While you might not think of the bustling metropolis of London as a place for lovers of the Great Outdoors, in fact, London and its surrounds is packed with fantastic walks and hikes for everyone. From canal and riverside strolls to woodland walks and more, the British capital might just surprise you.
So whether you’re paying London a visit, or live in the big city and you’re looking for a little escape, we’ve collected together some of our favorite walks in and around the capital, for every kind of walker.
For serious strollers
Richmond to Windsor, along the Thames Path
You couldn’t have a more scenic start to a walk around London. Richmond Hill presents one of the most breathtaking views in the city, bar none. This walk along the Thames Path isn’t for the fainthearted, as it’s a fair old stretch from here to Windsor. However, along the way you’ll be more than rewarded by views of Ham House, Marble Hill House along the river, as well as Hampton Court Palace and Bushey Park. Read a detailed description of this 30-mile walk on the Choice Hotels blog, which is being undertaken by one of their bloggers for a very worthwhile charity this month.
Thames Path by Andrew Bowden
Fun for families
Crystal Palace Park to Nunhead Cemetery, Southeast London
Kids will love this walk, whether you want to take them the full 8.5km stretch to the spooky cemetery or not. Starting off in Crystal Palace Park, home to the famous Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, you might have some trouble getting them to want to leave! But when you do, you’ll find a nice, relatively flat and easy stroll that’s recently been added to Walk London’s Green Chain Walk. The path takes you alongside a disused railway line to leafy Sydenham Hill Wood nature reserve, then to the award-winning Horniman Gardens before ending at the Victorian tombs of Nunhead Cemetery. See greenchain.com for more details.
Crystal Palace Dinosaurs by Jessica Mulley
Inner city surprises
Islington to Victoria Park and beyond, Hackney
Hackney Borough in east London has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Transforming itself from rundown to hip and trendy, areas like Stoke Newington and Dalston have become des-res, and one of the many reasons for the borough’s popularity is its abundance of green space. Hackney has more parks and green space than any other inner London borough, home to house sparrows, bats and the Black Poplar – the UK’s rarest native tree. Set off along the Regents Canal from Islington and head for Victoria Park for some stunning canalside views, canalboat cafes, and if you have kids in tow the marvelous Hackney City Farm is only a short stroll away too.