxes, and even the muntjac – a rare species of deer! More info here.
Peaceful Highgate Cemetery
Known as one of England’s greatest treasures, this historic venue is full of things to explore. Discover the final resting place of revolutionary Karl Marx, inventor Michael Faraday and writer George Eliot. The texts on the front of the Marx memorial are “Workers of all lands unite”. Highgate Cemetery was opened in 1860.
Surrounded by peaceful scenery and beautiful architecture, this is a quiet and intimate place to take a park walk. It may not be the most obvious choice for a romantic stroll, but Highgate Cemetery is a surprisingly idyllic place to spend an afternoon in North London.