Walking in London
June 1, 2014 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Where are some interesting places to walk in London? I am in London the next few days and would like to explore some new areas after work. All I know is Bloomsbury to Mayfair to Westminster, so not much at all! It would need to be reachable by tube and should be safe. I would love to find little shops or cafés as well as just a pleasant place to walk for a few hours. I am staying in Hackney, if that is relevant.

This is a very similar question but it was seven years ago, maybe new people have new ideas?
posted by shothotbot to Travel & Transportation around London, England (16 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Regent's Canal in Islington
posted by jason's_planet at 9:45 AM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

London in general is surprisingly walkable - I'm sure actual residents will have more input in this thread, but as a visitor a very useful tool to figure out how to spontaneously get from A to B on foot is Citymapper. There are also officially maintained walking routes through the city if you want to plan something out in advance.
posted by harujion at 9:57 AM on June 1, 2014

- I often walk with tourist friends from Hackney to Broadway Market, Columbia Rd, Brick Lane, The City of London, (past the Gherkin, and Loyds TSB) then perhaps London Bridge, Borough Market to Tate Modern - depending on how energetic we are.

- Another walk is all along the Canal from Broadway Market to Primrose Hill and get the tube back.

- Take the Tube out to Richmond Park and walk around the park.

- Walking north of Hackney up along Kingsland Rd up to Stoke Newington, then along Stoke Newington Church Street to the park there. that would be alright.
posted by mary8nne at 10:11 AM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Victoria Park Cemetery. Also, some contenders here.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:14 AM on June 1, 2014

St. John's Wood = Abbey Road
posted by Freedomboy at 10:18 AM on June 1, 2014

- Alleyways and passages in the City, a bit like mary8nne's suggestion: use your skill and judgement to get to the river without taking major roads and see what you can find.

- The elevated walkways of the Barbican (map) for its hint of a post-war city.

- Hampstead.

MeFi's own londongeezer writes about lots of walks, most of which you won't find on any tourist guide..
posted by holgate at 11:16 AM on June 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

Seconding mary8nne on "London Bridge, Borough Market to Tate Modern" - walking along the south bank is one of my favorite London walks - there's Southwark Cathedral, the market, the Globe, and so many other fun little things to see in addition to the lovely views across the river. And then if you like you can cross the Millennium bridge and stroll to St. Paul's.
posted by pointystick at 11:22 AM on June 1, 2014

The Inns of Court, short, easy, ancient and beautiful. And five mins from St Paul's.
posted by freya_lamb at 11:58 AM on June 1, 2014

Crystal Palace is a great place to walk. The little triangle/high street thingy (scroll down) has interesting alternative shops and cafes and galleries and combinations of all three; there's a wonderful second-hand vintage furniture shop specialising in 60's and 70's stuff, beautifully restored; and the old Crystal Palace grounds are marvellous with terraces and stone lions and sphynxes. Be sure to walk all the way down to the lake and the Victorian dinosaurs.

I don't know the area and have only visited, but it was lovely. If there's any reason not to visit now, say building work, I hope Londoners will chime in here. There's talk of the Palace being rebuilt with Chinese money, don't know how far along that scheme is.
posted by glasseyes at 12:40 PM on June 1, 2014

The Capital Ring has some lovely sections and is all accessible by public transport. Some sections will be too longer, but some are worth a look.
posted by kadia_a at 12:40 PM on June 1, 2014

I've had success with using walkit.com

The obvious one is the Thames path. There is a nice sections near Richmond. Richmond park itself is definitely worth exploring although I don't know how late it's open.

But my best advice is probably just to get lost (in a nice way). There are lots of hidden/under explored parts which you can walk right past if you are not being mindful.
posted by Erberus at 12:46 PM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really dug the Parkland Walk (I was staying in Finsbury Park). You'll pass along former rail platforms amidst the trees. It's quite nice! And then you pop out wherever and walk back through the streets if you want.

"The Parkland Walk is a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) linear green walkway, in the London Boroughs of Haringey and Islington, which follows the course of the railway line which used to run between Finsbury Park through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill to Alexandra Palace."
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:20 PM on June 1, 2014

The Parkland Walk is indeed awesome, although I don't think there's an awful lot else that's interesting for most of it (I guess Crouch End has some nice cafés and brunch places). My nickname for it is the Low Line.

Battersea Park is nice to visit and just across the river, and the Southbank area is general is well worth a visit. One of the few places that both Londoners and tourists will visit at the same time.
posted by adrianhon at 4:12 PM on June 1, 2014

You are probably a short journey from Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington, if that's your thing and you want to visit an old cemetery covered in foliage off the normal tourist trails. Families on strolls walk by men cruising for other men, and Amy Winehouse shot part of the video for 'Back to Black' there. There are a few good pubs nearby when you're done. If you want advice on sneaking in after dark, just MeMail me.
posted by K.P. at 6:20 PM on June 1, 2014

I know its not technically on the DLR. but if this isn't a problem Greenwich is beautiful and the view from the observatory is fantastic.

The other classic london walking spot is Hampstead Heath, with another great view from Parliament Hill.

Its a bit further out on the tube, but Richmond is fantastic too and gives you a very different impression of the livable villagey nature of London and you can walk for miles along the river path, there's tonnes of nice pubs too!
posted by Middlemarch at 11:20 PM on June 1, 2014

I live in and love walking in London, enough so that I can't really answer because there's very few places I don't enjoy walking. All the answers above are great, I daresay! I guess I would say that my favourite part is the east, although it's changing a lot nowadays.

Anyway, for a specific tip, there's a lovely walk along the towpath of the river Lee from Stratford-ish, up through hackney Wick Marshes and the Tottenham reservoirs, all the way up and out of London. Also great for cycling!
posted by Drexen at 9:14 AM on June 2, 2014

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