Discover London on foot
What better way to meet your fitness goals than to soak up London’s legendary culture on foot. We’ve created a tool to inspire you – simply select an area for a list of great local highlights to explore. Whether you’re a long-time Londoner or first-time visitor, Explore your city: London will suggest the best sights and experiences. All you need to do is tie your trainers, plot your route and watch those steps rack up.
For nature lovers, London’s north-west is the ideal area. Nestled between urban hot spots Camden and Marylebone, Regent’s Park is not only a green oasis, complete with cricket pitches and a boating lake, but is also home to ZSL London Zoo. The endlessly curious will enjoy celebrating great minds at the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 237-241 Baker Street (221b was, for years, owned by a bank); the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road, with its displays of unusual medical exhibits; or Belsize Park’s Freud Museum, home to the father of psychoanalysis.
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Stretching right up to Epping Forest, north-east London boasts some of the city’s leafier locations. Pay a visit to Finsbury Park in zone 2, with its tennis courts and outdoor gym, or nip up to Walthamstow’s Lloyd Park to discover the beautiful Grade II-listed William Morris Gallery.
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For historical interest and unparalleled views of the capital’s skyline, you can’t beat north London. Wander up to Hampstead Heath by way of Highgate Cemetery, where Karl Marx is buried, then head to Alexandra Palace for one of its many sporting events – or simply to admire the city below. In fact, there are green spaces aplenty to enjoy in this area: among the best are ‘garden for the gardenless’ Wicklow Park, and the ancient trees of Queen’s Wood.
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For a lazy Saturday, west London couldn’t be better. Enjoy Portobello Road’s unrivalled antiques and collectibles market, set against a backdrop of beautiful multicoloured townhouses, before heading to one of the area’s many parks. Almost half of London is green, believe it or not, and the west has some of the best grassy havens – visit the frolicking deer of Richmond Park; JM Barrie’s Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens; the strutting peacocks in Holland Park; or one of the area’s many hidden garden squares.
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In central London, the choice of activities is virtually endless, with renowned names like the British Museum, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery offering a classic cultural hit. A walk through Covent Garden (taking in the many street artists and boutique shops en route) brings you to the London Transport Museum, where you can see how buses and tubes evolved into the iconic designs of today. The museum’s climb-aboard interactivity makes it perfect for children, too. If the crowds get a little much, slip away to peaceful Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the capital’s largest public square, for a relaxing stroll.
- British Museum
- The National Gallery
- National Portrait Gallery
- London Transport Museum
- Lincoln's Inn Fields
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Embrace proper East End London and explore Bethnal Green, Whitechapel and Mile End. Originally opened as the Bethnal Green Museum in 1872, the V&A Museum of Childhood takes you on a nostalgia trip with its toy exhibitions. Top off your trip with a ramble around Victoria Park’s 200-odd acres of glorious greenery. Another area steeped in history is Spitalfields: worth a wander is Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Christ Church, built between 1714 and 1729; the stalls at Old Spitalfields covered market; and the City Farm, home to much-loved animals such as Bayleaf the Donkey.
- Museum of Childhood
- Victoria Park
- Christ Church Spitalfields
- Old Spitalfields Market
- Spitalfields City Farm
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If exploring museums is your idea of a perfect day, south-west London will be the ultimate treat. Marvel at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at The Natural History Museum or immerse yourself in design at the V&A. There are also some magnificent art galleries to take in – browse the large Turner collection at the Clore, unusual jewellery at the MAGAN or ancient maps and engravings at King’s Court.
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Get to know London better with a trip to the south-east of the city. Learn about life in the trenches at the Imperial War Museum, or head to Greenwich to stand on the meridian line at the Royal Observatory – and enjoy fabulous views of the city from its perch at the top of Greenwich Park. Book lovers are well served here, too: as well as a variety of local libraries, the area is also home to dedicated Poetry, Feminist and BFI collections.
- Imperial War Museum
- The Royal Observatory
- The Poetry Library
- The Feminist Library
- The BFI Reuben Library