Best London walks

Man and woman walking on a path alongside the river on sunny day
Walking in London is a healthy alternative to public transport. Image credit: Jon Reid.
Get ready to walk London! Walking is a healthy, free and environmentally friendly way to get around London. Beat the traffic and soak in the views on the best London walks.
  • Many landmarks are closer to each other than you might think, so walking can often save time.

  • The TfL website provides resources for walkers including routes and accessibility information.

  • London walking tours are a great way to see the capital.

London provides the setting for some fantastic walks, from its bridges to the many parks – the city has some incredible walking routes. 

Streetspace for London

London is one of the most foot-friendly cities in the world and much has been done to improve London's pedestrian environment.

Works include increasing the accessibility of London's streets and more facilities for people with special needs and restricted mobility.

TfL’s new Streetspace for London initiative will see many more people walking and cycling across London when lockdown is eased. The campaign is working with London's boroughs to identify places where temporary changes are needed to support social distancing or where cycling and walking improvements are needed.

London's bridges

London's bridges provide some of the best views in London if you are on foot.

Wherever you find yourself along the Thames, you’ll be close to at least one famous bridge, such as Tower Bridge and the newer Millennium Bridge. Head southwest and you'll spot the Grade II-listed Albert Bridge which connects Chelsea on the north bank and Battersea on the south side of the river.

When the sun sets, take an evening stroll along the river Thames and watch as the Illuminated River installation paints London’s iconic bridges with light.

Best walking routes

You don’t necessarily need an itinerary to discover London's hidden gems. One of the best ways to see the city is on foot – there’s always something interesting around every corner.


There are plenty of walking tours for those who prefer a more organised approach. Try a themed walk, and stroll in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper, or see the London sites that inspired Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle with the Sherlock Holmes Tour.

Many visitor trails take in famous attractions such as St Paul's Cathedral, Guildhall, the Bank of England and the Tower of London.

Go off the main tourist trails and discover walks at London's lesser-known locations, such as Capel Manor Urban Farm in Crystal Palace Park.

London is made up of 40% green space and is the world's first National Park City, so build up your step count at one of the 3,000 parks of varying sizes. Explore the sights and sounds of London's best parks, from finding the deer at Richmond Park to spotting pelicans and parakeets at St James's Park near Buckingham Palace.  

Find one of the many canal routes for a different perspective on London. Walk the Regent's Canal from Camden Lock to King's Cross and see the man-made wonders of the locks used for raising and lowering boats along the way.

Benefits of walking

As well as getting around easily, walking can be a great way to see the sights, either independently or as part of an organised tour.

 

Walking is a great alternative to using public transport, which helps to improve the air quality in London.

You can also improve and maintain your overall health when walking. Increase your cardiovascular fitness by trying to hit 10,000 steps every day. This can make your bones stronger, reduce excess body fat and boost your endurance. 

Finding your way in London is easier with a pocket atlas, available from any good bookshop or Tourist Information Centre. One of these will make London's complex street network much more navigable, such as a Collins Pocket Atlas which is available online.

Resources for walkers

The TfL website features useful resources for walkers. You can discover leisure routes across the capital, accessibility information and find out about special walking events. 

 

TfL’s online journey planner is a handy tool for London walkers as well as those planning a journey on public transport  click on the Cycling and Walking tab for those options.

Tips for walking

Remember that cars drive on the left in the UK, so be careful to look in the correct direction for oncoming traffic when crossing the road. It's always a good idea to know where you're heading and to take the same precautions as you would in any major city.

Mobile applications such as Google Maps are useful tools for finding your way around London, but remember to keep an eye on where you're going and watch out for traffic and other footpath users! See our Top 10 Free London Apps for suggestions of other great mobile apps to help guide you around London on foot.

If you're out on foot, you may also be interested in cycling in London and information on London's cycle hire scheme.