6 best places to walk around London
Having already established that walking should be factored in to your health and fitness routine as it has so many amazing health and fitness benefits, the next obvious question is where you can and should walk if you are based around the London area?
Part of the enjoyability and benefits of walking, particularly the mental benefits, come from choosing the right settings and scenery to experience during the walk – which means that choosing the right locations for your walks is critical if you are to get the very most from it.
With this in mind, here’s our pick of the best places to walk in London so you can get fitter and healthier in style and in the most enjoyable way possible…..
(These walks have been shortlisted as they all take in rich scenery and nature so are based around walking through woodland and similar terrain, so as to optimize the health and fitness benefits)
1 The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk
This is a seven-mile walk through four royal parks and was set up in Princess Diana’s memory back in 2000 (www.royalparks.org.uk).
2 Green Chain Walk
This is a network of straight and circular walks across South East London, with the route taking in dozens of woods and parks, as well as the Thames Barrier and Crystal Palace.
3 Jubilee Greenway Walk
Celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this path for walkers and cyclists links the Olympic and Paralympic Games venues, including the O2 Arena, Greenwich Park and the Serpentine – and has been included as it has a strong natural focus towards health and fitness due to it’s inclusion of multiple Olympic Games sites! Perfect for the walker who is interested in using walking to improve their personal fitness and wellbeing!
4 Lee Valley Walk
The Lee Valley area got a massive facelift just prior to the London 2012 Olympics, and this walk taps directly right into this inspiring makeover.
The walk starts at Waltham Abbey Gardens (don’t miss the abbey, which is Saxon and Norman with a stunning nave and Lady Chapel and the grave of King Harold (of arrow fame) in the grounds) – and Cornmill Meadows, a great favourite with birders.
The walk incorporates a number of mills, meadows and marshes and if you walk in the early morning or late evening, the wildlife spotting is excellent. The route loops back to Waltham Abbey via the Royal Gunpowder Mills – the Lee was used for ammunition manufacture for centuries – which operated in the 18th and 19th centuries, and had their own canal system and can be visited at it’s best between March – September.
5 Capital Ring Walk
This walk enables you to embrace the diverse landscape surrounding London by following the Capital Ring – the path is 78 miles long in total, and Transport for London has divided it into 15 easy-to-walk sections. Circle around the city, starting and finishing at Woolwich, and enjoy gorgeous canals, parks, and woods along the way.
6 City Tree Walk
Wander through the greenest parts of central London with the fascinating City Tree Trail. The City of London’s handy guide to tracking the various tree species throughout the city will land you in beautiful hidden parks and squares – perfect for the kind of relaxation and wellbeing that we are seeking with these walks.
So there you have it – the 6 best places to walk around London when you are seeking to use walking as a valuable tool for improving your health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Be sure to try them all in order to experience for yourself just how beneficial walking can be for improving your health and fitness.