London is a great city for walking and walking is a great way of exploring London.
On MY WEBSITE all the walks I have devised and researched (over 100) are written up and instructions and notes can be printed out from www.london-footprints.co.uk/walkslist.htm There are also listings of walk leaflets which are available (mostly free) on www.london-footprints.co.uk/trails.htm There is also a Walks/Trails section on my links page www.london-footprints.co.uk/links.htm Some of the leaflets are available in PDF format. There are an increasing number of audio walks (free & chargeable) which can be downloaded for use on MP3 players etc. which are also listed. On the same page you will find links to some guided walk sites, although there are many more commercial ones. Some one off and regular walks are listed on the walks section of my newsletter page www.london-footprints.co.uk/newsletter.htm
THE RAMBLERS is a charity working for walkers throughout the UK. Membership entitles you to the benefits of led walks, publications etc but there is a great deal of information available on their website, some of it relevant to London. www.ramblers.org.uk Tel: 020 7339 8500.
There are many BOOKS OF WALKS available for purchase. I have a number published by New Holland, also the Discover series by Darrell Spurgeon covering SE London. The Time Out books (2 vols) are collections by various contributors. I would recommend www.amazon.co.uk for buying books online. If you want to browse the following shops have good selections: Museum of London bookshop, Stanfords (12-14 Long Acre). A book you may like to consider purchasing is London the definitive walking guide by Colin Saunders (Cicerone). See also www.london-footprints.co.uk/refbooklist.htm
There are seven routes forming LONDONS STRATEGIC WALKING NETWORK: Capital Ring (the walkers equivalent of North & South Circular), London LOOP (walkers M25), Green Chain (SE London), Jubilee Walkway & Jubilee Greenway (central London), Thames Path and Lee Valley. These are the responsibility of WALK LONDON (funded by TfL) and their website www.walklondon.org.uk has detailed information with the option to download publications. These are also available in libraries and TICs or Tel 0870 240 6094 to request copies by post. There are audio versions of the Capital Ring and London LOOP walks. Walk London also organises Walking Weekends offering free guided walks on the network.
The LONDON WILDLIFE TRUST protects the capitals wildlife and open spaces for the enjoyment of all and would welcome you as a member. However their programme of events and guided walks is open to everyone. It is available online at www.wildlondon.org.uk or pick up a copy at one of their staffed reserves. Similarly the LONDON PARKS & GARDENS TRUST protects and promotes green open spaces. The programme for members includes walks, talks & visits. They have also produced a number of walk leaflets linking parks, gardens and green spaces. Details are on the website www.londongardenstrust.org or request copies by post (SAE required). Two walks can also be downloaded in audio format.
Guided walks are offered in several LONDON AREAS
InMidTown Discover history in Holborn, Bloomsbury & St Giles. Generally on Wednesdays & Fridays 1-1:45pm (free).
See http://www.inholborn.org/consumer/#5 or Tel 020 7078 7077.
Bromley Walks, Talks & Events booklet (small charge for some events) available in borough libraries or Tel 01689 862815. Download from the website http://www.bromley.gov.uk/downloads/463/parks_and_open_spaces_events
Hampstead Heath Hampstead Heath Diary lists council led walks (booking required) and other local walking groups. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/hampstead. Tel 020 7332 3773/3511.
Enfield - The Parks Outreach Team organise free walks, with transport back to start point for linear routes, also regular health walks are listed. www.enfield.gov.uk Tel 202 8441 8272 or 020 8449 2459.
Lambeth Heritage Walks in South London (May to October) organised by member organisations of the Lambeth Local History Forum. Programme from member societies and Lambeth libraries Tel 020 7926 6076.
For other boroughs go to the council website and search walks or contact the parks department.
The ADULT EDUCATION department of your borough may offer London walks either as a course or single events. There will be a charge for these and they can be quite popular.
Check to see if your local park has a FRIENDS GROUP as they may well arrange walks. Friends of Richmond Park offer walks which non-members may attend. www.frp.org.uk/walks Tel 020 8878 5835.
LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETIES often organise walks for members and may publish routes in their area. A number are listed on my links page.
GUIDED WALKS for which there is a charge are provided by Blue Badge Guides, City of London Guides, Greenwich Tour guides etc and a number of commercial organisations. Some are listed on my links page.
MUSEUMS and other venues such as the Museum of London, Museum of London Docklands, Bishopsgate Institute and Womens Library include guided walks in their programme of events. There is usually a charge for these and they need to be booked as numbers are limited. Check out the websites or call in for an events programme.
If you are new to walking there are schemes which
may help. The WALKING FOR HEALTH INITIATIVE is an umbrella
organisation but there are local Walking For Health, Walk Well or
Healthy Walks groups such as WISE (SE London). They offer regular
walks with trained leaders and sometimes publish trails. Check
the website of your local council or ask at libraries, health
centres etc. See also www.whi.org.uk/walkfinder/home
There is also the Walk4Life project http://www.walk4life.info/about
GET WALKING, KEEP WALKING is a promotion by the Ramblers. They run local programmes or you can request a DIY Pack www.getwalking.org.uk Tel 020 7926 8998
Finally if you want a walking route from A to B use WALKIT www.walkit.com. Enter your start and finish points, choose direct or less busy and print out instructions and/or map. There is also an option for a circular route. Select starting point, time and pace for suggestion.
© london-footprints.co.uk 2013