Walking in London

Park, heath and waterside walks - 25 walks in London's green spaces

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26 Sep 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm

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A guidebook to 25 walks in London's green spaces and nature reserves, covering both the city centre and Greater London area. Taking in woods and forests, parks and heaths, canals and rivers, the guide includes a wealth of information about some of the species you might encounter as well as the history and conservation of these areas.

Seasons Seasons
Winters are rarely too cold, nor summers too hot. The transitional seasons of spring and autumn bring first a blooming of life and second the transformation of leaf.
Centres Centres
All of these walks can be undertaken from a base within the Greater London area.
Difficulty Difficulty
All of these walks are within the range of most occasional walkers, though some routes can be linked together to give longer days for those who want them. Little specialist equipment is needed beyond comfortable footwear and clothing appropriate to the season.
Must See Must See
Woods and forests, parks and heaths, London's rivers - far more than just the Thames - and canals. Many of the walks pass by some of London's architectural jewels, while others delve so deep into countryside that it's difficult to think you are still in London.
26 Sep 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook presents 25 varied walks exploring London’s green and open spaces. Covering both the city centre and the Greater London area, it takes in royal parks, heaths, forests, canals and rivers, including Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath, the World Heritage site of Kew Gardens and Wimbledon Common. Walks range from 4 to 14 miles and most can be accessed by public transport.

    Alongside detailed route descriptions and OS mapping, the book features practical information on parking, public transport and refreshments. Each walk showcases a particular species of wildlife that you might encounter, and there is fascinating background information the history and conservation of the capital’s wild spaces.

    London is a city of 8 million people and 8 million trees, and its vast open spaces are home to 13,000 species of wildlife. This book is an ideal companion to exploring a greener, more gentle side to the city.

  • Contents

    The geology of London
    London’s open spaces
    When to go
    Safety in London
    Getting around London
    What to take
    Using this guide
    East to the Lea
    Walk 1 Rainham Marshes and Coldharbour Point
    Walk 2 Dagenham’s open spaces
    Walk 3 Epping Forest from Chingford
    Walk 4 Wanstead Flats and Park
    Walk 5 Olympic Park and Greenway
    Walk 6 River Lea
    Lea to Brent
    Walk 7 Enfield Chase
    Walk 8 Regent’s Canal
    Walk 9 New River and Parkland Walk
    Walk 10 Royal Parks
    Walk 11 Hampstead Heath
    Walk 12 Dollis Valley Greenwalk
    Brent to Wandle
    Walk 13 Ruislip Woods
    Walk 14 Yeading Brook
    Walk 15 Crane Park
    Walk 16 Bushy Park and Home Park
    Walk 17 Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park
    Walk 18 Kew and Isleworth
    Walk 19 Wandle Trail
    East of the Wandle
    Walk 20 Happy Valley
    Walk 21 Hills and woods of Croydon
    Walk 22 Sydenham Hill Wood
    Walk 23 Woodlands of south-east London
    Walk 24 Chislehurst
    Walk 25 Downe

    Appendix A Long-distance paths in London
    Appendix B Where to find out more

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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    A comprehensive guide to walking that covers the whole of the London area.

    It's been a while since we had a comprehensive guide to walking that covers the whole of the London area. Peter Aylmer's new guide may be the best since Colin Saunders' London: the definitive walking guide in 2002.

    The 25 walks range widely across the capital, reaching into the Home Counties while not neglecting the many opportunities in the inner city and centre. All are accessible by public transport, most follow manageable terrain, and most are under 10 miles long. They focus on London's green spaces, rivers and canals, and particularly nature reserves-which together, and still to the surprise of many Londoners, account for half the surface area of the metropolis.

    Each walk description features flora and fauna as well as historical and other features to be found along the way. The information has the backing of conservation groups and a historian. All this is beautifully illustrated with photographs by the author and other skilled enthusiasts. The guide is aimed at individuals, families and groups who want to fill perhaps half a day, or the winter daylight hours of a whole day, in the open air. The routes are original, devised by the author, but some give a taste of the long distance footpaths (Thames Path, Lea Valley, London Loop and others) and brief information on these is included. For leaders of what most of us call 'short' walks and belonging to Groups in the London boroughs, Walking in London will be standard reading. It will also appeal to Groups based in Hertfordshire who want to include London in their walks Programmes.

    It should certainly be acquired, read and referred to often by new walk leaders. Its choice of off-the-peg fine walks offers an excellent way to break into leading; it also contains sound practical advice on safety, transport and so on that complements what we are taught about country walking.

    And if any friends or family are thinking even vaguely of taking up walking, make sure Walking in London helps fill their Christmas stockings.

    The book is simply tremendous.

    The book is simply tremendous.  Superb graphics, amazingly easy to read maps, terrific prose that is helpful but not elephantine (at the end of the day, it is a GUIDE to physical exertion, not a novel or series of scientific vignettes), and astonishingly effective illustrations all spark my imagination.  I am now in that happy state where I can realistically envision a number of future visits where my efforts will be devoted to exploring as many of the individual routes suggested in the guidebook as I can compass.

    Sam S.

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Peter Aylmer

Peter Aylmer has climbed many hills and walked many long-distance paths all over Britain, and is equally at home in a tent or bothy in the Scottish Highlands as he is in a nature reserve hidden in some unconsidered London suburb.
Peter still relishes the surprise on people's faces when he tells them that some of his favourite walking is within London and the Home Counties. The secret is knowing where to look. This started early for Peter, visiting his uncle's farm in Essex; later, taking the tube out to Epping Forest after work so that he could walk back home through it. Now, as a walk leader for the Long Distance Walkers Association, he is still developing new routes through both town and country in southern England.

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