Maybe it’s the tube strike, perhaps it is because the weather is almost certainly warming up, but we’re enjoying seeing London on foot at the moment. If you’re visiting the capital and want to explore the sites while out in the fresh air here is our guide to the top walks in London. You might be staying at one of Clarendon’s serviced apartments for an extended stay or you’re relocating to the capital permanently; this is how to explore its best spaces and landmarks.
1. London’s Gardens – The City
If you’re staying at one of Clarendon’s serviced apartments in the City this is the ideal walk for an evening or weekend. The London Parks and Gardens Trust is one of the capital’s unsung heroes and this walk takes you through the Square Miles magical green spaces. It starts and finishes at St Paul’s Tube Station and circles the north part of the City of London focusing on the tony and charming gardens you might not otherwise notice. You’ll see St Mary Aldermanbury with a peaceful lawn at its nave, the Barbican Estate Lakeside Gardens, St Giles Cripplegate – a slice of English perpendicular garden design surrounding by seventies brutalist architecture – and David Hick’s 1995 knot garden on the edge of salters’ Hall. There are famous parks with stories behind them offering a piece of London history, like Postman’s park which is where Posties from St Martin’s le Grand would spend their lunch breaks and is also home to the GF Watts London memorial.
2. James Bond London walks
The Spycatcher’s walking tour of London is a must-see for James Bond fans. Stops include the wartime offices of MI6, Ian Fleming’s birthplace in Green Street, Mayfair as well as locations from each of the 007 movies. The walking tour takes place each Saturday from 2.30pm and starts at Piccadilly Circus. It’s perfect if you’re staying at one of Clarendon’s West End serviced apartments.
3. The Thames Path
The fact that it extends from the Thames barrier to the river’s source in the Cotswolds means it is unlikely you would be able to conquer the walk all in one go. However there are plenty of manageable sections of the walk for you to complete in bite size chunks. The six miles from Albert bridge to Tower bridge is an fantastic opportunity to take in some of the capital’s landmarks, from the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s cathedral, Tate Modern and the Shakespeare’s Globe. The Swan Restaurant is the perfect stop off for a drink. It’s just five miles from Tower Bridge to Greenwich which stops off at Canary Wharf and the Cutty Sark. The best walk if you’re staying at one of Clarendon’s serviced apartments in Canary Wharf or The City.
4. London’s knowledge bank
This is a great walk if you’re staying with Clarendon in Holborn. The capital is home to some of the most historic and globally well respected centres of learning. This walk starts and finishes at King’s College on Chancery lane and takes you through London’s intellectual heartland. Pass the Founding Museum for abandoned children at Coram’s Field, the British Library and Museum, the John Soane Museum and home to the capital’s legal profession, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. There are constant reminders of Dickens, the law and the Bloomsbury Group. Expect handsome townhouses with elegant wrought iron detailing and pretty fanlights. There are some lovely restaurants and bars to stop off at on the way for refreshment. The directions are good but you might find you need more storytelling so buy a Jubilee walkway book or have your smartphone and Wikipedia handy.
5. Samuel Pepys’ London walk
If you’re staying at one of Clarendon’s serviced apartments in the City then this is an ideal walk to get to know the neighbourhood a little better. Many would say that no one knew London quite as well as the legendary diarist Samuel Pepys. This is a DIY linear walk where all you’ll need is your London A-Z. Begin at Seething Lane where Pepys lived and is buried nearby at St Olave’s Church. Then walk south to the Tower of London where he watched the fire of London in 1666. From there turn west to Pudding Lane where the Great Fire began. Continue past St Paul’s to Fleet Street and see the plaque that marks Pepys’ place of birth at Salisbury Court. Bring a copy of Samuel Pepys’ Diary or download an audio book to follow in your headphones as you walk.
The best way to see London is by foot as you get all the sights, sounds and smells. Ok so the weather might not be great right now but spring is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to see the city. Clarendon has serviced apartments across London in the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and South West London close to each of these walks.