London is one of the world’s greatest cities and a fascinating place to explore. During walks around London, historic landmarks are visible from every bridge crossing and around every street corner. The virtues of the city’s sights, smells, sounds and tastes have been extolled for centuries.
However, there’s more to London than iconic bridges, red buses and big clock towers. In 2019 London became the world’s first National Park City in recognition of its outdoor spaces. There are almost as many trees in the city as there are people, whilst almost half of its area is taken up by green or blue spaces.It is therefore no surprise that there are limitless possibilities for incredible hikes around London. There are open heaths to roam, canalside gems to unearth, wildlife-rich marshes to experience and ancient woodland to explore. For magnificent cityscape vistas there are plenty of vantages to discover, whilst a walk along the Thames rewards with ever-changing views. A heady mixture of ancient history, industrial splendour, modern design and green space awaits you.
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The buzz of the city bubbles over into London’s many parks, making them vibrant places to explore. These are the lungs of the city, where Londoners come to unwind, exercise and socialise away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Its parks offer some of the finest walks around London.
For classic landmarks of regal London, St James’s Park is a pleasant place to stroll, with its lake and majestic pelicans. You can easily rack up the miles in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, both set amongst affluent surroundings and the latter boasting classic city views from Primrose Hill. Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park offer great walking around London’s more bohemian spots.
London is a bustling metropolis that continues to evolve and grow. Its modern skyline expands year-on-year, just as its use of the River Thames develops. Following the river is a superb way to experience and observe the changing face of the city, from the industry of the Docklands to opulent areas such as Chelsea and Fulham.
Many hikes around London seek high viewpoints from which to take in the stupendous urban sprawl of the capital. An island of beautiful countryside that offers sweeping city panoramas, Hampstead Heath and the many trails that criss-cross it are a pleasure to explore. Big skies also await on Blackheath, a large open heathland that connects to beautiful Greenwich Park. One Tree Hill and Observatory Hill both reward you with magnificent views of the Greenwich Peninsula, Canary Wharf and the wider city.
Explore more of England: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.