London walks top routes include some of the most iconic landmarks
LONDON: Let´s walk. Each organised route is different. Every street and building, and every part has it´s story. From the candyfloss arches of Greenwich Park to the Cherry Walks in Kew Gardens. Did you know that London is home to around 900,000 street trees – and hundreds of different species to be found. Here are some of the best London walks.
When to walk: Any walk can be done on any day of the week and at any time of day. Remember, the inner city areas are likely to be quieter at weekends – and parks and gardens mainly are likely to be more crowded.
Transport: London walks start and finish at either Underground stations or at railway stations. Use public transport, that will increase the sense of adventure.
Three Walks: In the City and West End you will see waymarks for three official walks: The London Wall Walk, the Heritage Walk and the London Silver Jubilee Walkway.
A reminder: “There’s a lot more to walking than walking“ was the title of a presentation that Danish Architect and Urban Visionary, Jan Gehl used to give at conferences. One of his key points was how much of walking was about easy-going and observing all the activities going on around you.
London´s street, squares, alleys and lanes, parks and canals waiting for you to be an urban explorer.
The Silver Jubilee Walkway
This is a 14-mile – 23km – ambitious walk created in 1977 to mark the Queen´s silver jubilee. Covers both the City and the West End. This self-guided walking route connects all the main places of interest in central London from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London. Circular silver plaques set in the pavement, guide you in the right direction. Information along the route describe the buildings in the area.
It takes a long day to walk the whole Jubilee Walkway. The route can be divided into five sections. We recommend the Jubilee Loop and the Western Loop sections for first-time visitors. If you do both, you’ll see the most important sights in central London.
Western Loop Walk – 4 hour walk
The 6 mile (9.5km) Western Loop is the best walking route to see London’s historic sites and main tourist attractions. The route passes Trafalgar Square, St James’s Park, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the river Thames, the South Bank, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and back towards the West End via Covent Garden.
This one starts and finishes in Leicester Square. If you’ve already done the Jubilee Loop and don’t want to walk through St James’s Park again, start at Westminster tube station.
The Eastern Loop Walk
A trip around some of London’s most iconic buildings and sights. Distance: 3,4 miles / 5,5km. Southwark Cathedral, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, Monument, Mansion House, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern.
Start and finish: Tate Modern. Nearest public transport: Blackfriars (Tube/Rail).
The London Wall Walk
This one follows the course of the old City wall of the City of London. It´s marked by wall plaques with pictures and text, and is a self-guided Walking Tour. You can walk the London Wall Walk in either direction, but we recommend starting at the beginning, at the Tower of London rather than the end near the Museum of London. You can actually see remnants of the London Wall within the Tower of London.
Plaque #1 is located near the introductory plaque at the subway between the Tower of London and Tower Hill tube station. You can see it at the Postern Gate. End Museum of London. After the plaque #21, you’ve reached the official end of the London Wall Walk. If you so choose, you can head to the Museum of London afterward to see a permanent exhibit on Roman London
Museum of Walking: Art in taking Part
This is a family run business that develops and delivers walking events with a creative twist. Walks and ‘walkshops’ (walking workshops) are mainly artist led, depending on the event you choose there will be a mix of drawing, learning and making. The organizer has focus on creative using walking as the art form. Participants come and explore an area, learn something new and develop skills. Group participation is fun and stimulating and you will be part of a walking performance. ‘The art is in taking part in what they call for “walking creatively”.
Link: Museum of Walking
More London Walks To Fall In Love With
Hampstead Heath, North London
Start and end at Parliament Hill as you take a six mile stroll around the heath that offers beautiful autumn scenes, one of the most breathtaking views of the city skyline, and an optional visit to Kenwood House, which just so happens to be a filming location for Notting Hill, the 1999 film featuring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Choose the right route and you’ll also pass Hampstead Pergola, London’s most handsome hidden gem.
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.
Walk The Line, East/South London
Walk The Line, 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 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Along the way, you’ll spot nine different artworks, including pieces by Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley. More info here.
Jack The Ripper Walking Tour
This to expect: He came silently out of the midnight shadows of August 31, 1888. Watching. Stalking. Butchering raddled, drink-sodden East End prostitutes. Leaving a trail of blood and gore that led… nowhere. Yes, something wicked this way walked, for this is the Ripper’s slashing grounds. We evoke that autumn of gaslight and fog, of menacing shadows and stealthy footsteps, as we inspect the murder sites, sift through the evidence – in all its gory details – and get to grips, so to speak with the main suspects.
Meet by The Tower Hill Tram coffee stand. Tower Hill underground station.
Every night: Jack The Ripper Walking Tour
The best sort of London Walks alchemy. What you conjure up when you mix off-the-beaten-path-London with history. Here be knights, nuns and notoriety: an urban enchanted forest in the expurgated version. Fasten your seatbelts. Guided by Sue.
Meet; Tower Hill underground station, London (meet by the Tower Hill Tram coffee stand)
More info here