Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to get more active, spend less time propped up at my desk or slouched on the sofa and get moving without it feeling like a monumental effort. I think the days slowly getting lighter (I LOVE Monday evenings right now, don’t they just seem brighter each week?), the booking of our summer holiday and a willingness for winter to be over has done it. I’m ready to stop hibernating!
I’ve decided my first task is to embrace walking more. I can easily walk for miles, it doesn’t fill me with dread like running, and it’s less risky than me on a bike in central London. So it’s a pretty good way to get that 30 minute exercise we’re supposed to get each day. In London, you probably already know that it’s a great opportunity to get to know the city a bit better and make new discoveries. It’s also the cheapest way to spend a day, an hour, a morning or afternoon because it’s FREE.
I thought I’d share 8 great walks in London for anyone who fancies getting active like me. Grab a friend and your camera and get going!
N O T T I N G H I L L
Forget Portobello Road for a minute and when you get out of Notting Hill Gate take one of the roads parallel. Before long you’ll be meandering among cool white town houses, squares with private gardens, and all those colourful houses you’ve seen pop up on Instagram.
Wind your way down to Ladbroke Grove and you’ll be sure to have seen some pretty sights.
S O U T H K E N S I N G T O N T O H O L L A N D P A R K
Once you’ve admired the stunning V&A and Natural History Museum, take a tour around the side streets of South Kensington and see how many mews streets you can find. You could follow the route I did or you could make one up as you go along (all I did to get my route was google map the area and search for all the nearest mews).
Once you’ve seen enough of London’s prettiest streets, head over to Kensington Gardens and find a bench to sit on.
Before making your way to Holland Park for one of these hot chocolates.
P R I M R O S E H I L L T O R E G E N T’ S P A R K
As you can tell I love roaming around picturesque neighbourhoods so Primrose Hill had to feature here. Hop off at Chalk Farm, find the colourful street where Paddington lived (Chalcott Crescent, pictured above), make your way up to see the view of the horizon and march down to explore the delights of Regent’s Park.
N E W R I V E R P A T H
I only did the part from Canonbury to Essex Road, about a 15 minute walk, making it the shortest one on the list! But if you live in Finsbury Park or nearby, it makes a walk to Islington that bit nicer.
R E G E N T’ S C A N A L W A L K
I’m lucky enough to work near to Paddington Basin and the starting point of the Regent’s Canal in West London. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Little Venice, but the walk over to King’s Cross offers a surprisingly peaceful way to cross central London.
H A M P S T E D H E A T H
I’ve only made a small dent in discovering all the beauty that Hampstead Heath offers but if there’s one place to start or end a long walk there, it’s Parliament Hill. From there just amble along within one of the most peaceful pockets in the capital.
H Y D E P A R K T O S T J A M E S’ P A R K
You could easily lose a day or two lounging in the city’s Royal Parks but I like to keep moving. Jump off the central line at Ladbroke Grove to find the beautiful Italian Gardens and then wind your way down to St James’ Park before waving to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
T H A M E S R I V E R P A T H
It would be wrong not to mention the Thames River Path in this post. I’ve been in London for more than six years now and I never get tired of wandering alongside the Thames on a sunny day. I think I’ve walked most of the central part by now and there is so much to see and say about it that it needs its own post. But for now, if I want a more peaceful walk I’d take the route from Wapping to Tower Bridge. There’s a part near the beginning of this route where it’s easy to get to the ‘beach’ without being mistaken for a performer!
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Do you have a favourite walk in London?