Nonchalant ~ Let’s Go Outside… London’s Top Walks: Part 1

Let’s Go Outside… London’s Top Walks: Part 1

Summer – you total babe… Whether you’re in the mood to get out and stretch those legs after another day of WFH, or during your lunch break. Perhaps, you’re wanting to take advantage of yet another long, balmy evening? Doesn’t matter where you sit on the Norf/Sarf divide, there’s an option here for a London micro-adventure. Whether you’re a solo explorer, with your mates or on a hot date. We got you chick! Here are some of our favourite London walks.

Central

Jubilee Loop – Victoria to London Bridge

Photo credit @natstevens8

With fewer tourists this summer, London has never been quieter. Making it the perfect time to go sightseeing. This lovely walk takes you through the heart of Westminster and some of the capitals highlights.

Starting at Victoria or Hyde Park Corner, enter Buckingham Palace, Don’t forget to give the royals a wave.

Then, take a stroll down The Mall and into St James Park. Make sure to stop and marvel at the GIANT pelicans – The descendants of birds, first introduced to the park in 1664; A gift from the Russian Ambassador.

Emerging near the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, cross the bridge and stroll along the South Bank. This walk is great any time of day and is guaranteed to give you all the London feels.

Optional detour: At the Tate to check out the Andy Warhol exhibit (book in advance!). Or, at the very least, take a pitstop at Millennium Bridge to get a top photo opp of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Finish at London Bridge and grab some food and drinks in Borough Market.

Details

  • Map
  • Length of Full Route: 7km
  • Starts: Victoria Station or Hyde Park Corner
  • Ends: London Bridge Station
  • Route: Flat and easy
  • Sites: The Mall, St James’s Park, Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, The London Eye , The Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral , The Oxo Tower, Borough Market.

North

Parkland Way: Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace

Image form one of the walks in North London
Alexandra Palace

This tree-lined walk follows the green-covered tracks of a former Victorian railway line that used to run between Finsbury Park and Ally Pally. It’s signposted throughout, Parkland Walk (split into two sections). You’ll traverse the old tracks above the roads – thanks to the Victorian railway bridges.

As you weave through North London, you’ll get to see all the North London neighbourhoods that you might otherwise miss. This highlight includes a local nature reserve and some beautiful sights along the way.

Optional detour: At Highgate Woods or even Highgate Cemetery if you have a macabre side and fancy seeing where Karl Marx and many other celebs are buried.

It can be easily broken into smaller chunks depending on how much time you have or how energetic you’re feeling as you walk. You could even dive off route for a quick drink in Highgate and jump on the bus to Ally Pally. Escape the noisy streets and enjoy this little slice of serenity.

Details

  • Map
  • Length of Full Route: 8km
  • Starts: Finsbury Park Station
  • Ends: Alexandra Palace
  • Pubs and Cafes to look out for: The Boogaloo, The Woodman, The Queenswood cafe and The Finsbury Park Cafe
  • Route: London’s answer to NYC’s Highline – it’s quiet and tree lined, the first section is flat but gets hilly towards Ally Pally.
  • Nearby: Highgate Woods, Highgate Cemetery, Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill, Ally Pally.
  • More Information: Parkland Walk

East

The Line: Olympic Park to The Greenwich Peninsula

Image form one of the walks in East London
Quantum Cloud by Antony Gormley

Okay okay, so we know this route technically finishes in South London but it’s a great excuse to have a nose around Greenwich Peninsular’s Sculpture Park and mix a splash of culture in with your exercise. Although more urban than the other walks, The Line is London’s first dedicated public art walk, connecting the three boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.

Take in the sights and appreciate art from some of the most prominent contemporary artists in the world. Such as: Sir Antony Gormley, Gary Hume and Abigail Fallis. Each piece is dotted along the route and nestled into its surroundings. The cool thing about outdoor art? The totally different lighting, weather and seasons, all changing the aesthetic of the work.

The walk runs alongside the River Lea and starts in the Olympic Park. Unless you’re feeling extra fit – in which case you can start as far north as Walthamstow! The towpath offers some welcome calm and contrasts with the hustle of the surrounding streets. There’s been a lot of regeneration and investment across this part of London in the past decade making for some cool views both of the city and the surrounding nature.

To cross the Thames we recommend taking the Emirates Cable Car (pay on Oyster/contactless) to take in the epic views of the Docklands and the O2 Arena.

If you are looking for a shorter route, the walk offers plenty of options include jumping on the DLR at Canning town or at the Excel Centre.

Details

South

Beckenham Place Park Bromley

Image form one of the walks in south London
Photo credit @natstevens8

Bromley…is that even in London?! (Okay so technically no, it’s Kent, however, it is in Zone 4 and under 30 minutes from London Bridge, Victoria and Charing Cross). We promise you, it’s well worth it for a day out to Beckenham Place Park. The park features a huge Georgian manor house, seen in Tim Burton movies including Alice in Wonderland and the Dark Shadows. The mansion house renovations were undertaken by the folks responsible for the Bussey Building in Peckham, so you know they’ve got a decent track record.

Surrounding the house are hundreds of acres of woodland, an open water swimming lake, a pizza restaurant and bar, rentable BBQ pits and some stunning views. It is the perfect place to meet your mates for a socially distanced pint, fly a kite or go for a brisk jog.

The house and neighbouring coach house recently opened for the first time in decades, offering arts, cultural and community activities to the public. In addition to the great culture stuff there’s a record shop, café and bar and regular special events and activities including food and vintage markets, concerts, pop-up cinemas and more.

Details

  • Map
  • Length: 6/7km
  • Starts: Beckenham Hill Station
  • Ends; Beckenham Junction Station.
  • Pubs and Cafes to look out for: Deli Nene, The Basement Bar The Coach House (outdoor bar, pizza and ice cream)
  • Route: Hilly parts, mix for woodland trails and footpaths.

West

The Barnes Trail

Image form one of the walks in west London
London Wetland Centre

This route loops around the largest bends of the Thames just before it hits Central London. It is green, quiet, flat and will subsequently leave you in total disbelief that you are only two miles from central London. So, head out and enjoy the river views. And, if you have bird watching aspirations, then wander through the London Wetland Centre and twitch away to your heart’s content.

Details

  • Map
  • Length: 8/9km
  • Starts: Barnes Bridge
  • Ends: Barnes Station
  • Pubs and Cafes to look out for: The Sun Inn, Gail’s, Alma Barnes, The Red Lion, The Bull’s Head
  • Route: Flat with lots of beautiful Thames views, with great spots for dusk and sunset.
  • Nearby : London Wetland Centre– Quiet ponds, rushes, rustling reeds and wildflower gardens all teem with bird life – some 150 species. There are over 300 varieties of butterfly, 20 types of dragonfly and four species of bat.

Hopefully that’s plenty to keep you busy over the next few weeks, don’t forget to tag us on Insta with your fave pics. Also, we would love to know your favourite walks, so drop us an email or leave a comment.

Looking for the perfect date spot for a drink to end your walk with? Check out our top London lesbian date spots.

Happy Exploring!!

Team Nonchalant x x x

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Nat Stevens
Nat Stevens

Nat is a London native currently living and working in Singapore. She is into all things travel and most things running. Nat has been in Asia for the last five years, living in both Singapore and Beijing. Most likely to be found running, taking photos, cooking, doodling or spending too much money on food and cocktails.

Find me on: Instagram

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