London is the world’s most visited city and hosts numerous historical and cultural attractions of international fame. Walking is one of the best ways to explore the city. Thus, London has numerous walking trails or routes connecting important monuments and buildings of the city. Some longer walking routes also extend outside the limits of the city. Some popular walking trails in London are highlighted below.
9. Capital Ring
The Capital Ring is one of London’s most famous walking routes. This strategic pathway officially begins at the Woolwich foot tunnel. However, since it is a circular route surrounding Central London, it can be entered or exited at almost any point. The construction of the walkway was completed in 2005. Many historical and cultural monuments and institutions can be visited on this route. The Capital Ring also passes through some natural areas like the Biggin Wood, Highgate Wood, and Cherry Tree Wood.
8. Green Chain Walk
This pathway stretches between London’s Crystal Palace Park and the River Thames. It passes through 300 open spaces like the Woolwich Common, Lesnes Abbey, Eltham Park, and Chinbrook Meadows. The Green Chain was established in 1977.
7. London Outer Orbital Path
More popularly known as the "London LOOP,” this pathway extends for a length of 240 km around the edge of Outer London. The pathway passes through numerous fields, gardens, parks, and woods. It begins at Erith, a town located on the southern bank of the River Thames, and ends at Purfleet, a town in Essex. The project to build the pathway was first launched in 1993 and the first part of the LOOP was opened in 1996. By 2001, the entire pathway was complete.
6. Jubilee Walkway
This London walkway was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on June 9, 1977. It commemorates the Queen’s accession to the throne. The Jubilee Walkway runs for 25 km and connects many of the city's major attractions. The pathway is sectioned into five smaller loop walks. The Tower of London, Tate Modern, St Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, National Art Gallery, and many more of the biggest tourist destinations in the city are located along the Jubilee Walkway.
5. Lea Valley Walk
Opened in 1993, the Lea Valley Walk is an 80 km long path stretching from Leagrave to the Thames at Limehouse Basin in East London. Thus, the walk begins in Greater London but ends in the city. About 20 km of the Lee Valley Walk is located within the city. Signs with a swan logo mark the walk throughout its entire stretch. The path runs through a massive regional park, the Lee Valley Regional Park, that has an area of 40 square km.
4. The Greenway
This cycleway and pedestrian path is located in East London on the Northern Outfall Sewer’s embankment. The pathway is a pleasant route for cyclists and pedestrians. The signs used along the Greenway are made from old sewer pipes. The path remains open throughout the day but is closed at night. At its eastern end, the Greenway begins at Royal Docks Road. At this end, a retail park and an industrial estate flank the pathway. After extending through this industrial area for some distance, the pathway enters a residential area. Since it is a raised pathway, one can observe the views of the gardens and parks of the surrounding residential areas. The Greenway also lives up to its name as it is lined by grasses and shrubs. A variety of birds can also be spotted along the way. The path also crosses a railway line, the Channelsea River, and some viewpoints, and finally ends at Wick Lane.
3. The Ridgeway
Another walking trail in London, the Ridgeway exists on the embankment over the Southern Outfall Sewer in London’s southeastern part. The pathway is owned by Thames Water but is open to the public for walking. The sewer over which it is built was constructed in 1853 after a cholera outbreak in the region. The Ridgeway has a length of over 5.5 km.
2. Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk
This 11 km long walk is located in Central London. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to Princess Diana’s memory. The walk makes a figure-eight-like pattern as it passes through several iconic sites that were associated with Princess Diana's life. Some of these sites include Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Spencer House, and Buckingham Palace. The entire walk is marked by 90 plaques reminding visitors of the life of Princess Diana.
1. Parkland Walk
This walking trail in London runs for a distance of 4.0 km. It is both a cycling and a pedestrian route. It follows the route of a former railway line that ran between Alexandra Place and Finsbury Park. The trail and its surroundings were declared a nature reserve in 1990. A large variety of trees like cherry, apple, oak, birch, and white poplar grow here. Over 300 wildflower species have also been recorded at the Parkland Walk. There are around 22 butterfly species, over 60 species of birds, hedgehogs, foxes, and muntjac deer living in the area. The park also conserves a significant habitat of bats.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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