London is one of the greatest cities in the world, as there’s something for everyone to see and do. Below a selection of walks of varying lengths and difficulty that cover the vast majority of the city as well as some of the home counties.
Transport for London also have a selection of walks on their website.
- Do not feel that you have to follow or complete the walks given on this page exactly as written. If there’s something interesting down a side street or “off the route” feel, you can adapt the route as per the diversion you take (E.g. walking along a canal/river rather than a road), and if you want avoid a busy road by using one of London’s many green spaces or parks, also feel free to do this as well.
- You can also break up the longer walks into multiple sections, as most Londoners won’t be walking the length of a Marathon on a regular basis! See the section “Sleep” for more information.
A few things to take note of whilst walking:
- Rush Hour/Peak travelling time is usually between 7am and 10am in the morning and 4pm and 7pm in the evening. Because of this, it’s strongly recommended that you try and travel to your start point and from your end point out of these times, as trains are significantly busier at these times and train tickets are more expensive, including Tube travel. If you get a all-day travelcard specifically for London, this will also allow you to use any bus route, including those at night, which will be extremely useful for the walks that end in the suburbs. You can also use one of the iconic Black Cabs by booking one in advance, hailing one on the street, or going to a designated taxi rank, which are located at a major building such as a station. If you want a cheaper alternative to these, you can use Uber to request a taxi to your exact location. Uber also run the Thames Clippers/Uber Boats alongside TfL, which can be used as a fast way to travel along the Thames from Central London to the suburbs.
- For more information about TfL run rail, bus, taxi and boat services, including the Woolwich Ferry and the Tube’s night service, look on the Transport for London (TfL) website. For information about mainline tickets and times, look on the National Rail and Trainline websites, the latter of which includes coach routes across the UK and international rail travel across Europe.
- For video versions of these walking instructions, visit the YouTube channel Railway, London & Maritime Bloke, who creates a selection of videos about walks in London and the city in general as well as other videos about the UK railways and anything maritime relate. The specific channel playlist you want for these walks is called London Walks.
- UK weather can be unpredictable, as a sudden downpour can dampen your plans and enthusiasm quickly, make sure to bring an umbrella and/or raincoat. By contrast, make sure to take enough water and possibly sun cream on a warm and sunny day.
- Sturdy, “Sensible” Footwear is a must. Whilst trainers and sandals are OK for walks in the City or West End, where you are on paved paths or pavements (U.S. Sidewalks), longer walks in London’s green spaces or the country beyond the fringes of suburban Metroland, and into parts of the home counties, will take you through fields and rough terrain, where good quality walking boots are required/strongly recommended.
- Be aware that major urban roads in Greater London can have issues with traffic congestion, which comes with the associated fumes. By comparison, some streets in the outer suburbs and beyond can be highly residential in nature, and so appropriate politeness and respect of privacy will be appreciated.
- Not all streets and paths in London and the surrounding region are public, so some may be closed at short notice. Obvious security measures like gates, barriers or legally worded signs are indicators, and evidence of ‘services’ in back-alleys, such as parking and waste bins, are another indication a path might not be public.
- If you’re unsure of where to go, use a suitable map to guide you. Both Open Street Map and Google Maps have good coverage of the Greater London area, and plenty of Londoners still use an “A-Z” widely available in bookstores. In the countryside around London, the OS Explorer series will also be useful to show you where footpaths are as well as diversions if needed.
- For shorter distances within a residential area/community (E.g. Around Watford or the West End), there will be plenty of people who will be willing to help you.
- Some of the cross London and long distance walks will take several days to complete, so make sure that you book overnight accommodation along the routes of these walks in manageable chunks. For more information about where to book, look at the section “Sleep”.