diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 07, 2024

London's waymarked walks

These, I hope, are all the waymarked walks in London.
(i.e. they have signs showing you the way to go)

All walks are clickable.
(n.b. fabulous Londonwide map here)

The Premier League
(i.e. important enough to be listed on the TfL website)

Capital Ring: 75 miles, 15 sections   [blogged✔]
A circular route approximately 4–8 miles from Charing Cross, starting and finishing at Woolwich. The quintessential London hike, first waymarked in 2005. Full directions courtesy of the Inner London Ramblers.

London Loop: 150 miles, 24 sections   [blogged✔]
A larger more rural circuit, often hugging the Greater London boundary, starting at Erith and finishing in Purfleet. Opened sequentially between 1996 and 2001. Full directions courtesy of the Inner London Ramblers.

Thames Path: 29 miles   [blogged✘]
Officially starts at the Thames Barrier and goes all the way to the source in Gloucestershire. The London section is special because it (generally) exists along both sides of the river. Regularly walked by people who don't realise they're walking it.

Lea Valley Path: 17 miles, 6 sections   [blogged✔]
Officially starts near Luton, entering London at the M25. Simple riverside walking. Quite a lot of reservoirs and pylons. Ends at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Jubilee Walkway: 15 miles, 5 loops   [blogged✘]
The original waymarked walk, conjured up for the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and opened by the Queen. Its five bespoke loops link multiple central London sights and attractions. No walking boots required.

Jubilee Greenway: 37 miles, 10 sections   [blogged✔]
A 2012 invention, hence links lots of Olympic venues. A Diamond Jubilee commemoration, hence 60km long. Starts at Buckingham Palace. Spends a lot of time on the Regent's Canal, Greenway and Thames Path. Not especially original and mostly overlooked.

Green Chain: 50 miles, 12 sections   [blogged✔]
A locally-concocted web of trails across southeast London, impossible to walk sequentially but perfect for prolonged exploration. 11 sections are signed (the 12th never quite was). Ever-surprising. Full directions courtesy of the Inner London Ramblers.

Green Link Walk: 15 miles, 4 sections   [blogged✔]
New this year. A fully-accessible urban trail on an unlikely trajectory from Epping Forest to Peckham via St Paul's. I've already been back and walked some of it twice. Full directions courtesy of the Inner London Ramblers.

River walks
(starting in north London and going clockwise)

Dollis Valley Greenwalk: 10 miles   [blogged✔]
Starts near the A1 and ends near the North Circular, but the intervening riverside stroll is much better than it sounds. Essentially a grand tour of the borough of Barnet. Mostly all-weather.

Pymmes Brook Trail: 13 miles   [blogged✔]
Crosses Enfield from Hadley Green to Tottenham Hale, although the river mostly disappears from view in the second half.

New River Path: 28 miles   [blogged✔]
From Hertford to the Angel Islington alongside a 400 year-old manmade river which still supplies the capital with water. The London bit starts at the M25. Follows contours so often a bit quirky.

Roding Valley Way Path: 6 miles   [blogged✔]
Tracks the M11 and the North Circular from Woodford to Manor Park. Should go further but nobody's ever cleared the Ilford→Barking stretch. Rarely glamorous.

Shuttle Riverway: 5 miles   [blogged✔]
From Avery Park in Greenwich to Hall Place Gardens in Bexley following a tributary of the Cray. Gets pleasantly minor in places.

Waterlink Way: 8 miles   [blogged✔]
Follows the Pool River and the River Ravensbourne to the Thames, specifically from Sydenham to the Cutty Sark. Also cyclable. A borough of Lewisham production.

Wandle Trail: 11 miles   [blogged✔]
A well-established walk from Croydon/Waddon/Carshalton/wherever to Wandsworth. Follows one of London's first industrialised rivers. Intermittently sylvan.

Beverley Brook Walk: 7 miles   [blogged✔]
Starts in New Malden, fringes Wimbledon Common, skirts Richmond Park, ends at Putney Embankment. You might see deer. You might get muddy.

Colne Valley Trail: 20 miles   [blogged✘]
A greeny-blue trek from Rickmansworth to Staines via Uxbridge, much of it along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal. London Loop sections 11 and 12 cover a fair chunk.

Celandine Route: 12 miles   [blogged✔]
Follows the River Pinn from Harrow Weald to Cowley. Unsurprisingly passes through Pinner. The London borough of Hillingdon delivers very good long walks...

Willow Tree Wander: 5 miles   [blogged✘]
Follows the Yeading Brook from North Harrow to Ickenham. A properly offbeat route which I can't believe I haven't blogged yet. Follow the catkins.

The start of something bigger

England Coast Path: 2700 miles   [blogged✔]
It's not yet complete all the way round the coast but Woolwich to Erith is signed with acorns throughout. The Isle of Grain is 49 miles away if you're up for it.

Vanguard Way: 66 miles   [blogged✘]
An impressively non-urban downland/wealdland trail, roughly due south from Croydon to Newhaven. Marvellously well described. The first section to Chelsham Common is 7 miles. I must do this one day.

Other waymarked walks

» Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk (7 miles): Figure-of-eight loop round four Royal Parks. Hugely accessible.
» Hillingdon Trail (20 miles): Top to bottom across the borough, often impressively remote. On my 'I really should walk this' list.
» Parkland Walk (3 miles): Former railway trackbed from Alexandra Palace to Finsbury Park, Mostly covered by Capital Ring section 12.
» Tamsin Trail (7 miles): A circuit around the edge of Richmond Park. Bike-friendly. Deer-adjacent.
» Bromley circular walks: 14 rural loops that are as get-away-from-it-all as London gets. Properly waymarked and perfectly described, thanks to a borough that still cares about rambling.
» North Downs Link (15 miles): Connects the Thames Path at Kingston to the North Downs Way at Box Hill. Within London as far as Chessington.
» That waymarked walk I've missed:

(I think I've walked 20 of these, well done me)

If it's not waymarked it's not in the list
If it's short and local it's not in the list
If it's not in London it's not in the list.

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