Walking, Hiking & Trail Running

5 Of The Best Walks In London

Looking for some nice walks in London? These routes need to be on your checklist.

Walking in London might bring to mind slow moving crowds of tourists shuffling down Oxford Street but, in actual fact, the city contains a number of superb places to take a walk. London is, believe or not, an underrated walking gem. Hikers, take note.

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OK. So walking in London probably doesn’t sound as idyllic as say hiking in the Peak District and, to be fair, you’d have a point. If you know where to look however, the capital really does have some excellent walking routes hidden amongst all of its hustle and bustle…and tourists wearing Union Jack hats.

We’re here, as always, to point you in the right direction.

1) Hampton Court To Albert Bridge

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The Hampton Court to Albert Bridge walk is 23 miles long, and one of the most loved sections of the Thames Path National Trail. The Thames Path National Trail itself follows the river from its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire all the way to the Thames Barrier at Charlton. It is 184 miles long from first step to final step.

This long and winding walk will have you soaking up the Royal Palaces of Hampton and Kew, and give you the chance to enjoy an incredible view of the Thames floodplain below Richmond Hill.

It’s a well sign posted route, with plenty of spots along the way for you to drink, shop, stop, or have a meal. During the walk, you’ll see sailing clubs, marinas, colourful canal boats, picture perfect cottages and so much more. Not sure you’re up for doing it all in one day? Spread it over a weekend instead.

For more information on this particular section, or the Thames Path Nation Trail in general, pay a visit to the TFL website. If you’re after a map for the route, you’ll find that here as well.

2) Hampstead Heath Circular Walk

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Lovers of nature, and those who generally like being outdoors, can do a hell of a lot worse than going for a walk round Hampstead Heath. Woodland, swimming ponds, and stunning views from Parliament Hill are just some of the treats awaiting walkers visiting this pocket of London.

On this six mile circular walk, you’ll kick things off at the Parliament Hill cafe. You’ll then move along the Highgate Ponds and head towards Kenwood House. After this, you’ll go down to the East Heath via West Meadow. Working your way through the tree route and up to the Hampstead Heath Extension, you’ll then loop back round towards the West Heath and work your way to the epic viewpoint on Parliament Hill before finishing back at Parliament Hill cafe.

Further information on the circuit route, and two other routes in the area, can be found on this Hampstead Heath map provided by the City of London website.

We think this walk has got Sunday micro-adventure written all over it.

3) The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk

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Arguably, the best way of experiencing London’s green spaces in a single day is by walking The Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Walk. Walkers of the route are treated to, not one but, four of the most beautiful parks in the entire UK (St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens).

Along the walk, you’ll see three palaces and two mansions. They are Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James’s Palace, and Spencer House.

The walk is seven miles long from beginning to end, and charted out for walkers by 90 plaques set into the ground along the route. It opened officially in the summer of 2000, as one of two memorial projects; the other being Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens.

If you’d like to know more about the walk, or study a map of it, visit the Royal Parks website.

4) Blackheath To Greenwich

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Starting a walk off at Lewisham DLR station might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but trust us when we say this route offers hikers some of the nicest green spaces and views you’ll find anywhere in London.

The walk is 3.5 miles long and takes in both Blackheath and Greenwich Park. Within Greenwich Park walkers have the chance to stop off at the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, and the Queen’s House.

Other highlights of the walk include the Old Royal Naval College, the Cutty Sark, and the panoramic photo opportunity at the summit of the park’s hill. Beer lovers are encouraged to round their stroll off with a beer or two in the Gipsy Moth pub. The hike takes about 1 hour 45 minutes from start to finish.

Map via Google Maps

5) Little Venice To Camden Lock

Photo via Getty Images

This walk may only be just over two miles in length, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with its sheer niceness. When the sun is shining and the canal barges buzz into life, it’s an especially lovely place to be.

Walkers of it start at Little Venice, follow Regent’s Canal past London Zoo, and work their way to the happening vibes of Camden Lock. Hungry walkers are encouraged to grab some food from Camden Market when the stroll reaches its conclusion.

Short but sweet, this one.

Map via Google Maps

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