diamond geezer

 Saturday, August 02, 2008

  London borough walks

  (on London borough websites)

One of the cheapest ways to spend a summer day in the city is to go for a walk. And London has hundreds of walks to choose from. You'll find details of the capital's six major strategic walks at the Walk London website. But what about other walks, lesser walks, suburban walks, walks on your doorstep? How about one of those for an interesting day out?

So I thought I'd scour the websites of the 33 London boroughs to see what walks they have to recommend. And blimey, there are quite a few really interesting trails to follow, leaflets to download, pdfs to print, all for free. But only in certain boroughs, because a significant number of councils appear to have made little effort to encourage walkers to explore their leafy acres.

Here's my borough by borough London guide to free downloadable walks. Who'll spur you outdoors for a bit of healthy leisure and heritage, and whose website teams need a bit of a kick?

Several interesting downloadable walks (four star boroughs)
» Brent: Willesden, Grand Union, Roe Green, Fryent Country Park
» City: Finsbury Circus, Pool of London, Spitalfields
» Hillingdon: Hillingdon Trail, Celandine route, Willow Tree Wander
» Lambeth: Black History, Brixton to Ruskin Park, Clapham and slavery
» Newham: Green Street, Royal Docks, Stratford, Three Mills (all with podcasts)
» Tower Hamlets: Black history, Wapping & Shadwell, Isle of Dogs, Spitalfields, Jewish heritage, Banglatown, canals
[click the borough, or click the walk]

One or more interesting walks, at least partly downloadable (three star boroughs)
» Barking & Dagenham: Dagenham Village, Ripple Nature Reserve
» Bexley: Cray Riverway, Shuttle Riverway
» Camden: Belsize
» Ealing: Acton & Ealing, Greenford & Northolt & Perivale, Southall
» Haringey: Better Haringey Trail, Highgate Wood, Hampstead Heath
» Havering: Gidea Park, Hornchurch
» Islington: Six trails from the Islington Society, Local history walks
» Kensington & Chelsea: Chelsea walk
» Merton: Beverley Brook Walk, Wandle Trail, Nelson Trail
» Wandsworth: Town centre heritage trail & river walk

There are leaflets about walks, but you have to go somewhere to collect a paper copy (two star boroughs)
Bromley, Harrow, Kingston, Sutton

A page telling you that walking is good for you and (maybe) where you might do it (one star boroughs)
Hounslow, Enfield, Greenwich, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lewisham, Richmond, Southwark, Waltham Forest

Nothing about walks or walking, because these websites are dull joyless places full of dry information about council services (no star boroughs)
Barnet, Croydon, Hackney, Redbridge, Westminster

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