A few of my favourite walks: London

London’s beauty only fully reveals itself when you take to her streets. There’s nothing quite like feeling the centuries of history underneath your feet as you wander down a cobblestone alley or as you try to imagine what Dickens saw as he strode down the same streets, decades ago. Here a few of my favourite London walks.

Pic from: www.tourist-tracks.com
The South Bank walk (Pic from: www.tourist-tracks.com)

South Bank: London Bridge to Embankment 

You can begin this walk from either end, but I like starting from London Bridge especially on a weekend, as I get my nosh on at Borough Markets before waving goodbye to pretty Southwark Cathedral and starting on the South Bank.

You’ll pass the Globe, the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern, OXO warehouse, sand sculptors working their magic on the banks of the Thames, the National Theatre, a book fair, skater bois and gals strutting their stuff in a graffiti-ed space, the London Eye, then finally, the crowning glory – the looming Gothic spires of the Houses of Parliament. For more information on the sights along this walk, click here.

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Tube stop start: London Bridge
Tube stop end: Embankment
Distance: 2 miles

Houseboats on Regent’s Canal (Pic from: http://www.off-the-beaten-track.net)

Regent’s Canals: Paddington to Limehouse

Snaking 14km through the very heart of London, Regent’s Canal was first built to ferry goods to and from the docks of East London. Nowadays, the canal is a peaceful pathway, home to waterfowl, runners, joggers, houseboats and graceful willow trees standing sentry over the still, green waters. You can walk any portion of the canals, though it goes underground for a short stretch at Angel, resurfacing at Kings Cross.

To the west, Little Venice, Regent’s Park, the London Zoo and Camden Town are all enroute; on the western reaches of the canal, Limehouse Marina is home to brightly painted houseboats, and there is still a working lock which boats use to gain access to the canal from the river. Victoria Park, remnants of old gas holders and the occasional canal-side pub.

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Tube stop start: Warwick Avenue
Tube stop end: Limehouse DLR
Distance: 8 miles in total, or about 4 miles from Little Venice to Kings Cross Station if you choose to only walk that section.

Looking down Fleet St towards St Paul’s (Pic from: www.tumblr.com)

Lawyerly London: Fleet Street to Trafalgar Square

For a dose of the local law, head to the Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street. The Temple Gardens are a perfect spot to people watch as gowns flap and files get trundled around by aspiring barristers. The Royal Courts themselves are magnificent Gothic structures; once you’ve had your fill, continue west along Fleet Street, passing by the church of St Clement Danes, whose bells are immortalised in the nursery rhyme “oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clements.” Originally, London’s boundaries were defined by how far one could still hear the peal of these bells – once you were out of earshot, you were outside of London.

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Other sights include grand Somerset House and King’s College. At the Savoy, turn right towards the hustle of Covent Garden and the Transport Museum, which is currently hosting fantastic exhibits to mark the 150th anniversary of the Tube. Find your way back to the Strand, which will lead you directly towards Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.

Tube stop start: Blackfriars
Tube stop end: Charing Cross
Distance: 1.2 miles

Trafalgar Square (Pic from: www.visitlondon.com)

London is filled with wonderful walks, both in the numerous parks that dot the city, as well as through its urban heart. There are guided walking tours to suit every inclination, from Jack the Ripper walks to Harry Potter location walks. If you prefer self-guided walks, there’s plenty of free walking maps (some with audio guides!) available online. Time to put your walking boots on!

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  1. 76sanfermo says:

    Yours , in my opinion , is one of the best Londonscapes I ‘ve ever seen………..
    The light and the perspective are perfection!

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Unfortunately I can’t take credit for the pictures on this post – they’re from the web!

  2. restlessjo says:

    It must be one of the best cities in the world for walking in! I love that South Bank stretch Last time I was in London I wanted to do the canal walk but the weather wasn’t so kind. Next time , for sure.
    Greenwich is good walking territory too.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      That’s a great suggestion, Jo! I quite enjoyed Greenwich when I was there. Beautiful views from there too. Definitely wait for good weather to do the canal walk, it’s worth it!

  3. Great info! We’re planning a trip to London later in the year for our honeymoon. A walk along the canal looks idyllic.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Wonderful! Have a fantastic trip!

  4. Peggy, These walks are wonderful! I lived on London for many years, and one of my main delights was wandering the streets and footpaths all over town. And equally fun was hopping on a train to head out of town on the weekend for a country ramble. Thanks so much for your great post. All the best, Terri

  5. London is one of my favorite places. 🙂 It’s definitely a beautiful city to wander around in and get lost. I think my favorite walk has to be along South Bank.

    1. The South Bank walk is my favourite walk too, Lynsey! 🙂 What’s your favourite spot for food in London? Borough Market is my fav, with the additional plus that a walk along the South Bank is conveniently located after filling my belly at the Markets. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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