Find yourself in London wanting to explore the city’s hidden nooks and crannies. Driving and cycling around the city of London may not give you small glimpses into what makes London truly unique. Whereas with walking, you don’t have to worry about whether there is parking or not in front of that small antique shop that you may or may not very well be interested in.
Your tourist bubble inevitably pops as you walk on the streets of London’s welcoming a world of friendliness, English Breakfast teas, and corgis, forming the rhythms of each step through the 1,976-year-old city. So, let’s explore Notting Hill, Portobello, the Old Curiosity Shop, St Paul’s Cathedral and many, many more!
1. Notting Hill & Portobello Road Walk
This is an easy-going 8km walk taking you from Notting Hill Gate underground station to Westbourne Park underground station (or vice versa) via the famous Portobello Road. As you walk through the garden squares and mews of Notting Hill, soaking in the atmosphere, savouring an English muffin, and smelling the royal air, appreciate the British culture that bursts from the sidewalks, and make sure to remark on the weather (very British).
This trail takes about 2 hours to complete, depending on how many stops you make along the way. Ultimately, you will pass terrace houses, Saint James’ church, and the historic Bottle Kiln. Plus, with this walking route in London, you get to walk through the picturesque neighbourhood of Pottery Lane! So put on your most comfortable walking shoes and get going for some urban exploring.
2. London Holland Park & Kensington Walk
From High Street Kensington underground station to Notting Hill Gate underground station via Holland Park, this delightful 7km walk inspires all those who choose to walk it. This route is for the slow travellers out there, so take your time with this one.
Appreciate the architecture and greenery bursting from every nook and cranny within the urban sphere. The walk departs from High Street Kensington underground station. Here you can marvel at Kensington’s affluence, such as the garden squares like Edwardes Square, most of Holland Park, Wycombe Square, and finally; the Regency architecture.
Make sure to appreciate the 151-year-old, neo-Gothic St Mary Abbots church on High Street. If you’re on time, you can even hear the church’s 10 bells chiming on Sunday morning between 8:45 am to 9:30 am. This route has so much character that it can fill your Instagram feed to the brim! Check out the full walking route in London here from Walk Run Cycle for a walkabout that will have you feeling inspired.
3. London Fleet Street Walk
Finally, we get to the first circular route on the list. Be prepared for 7km of pure history and bliss. On this route you come across the famous Inns of Court, the acclaimed Temple Church, The Old Bailey, St Paul’s Cathedral, secluded historical courtyards and finally, Dickens’ infamous Old Curiosity Shop! This route departs from the Temple Underground Station on Temple Place.
As you start, you can also find the 18th-century Somerset House to your west. Furthermore, if you choose to walk this route during winter, be sure to pack your ice skates for some fun at the Somerset House’s ice rink! Plus, you will be passing the Victoria Embankment Gardens to your right, with beautiful architecture and sprawling moss-covered trees.
But later on the route you also pass St Clemens Danes Church with one of the best church organs in London as well as a maintained set of working bells that chime throughout the day. Eventually, you reach the historic Clare Market that boasts the Old Curiosity Shop, immortalised by Charles Dickens! There are many more historical sights to see on this walking route in London. Alas, for more in-depth information about this route, click here to go to Walk Run Cycle’s website for an awesome day on the streets.
If you enjoy this article, be sure to read about routes for running in Birmingham.
Curious About London?
Whether you’re a local or a tourist in London, trying one of these curated walking routes from Walk Run Cycle for the ultimate sightseeing experience will not go unpunished. When it comes to navigating London, it could be a daunting experience, not to mention trying to explore the city when you don’t even know where to start.
However, with these curated routes you are guaranteed to find something curious and worthwhile, leaving you with a smidge – no, more like a splash, of appreciation for London, how it came to be, and what it is today.