12 Best Walks in London

From bustling city streets and historical landmarks to verdant parks and scenic canals, London has a vast range of great locations to explore on foot.

With public transport providing easy ways to get around, the city is perfect for walkers to set out and spend a couple of hours or a whole discovering what it has to offer.

Whether you’re looking to get lost within this iconic city or planning a route to see new parts of the city, here are some of the best walks in London.

Thames Path

The Thames Path is a walking route that stretches for 79.5 miles along the UK’s most iconic city, and many of the best sections of this trail are within London itself.

1. London Bridge to Greenwich

Following this walk takes you from the busy south bank of the Thames, with major tourist attractions like Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast close by, then over to scenic Greenwich.

The route takes you through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, areas of London which are typically less well-explored.

At the end, you can see the iconic Greenwich Observatory. Or, you could even cross the Greenwich foot tunnel and return into the city centre, following one of the best Thames Path circular walks.

Learn more about the London to Greenwich walk on our blog.

The Old Naval College in Greenwich
The Greenwich Naval College

2. Greenwich to Woolwich

Starting at Greenwich, where the beautiful naval college and observatory provide a great backdrop for a tasty lunch or refreshing drink, walking to Woolwich along the Thames Path is a great way to see some iconic sites in the east of London.

You’ll pass by the Millenium Dome, cable cars, as well as the impressive Thames Barrier. Plus, you can always get on a Thames clipper to return back to Greenwich or central London.

You can also do this Greenwich to Woolwich walk as an extension of the London Bridge to Greenwich route.

The Thames Barrier in London pictured from the south bank of the Thames
The Thames Barrier

3. Blackfriars to Battersea

This part of the Thames Path can take just over an hour, so it’s a great option if you want a gentle stroll along the river.

Passing through the Southbank and past the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, there’s a lot to see on this Blackfriars to Battersea walk.

You’ll then finish at the Battersea Power Station, and with a shopping centre and cinema inside, there’s plenty there to spend a few hours.

Looking up at Battersea Power Station with blue sky behind
Battersea Power Station

River walks

While the Thames is by far the largest and most well-known river in London, there are other smaller rivers to explore that offer great scenic routes for walkers.

4. Lea Valley Walk

While the River Lea originates all the way north in Bedfordshire, it then runs south through London and joins the Thames.

You can follow the Lea Valley Walk which takes you alongside the river, and there are various sections you can try (as the entire length of the river in London is likely too long unless you’re a seasoned hiker).

The best section to explore is from Walthamstow Wetlands to the Thames, either heading along the canal to Limehouse or continuing along the river to Leamouth.

The River Lea south of Stratford
The River Lea south of Stratford

5. The Wandle Trail

As another tributary of the Thames, the River Wandle offers a great waterway to follow if you’re looking to explore south London.

You can follow the entire length of the Wandle Trail from the start in Croydon and up roughly 12.5 miles to Wandsworth.

For a manageable walk, we recommend heading from Morden Hall Park all the way up to where it meets the Thames. You can always then extend the hike east or west along the Thames Path.

Canal walks

There are some fantastic canal walks in London, following waterways such as the Regent’s Canal, Grand Union Canal, and the Limehouse Cut.

6. Camden to Little Venice

One of the most popular stretches of the Regent’s Canal for walkers to follow is the section from Camden to Little Venice.

You can explore Camden Market at one end, finding great places to eat and lots of interesting shops, and relax around the picturesque Little Venice at the other end.

If you’re following this Camden to Little Venice walk, make sure to take a detour up Primrose Hill to get a great view of London.

The Regent's Canal in Little Venice, London
The Regent’s Canal near Little Venice

7. King’s Cross to Limehouse

On the eastern half of the Regent’s Canal, you can head all the way from King’s Cross to Limehouse Basin right by the Thames.

This waterway provides a great route for walkers, and with it passing through Islington, past Victoria Park, and ending in the scenic marina in Limehouse, it’s one of the best walks in London for those looking for a range of scenery.

Once you’ve got to the end of this King’s Cross to Limehouse walk, there are a few good options to extend it: head east to Canary Wharf, west along the Thames Path, or up the Limehouse Cut to the River Lea.

Limehouse Basin with boats in the foreground and Canary Wharf in the background, a stop off point for some of the best walks in London
Limehouse Basin with Canary Wharf in the background

8. Limehouse Cut and Hertford Union Canal circular route

The Limehouse Cut is a canal that connects the River Lea with the Thames at the Limehouse Basin, and it forms one of the best circular routes in London.

Read our blog on the Limehouse Cut walk to find out more about this fantastic trail that starts at Stratford and takes you along four different waterways: the River Lea, Limehouse Cut, Regent’s Canal, and Hertford Union Canal.

This route will also give you a great chance to stop by one of the best pubs in London – The Grapes.

Looking southwest down the Limehouse Cut
The Limehouse Cut

9. New River

Having been dug in the 17th century to help bring clean water to London, the New River would more aptly be described as an old canal or aqueduct.

You can follow the New River all the way from Alexandra Park and into Islington, which is a great way to explore this part of North London.

The New River is also one of the lesser-known London walks on this list, so it’s generally a lot quieter than routes along the Thames or some of the canals.

Walks through parks and green spaces

One thing London is well known for is the abundance of parks and other green spaces that break up the urbans streets and offer great locations for a pleasant stroll.

10. Parkland walk

The Parkland Walk is a linear nature reserve that connects two parks: Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace.

This 4km trail follows a former railway line and is the perfect route for a casual walk, and both parks at either end are great to explore too. 

11. Hyde Park

As one of the largest parks in central London and being close to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, such as Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park is the perfect location for a stroll.

For a relaxing London walk, take a wander down any of trails that zigzag their way across the park and over the iconic Serpentine at the centre of the park.

12. Hampstead Heath

Not all London walks can offer great views of the city, but take a hike up Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath and you’ll be at one of the most famous viewpoints with the city’s skyline laid out before you.

From Hampstead Heath, you and expand your walk out to the famous Highgate Cemetery in one direction or the scenic Hampstead Village in the other.

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