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London’s Best Winter Walks

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With new restrictions in place across the nation it’s tempting to batten down the hatches and hit the couch for a month-long Netflix and Quality Street binge. Alternatively, you could head outdoors for some fresh air and a vitamin D boost, by tackling one of the many walking trails that crisscross and encircle London. From the epic 150-mile London Loop to 2-mile treasure hunts for all the family, here are some ideas to get you out the house.

Walk the Thames Path
Chart the history of London on foot by following the River Thames from the docklands and marshes of East London to the leafy suburbs of the West, right through the heart of the capital, past landmarks including the Houses of Parliament and London Bridge. Get your festive fix by tackling the central section which passes the South Bank’s stunning Winter Light illuminations.


Wander the Wandle Trail
South London’s favourite amble follows a 12-mile route from Croydon to Wandsworth along a meandering waterway which passes through parks, wetlands and a nature reserve. Look out for the art trail featuring hand-carved benches and way markers, and spot the wildlife from the new Beddington Farmlands bird hide. If you get peckish, support the independent business of Merton Abbey Mills buy grabbing a drink and a snack on the hoof.

Linger in the Lee Valley
There are 18 miles of trails to explore in Lee Valley Park along peaceful towpaths once used by horses to haul barges. Centuries of history unfold as you walk, from the historic remains of Waltham Abbey, through the Industrial Revolution and 2012 regeneration to the iconic London Docklands.

Tackle a Treasure Trail
If you’re looking for things to do with children, and the mere mention of a walk sends them scampering back to the Xbox, tempt them outdoors for a Treasure Trail. There are 49 themed routes in London (and hundreds more nationwide) including spy missions, treasure hunts and murder mysteries. For £9.99 you simply download your map and clues and take to the streets to unlock incredible stories and (hopefully!) solve the mystery!

Conquer the London Loop
This is the big one; the one for your 2021 bucket list. The London Loop covers 150 miles around the perimeter of London, divided into 24 sections, taking in the variegated landscape from urban, to residential to semi-rural, with stunning views of the capital from the high points in the South, including Farthing Down and Happy Valley.
For the slightly less intrepid walker, The Capital Ring is the South Circular to The Loop’s M25 – a mere 78 miles in 15 sections, taking in sites including Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, Abney Park Cemetery and Richmond Park.
 

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