Do you want to visit the UK to relish natural sights such as lakes, rivers, canals and parks? Well, you might be glad to know that you can do all that without leaving the British Capital. Believe it or not, London has many hidden river and canal walks that allow you to relish the beauty of the City without having to content with masses of tourists.
So, whether you want to learn, discover, sightsee or just go for a casual stroll, make sure these river and canal walks are on your bucket list.
Fancy a bit of boat watching while you enjoy an afternoon stroll? Head to Camden Locks, where you can also see old canal buildings, Pirate Castle and stunning waterway views. If you’re feeling a little parched, grab a pint in true British style. You’ll find plenty of quaint pubs, wine bars and even nightclubs in the area. It’s also home to one of London’s largest craft markets. Combine river walks, pub grub, traditional ales and shopping into one adventure by visiting Camden Locks.
Little Venice is an oasis where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the City without having to leave it. Despite being close to Paddington Station and many busy roads, Little Venice is scenic and quiet. And its canal banks are lined with stunning Victorian houses.
You can walk from Little Venice to Camden Locks in under an hour. If you want to see the sights of two of London’s most beautiful riverside locations in one day, take a stroll from Little Venice to Camden Locks, during which you’ll pass Primrose Hill, London Zoo and Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens.
Regent’s Canal is situated in between the railway stations of King’s Cross and St. Pancras. But while both stations can be nightmarishly busy, the walk along the canal offers a spot of serenity. On your journey, don’t forget to check out Central St. Martins, which has been the training ground for some of the world’s most esteemed fashion designers. Visit the London Canal Museum to learn about the residents that once resided in canal boats.
South Bank Stroll
South Bank at sunset transforms into a magical place, when Victorian lampposts illuminate the walkways by the Thames. And, when the sun goes down, the area becomes quiet, giving you the chance to admire architectural marvels like the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben without having to jostle. We recommend starting at the Tate Modern and following the river along to the Jubilee Gardens.
Morden Hall was a private country estate from 1770 until 1941, when it was handed over to the National Trust. In the park, you can watch out for wildlife ranging from herons to cormorants. You can also walk along the River Wandle, which meanders through this whopping 125-acre estate.
Popular activities here include bird watching, leisurely strolls and picnics, but there’s also plenty of stunning architectural gems and over 2,000 roses to admire.
St James’s Park
St James’s Park is London’s oldest Royal Park, just a short walk from Westminster, Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace (which are all worth a visit). Admittedly, this isn’t the place to see canals or rivers. But it’s still one of the best places for a waterside stroll thanks to its stunning lake. Just like Morden Hall, there’s plenty of wildlife to see at St James’s. Don’t forget to check out the iconic 20-foot-tall Tiffany Fountain.
To do some more exploring of London on foot, make sure to check out our fascinating walking tours of London. There’s something there for everyone.