By foot is a great way to discover the real London – as well as getting some outdoor exercise.
There are plenty of options when it comes to taking a walk in the capital – with plenty of self-guided and professionally toured walks on offer.
If you want to go it alone then you can download plenty of routes or pop into a local tourist information office and there will be a wide choice of walking maps to pick-up.
What is so great about London is that its rich history and cultural diversity means it is easier to find a walk that will cover something of interest.
For literature fans than there is a walk to take in various Shakespeare-related sites – you could even combine it with a visit to the world famous Globe theatre as a reward for reaching the end. If you prefer, Dickens than leading expert Dr Tony Williams has produced a great self-guided tour that celebrates the Victorian writer.
History buffs will be able to find plenty of walks that will appeal. Discover Roman London and explain the remains of many Roman landmarks, or find out about the Great Fire of London by tracing the fire’s path of destruction through the City of London.
For anyone who prefers their walks to be related to modern times, then New London Architecture has produced a fab walk that takes in some of the area’s most important and innovative buildings.
Fans of the silver screen could be tempted by walks specifically designed for moviegoers. The City of London has seen a number of films made on its streets and you could discover the filming locations for blockbusters such as James Bond and Harry Potter.
Get outside and get fit
One of the great benefits of London is that there are plenty of open spaces and if the weather is nice then it could be a lovely way to spend the day.
Epping Forest offers more than 20 miles of trails and some 6,000 acres of forest – plenty for even the most dedicated walker! It is London’s largest outdoor space and as well as walking there is lots to do such as cycling to horse riding, angling, football and golf.
If you prefer, there are numerous guided tours covering a whole range of topics and interests. If you want to find out more about the history of London then this could be the perfect option.
The City Highlights tour takes in the top ten sights of the area, including the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. The tour takes place every Wednesday and Sunday at 2pm starting from the City Information Centre, St Paul’s Churchyard EC4M 8BX. It costs £7 and lasts one hour and 45 mins.
Fleet Street is renowned for its newspaper history and taking a guided work of the famous area is one way of discovering more about the rise and fall of the UK press. The Highlife-Lowlife: stories of Fleet Street tour takes place every Tuesday at 2pm and 11am on Thursdays, with the meeting point at the City Information Centre, St Paul’s Churchyard EC4M 8BX. The cost is £7 and takes just under an hour.
Something a little darker?
For those looking to discover the darker and seedy underbelly of London then the Jack the Ripper walking tour is a must. Prices start from £10 per ticket and the walk is best taken during cold winter nights if you are looking for the full and scary effect.
The tour focuses on one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries – the Whitechapel murders. Anyone joining the walk will be able to explore Jack the Ripper’s East London and learn more about the serial killer’s crimes.
Jack the Ripper spent 1888 murdering women who worked as prostitutes, but despite a lot of media coverage at the time, the criminal was never brought to justice.
For those brave enough or you fancy themselves as amateur detectives, the Jack the Ripper Walk starts every night, apart from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, at 7.30pm
from Tower Hill London Underground station.
The sweet option
For something altogether more appealing and less harmful, although may be not to the waistline, the Chocolate Ecstasy walking tour may fit the bill.
Starting with a mug of hot chocolate, the tour takes in some of the capital’s top chocolate shops and even offers discounts and special deals for those wanting to buy a few treats.
Tours are limited to just 12 people and cost from £40 per person for a three-hour tour of Mayfair’s most tempting chocolate boutiques.
Whatever you fancy, it is clear that London has a walk that will offer a great way to discover the sights and sounds of the UK capital city – just make sure you wear sensible shoes and bring an umbrella if the weather looks unsettled.