To help keep a healthy body and mind while living London during Lockdown 2.0, we’ve rounded up some of the best city walks that are easy to navigate. Just remember to wrap up warm and take along a flask of tea or coffee.
And, with gyms closing over November because of lockdown, walking is an easy and free form of exercise that will help keep us healthy. The problem is, however, that autumn and winter walks can be cold, windy and rainy. And while we’re all for embracing the elements on a brisk walk or adventurous hike – sometimes we just want a nice quick route in or around the city that’s simple to get to and easy to get around.
So we’ve rounded up five walks in and around London that we think you’ll enjoy whatever the weather.
Appreciate the capital’s architecture on the Jubilee Walkway
With the city being so quiet during lockdown, you can play tourist for the day by walking part of the 15-mile Jubilee Walkway without the stress of big crowds.
The route covers many of London’s most famous landmarks and is split into five sections: Western Loop (Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament); Eastern Loop (Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern), The City Loop (Barbican, St Paul’s Cathedral), The Camden Loop (The British Museum, The British Library); The Jubilee Loop (St James’s Park, Parliament Square).
The walkway is also well signposted, with various ‘discs’ giving directions at key junctions and marking nearby historical events along the way. And because it’s so central, there will be plenty of places to take shelter if the rain hits hard.
Get green on the Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery walk
This south London route is going to make you feel so outdoorsy that you’ll forget you’re in London.
Part of the Green Walk Chain, this five-mile route starts in Crystal Palace Park (home of the iconic dinosaur statues) and takes you through green spaces like Dulwich Park, the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Camberwell Old Cemetery and Nunhead Cemetery.
If anything, the cemeteries will be even more beautiful in the foggy, crisp autumn weather.
Watch the city lights twinkle on a riverside walk from Tower Bridge to Greenwich
Let the Thames guide you on a scenic and tranquil tour of the city’s eastside, taking you from the iconic Tower Bridge to lovely Greenwich.
The five-mile route includes St Katherine Docks, Wapping Dock, Canary Wharf and Masthouse Terrace. And you’ll be able to take in the views of the river’s southside, including Butler’s Wharf, Rotherhithe Village and Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College.
It’s all especially pretty when the city is lit up in the evening.
Smell the burning log fires on Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to Limehouse
Nothing says autumn quite like the smell of log fires being burned in the pretty barges that line Regent’s Canal.
We’re obviously not suggesting that you walk the entirety of the canal’s 9-mile route from Little Venice in the west to Limehouse in the east. But if you can walk part of it, the route goes through beautiful Regent’s Park, London Zoo, Camden Town, King’s Cross, Angel, Haggerston, Mile End Park and, finally, Limehouse Basin.
You can swerve off the canal at any point and there are plenty of places to pick up a hot drink on the way.
Walk along a former railway line from Highgate to Stoke Newington
Starting at Priory Gardens near Highgate station, this five-mile route is one of the greenest parts of the Capital Ring walk.
It follows most of the Parkland Walk (London’s longest nature reserve) along a former railway line. After that, the route passes through Finsbury Park, along by the New River – created as a canal four hundred years ago – past Stoke Newington Reservoirs and onto Clissold Park. It finishes at Abney Park Cemetery.