Our 10 Favourite Walks In and Around London

Fancy stomping across Hampstead Heath, rambling through Hackney Marshes or stretching your legs along the Jubilee Greenway? We’ve trekked the Big Smoke to discover London’s best walking routes.

Whether you're wanting to get reacquainted with the city's storied sights or seeking out lesser-trodden trails, we've perambulated the capital in search of London's best walks. Spanning urban pavements to leafy riverbanks, here are 10 of our favourite city strolls.

Walk this way: our favourite ambles through London

Hampstead Heath Circular

This popular walk begins on Hampstead High Street. Head on down past the Wells and Campden Baths and start your slow ascent up Parliament Hill. At the summit, savour panoramic views across central London. On the descent, walkers can take in Kenwood House as well as scenic landscapes at Viaduct Bridge.

Victoria Park

The first planned park in the UK, Victoria Park was built in the 1840s in London's East End. The kidney-shaped slice of green wedged between Hackney and Bow spans over 86 hectares, and is circumnavigated by a wide, tree-lined path all the way round (watch your back for whizzing cyclists). Begin at the Pavillion Bakery (croissant and a black filter, please), then start your strolling overlooking the boating lake, taking in the Chinese Pagoda and - on Sundays - the stalls of the park's farmers' market. This is prime dog-watching territory, so prepare to be smitten by east London's French bulldog population.

The Thames Path

This stretch along the Thames traces the majority of the route taken during the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race. Race week aside, it's an ideal, peaceful amble on the leafy riverbank. Tracing the Thames, the largely flat path goes upriver from Putney Bridge. You'll walk through the verdant Fulham Palace Gardens and stroll by the slipways for St Paul's School Rowing Club en route to your end point, Barnes Bridge.

Richmond to Ham House

Move from urban to rural on this circular, scenic route, launching off from Richmond town centre. Beginning at the top of Richmond Hill and moving down towards the Thames, you'll loop into Richmond Park, before meandering through the sleepy village of Ham - noting the area's many beautiful Georgian mansions as you wander through. Then, it's onto your final stop, Ham House. A National Trust property, Ham House boasts a beautiful secondhand bookshop and an excellent cream tea.

Greenwich to Blackheath

Beginning at the O2, this is a lovely walk in any season, taking a little under an hour to complete. Ogle at Antony Gormley's Quantum Cloud artwork at North Greenwich Pier, before following the river past Greenwich Yacht Club and continuing through Hanging Wood, right up to Woolwich Common. There are plenty of stops along the way for ice cream in the summer months.

The Jubilee Greenway: Little Venice to Camden

Saunter along one of the most pleasant sections of the Jubilee Greenway, taking in aqueducts, charming houseboats and canal towpaths as you roam. The final section of the 60km route around the north of London takes in Regent's Canal, Little Venice and finishes up at Camden Lock Market, where you can nab a bargain bite and relive your teenage years.

Hyde Park

One of London's eight Royal Parks, Hyde Park stretches across some 142 hectares. Enjoy a stop-start stroll through the park, pausing at the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, observing artworks at the Serpentine Galleries or grabbing coffee at the waterside café. When heading to or from the Serpentine, venture off track onto the sandy, horse chestnut-lined path of Rotten Row. In the summer, Londoners head for the banks of the Serpentine Lido to cool off and sun loungers abound.

Regent’s Canal

London's second waterway might not offer the graceful curves and iconic landmarks of the Thames, but a 14km walk down the length of the Regent's Canal will take you through the belly of the city; on weekends the towpath bustles with bikes, couples and wayward ducklings. Start out east, at the Limehouse Basin, and follow the wake of barges towards Mile End's leafy edges. Rounding Bethnal Green, the canal heads west through the graffiti-tagged streets of Haggerston and Hoxton (stop by the much-loved Towpath Café for a morning fuel-up), before swinging into Islington and King's Cross' shiny new developments. After a quick lunchtime stop for a beefy sandwich at Sons + Daughters in Coal Drops Yard, rejoin the waterway walkers to end your stroll in Regent's Park, sipping beers on a bench to a soundtrack of London Zoo's lion roars.

The old chapel at Nunhead Cemetery

Green Chain Walk

Stretching between canal-crossed Thamesmead and leafy Nunhead Cemetery, there are 12 sections of this 80km-long London route you can attempt. Tackle a shorter chunk or take on the entire thing - subject to your energy levels - on any given weekend. It's a great stroll for architecture enthusiasts, with Eltham Palace and Severndroog Castle (on the southeastern section of the route) being highlights. You'll also pass multiple parks and open spaces along the well-signposted route. The Horniman Museum and Gardens is another favourite spot worth a look.

Parkland Walk

United Kingdom

More interested in Hinge matches than Google Maps? This one's for you. Running between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace, the 4km Parkland Walk is difficult to get lost on: the route follows a single old railway track. London's longest nature reserve, this tunnel of green is filled with birdsong throughout the year, but the summer months are best for spotting some of the 200 species of wildflower that grow between the sleepers. It can get busy on weekends, but if you're seeking a chance encounter you can't swipe left on, who knows… the narrow path might work to your advantage.

This article was updated 1 September 2022.

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