Best Places for a Walk in London : 9 Local Favourites

By on March 7, 2019 in Budget Travel Ideas, Europe, Hiking, UK with 2 Comments

Best Places for a Walk in London

No denying London is one of my fav cities.

It helps that I lived there for 3 years of course, but honestly, I think I’ve fallen more in love with this city now that I don’t live there and I get to visit like a tourist as well as catch up with great friends – the perfect combination!

And while there’s a stack of free museums, exciting galleries, countless cute cafes, pubs, clubs, bars, great shopping, exhibitions, famous landmarks and iconic structures, it’s perhaps the green spaces of London that I love just as much.

This fact has been reinforced to me especially after I lived in Beirut for a few months – an amazing city full of life and vibrancy and excitement, but which sadly lacked almost any free, community outdoor, green spaces.

London on the other hand is awash with them and most provide the perfect anecdote to the city madness –  a precious chance for space, peace and quiet.

And I’m not talking about the big players here we all know and love (like Hyde Park or Greenwich Park), I’m talking about the local favourites most tourists never get to discover.

So despite the weather of this city, which doesn’t ostensibly lend itself to a good walk; when you’re in England you need to adopt the English state of mind – that whether it’s sunny or not, today is a perfect day for a stroll!

So here they are, 9 local favs when it comes to the best places for a walk in London.


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#1 Finsbury Park

UK, London, Finsbury Park

Up in north London, Finsbury Park is definitely one of the fav places locals love to go for a stroll in this city.

Well connected by public transport, some of my good friends used to live in this area and we always loved taking a walk in the huge, green space on their doorstep – especially on a cold frosty autumnal morning, when the picturesque lines of trees perfectly frame the sloping pathways and the views beyond.

With a café, children’s play area and planted gardens, Finsbury Park offers something for everyone.

Best Transport Stops: Finsbury Park, Manor House or Harringay Green Lanes

 

#2 Victoria Park

UK, London, Victoria Park

Moving over to east London, Victoria Park remains a favourite of the young and hip in London, probably because of its location  in the borough of Hackney.

Actually the park also spans the borough of Tower Hamlets too, but either way, it’s trendy east London and the clientele in the fun pubs on the park’s outskirts are testimony to this!

Inside, Victoria Park is huge with walking pathways, cafes, cycling tracks, decorative gardens, some wilder areas and even tennis courts.

It offers a lot of entertainment too, especially as part of its festival programme and is undoubtedly one of my favourite places for a stroll in London.

Best Transport Stops: Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath or Hackney Wick

 

#3 Regents Canal

UK, London, Regents Canal

And coming in at number 3 on this list of the best places in London for a stroll is a walkway that leads directly into a part of Victoria Park… if you want it to!

Yes, Regents Canal is long and huge, meaning you can really enjoy as much or as little of this riverside stretch as you want.

Offering some real urban feels, with graffiti, disused industrial buildings and brick tunnels a frequent sight, this is nevertheless a great place for a stroll because it allows you to see a different side to things.

There’s also some nice houseboats to check out as you go!

Just make sure you watch out for the bikes and listen out for their bells!

Best Transport Stops: Haggerston, Angel, Cambridge Heath or Mile End

 

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#4 Walthamstow Wetlands

UK, London, Walthamstow Wetlands

Errr hello did you know about Walthamstow Wetlands?

Nope, me neither!

Until I was back in London this Christmas however and met a Vipassana friend there and wow, what a surprise!

The massive public open space only opened in 2017 and offers a conservation area for the wetlands and their inhabitants just a stone’s throw from Central London – gosh this is an epic city!

With some historic buildings, such as the Engine House, now housing a lovely café and gift shop, you can stroll the expansive paths of this wetland to spot birds and take in the unbelievable sense of solitude.

Visiting at sunset time is particularly spectacular, with an elevated position meaning the reflection of London’s skyline is splashed in golden colours on the multiple reflections of the wetland pools.

Best Transport Stop: Tottenham Hale

 

#5 Hampstead Heath

UK, London, Hampstead Heath

Another elevated spot great for a London stroll and adored by locals is Hampstead Heath in the borough of Camden in north London.

With a real sense of community focused around this wild and wonderful open space, the Heath boasts a weekly Farmers Market, Lido and, who could forget, the wonderful public bathing ponds.

Climb to the top of the hill for a wonderful lookout over London that stretches all the way to the Southbank, or head on to one of the great surrounding areas like Belsize Park for independent shops, character-filled pubs and cute cafes.

Best Transport Stops: Gospel Oak or Hampstead

 

#6 Alexandra Palace

UK, London, Ally Pally View

And sticking with the north London vibe, there’s no question Alexandra Palace deserves a mention on this list of 9 local favourite places for a stroll in London.

Ally Pally, as it’s affectionately known, isn’t brilliantly connected in terms of public transport, but it’s well worth the hike to get here for the awesome exhibition / performance space, the palace’s historical story and the great surrounding park that is perfect for a good breath of fresh air.

Best Transport Stops: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green

 

BEST BUDGET TIPS FOR LONDON VISITORS

Stay: Premier Inn and Travelodge offer excellent budget hotel accommodation within London and regularly run special deals. Otherwise, when it comes to hostel accommodation, you can’t go wrong with the amazingly named Barmy Badger Backpackers!

Transport: Getting to London from elsewhere in UK is cheapest via the Megabus. Otherwise, budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair offer cheap European air connections. Look for flights to cheap London airports such as Luton or Stanstead and then use public transport to get to the city centre.

Eat: Buy cheap snacks at supermarkets such as Sainburys for lunch or peruse the local markets at places like Brixton or Dalston. For dinner head to Brick Lane for delicious, cheap Indian food or to Kingsland Road for well-priced and excellent Vietnamese fare.

Attractions: If you want to bucket list a lot of stuff in London in a short amount of time, then a great money-saving option is to invest in a London Pass. This offers discounted entry at stacks of attractions round the city as well as fast track entry!

 

#7 Tooting Common

Well it’s about time we got down to south London and here we are, in at number 7, it’s Tooting Common.

My brother actually lives in Tooting, so I’ve spent many a night on a sofa in this area and know for a fact that the Common in this part of London is definitely a local favourite spot for a walk, a dog stroll, kicking a ball, swinging a racket or generally lying around with a picnic.

There’s also a Lido within the park and a lake!

Tooting. Who knew?

Best Transport Stops: Tooting Bec or Streatham

 

#8 Blackheath Common

UK, London, Blackheath Common

And keeping on with the south London vibes, next on my list of the best places locals in this city head for a stroll is Blackheath Common.

A very well-heeled area in southeast London, Blackheath feels more like a village and the common, which spreads between Montpelier Row and Tranquil Vale, has a lovely local community feel to it, with people of all ages out enjoying the views as well as the shops and cafes around.

There’s also an amazing firework display here every Bonfire Night in November, which you should def check out if your visit coincides with it.

Best Transport Stop: Blackheath

 

#9 London Fields

UK, London, London Fields Cafe

And finally, back over to east London, the last entry on my list of the top London stroll spots is London Fields in Hackney.

This isn’t a large place for a wander, but it is an interesting one with lots creatives living around here.

As such, it’s a really fun area, with nearby Broadway Market a must see for its hipster vibes, beautiful florists and delicious cafés, restaurants and delis.

Oyster and champagne on the pavement anyone?

Best Transport Stops: London Fields or Cambridge Heath

 

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So there you have it, my list of the 9 favourite places locals in London love to head out for a some fresh air and a stroll… whatever the weather!

Have you visited any of these spots?

Which was your favourite?

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About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. George says:

    Sunny London can be such a paradise for walking and wandering. I remember a very warm July there and Victoria Park was marvelous. Thanks for bringing back pleasant memories!

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