Walking in London
Park, heath and waterside walks - 25 walks in London's green spaces
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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.
- 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.
- All of these walks can be undertaken from a base within the Greater London area.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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
The extracts in this book are from Ordnance Survey Explorer maps at 1:25,000 scale. Coupled with the route descriptions, they should keep you on track. London as a whole is covered by sheets 146 and 147, 160 to 162, and 172 to 175.
The OS Landranger series, at 1:50,000 scale, is of less use in London, given how much needs to be packed in. London is covered by just two sheets, 176 and 177.
Street maps of London vary – some give more off-road detail than you might expect, but in general they won’t be using the National Grid that precisely defines start and finish points in this book.
Mapping software allows you to scale Landranger or Explorer maps as you wish and print off specific areas relevant to your walk. Anquet, Quo and Memory Map are three of the best known. All enable maps to be saved to GPS devices, and most to smartphones; ViewRanger is a dedicated app for smartphones.
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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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