Location: London National Park City* (London becomes NPC in July 2019) Travel Dates: 18.06 – 25.06
Walking distance: ~120 km/75 miles
Looking back to this week in London I covered around 120 km of streets and paths (140 km according to my walking app and 100 km according Google maps). Overall I visited approximately 36 parks and green spaces, walked by Thames and Regent’s Canal, passed many green squares and gardens and saw large variety of nature and wildlife.
This week helped me to really appreciate the variety of London’s green spaces and accessibility to outdoors and wildlife as well as understand the challenges of nature walking in city environment. It also provided valuable research for my walking maps.
I also met many interesting and creative people…. thank you all for inspiration!
Day 1 – Central London/Thames Path (North Bank) (21 km)
AM/noon – Brompton Cemetery and Barbican Estate
PM – From Charterhouse Square to Somerset House
Day 2 – Central London/South Bank (20 km)
AM – Kensington/Hammersmith
PM – From Waterloo to Barbican
Day 3 – North London (32 km)
From Golders Hill Park to Canary Wharf
From here I left the path and continued in Hackney Downs
Day 4 – Central/Royal London (21 km)
From Victoria Tower Gardens to Primrose Hill
Day 5 – South London (27 km)
From Wandsworth Park to Bushy Park
Day 6 – Central London/South Bank (15 km)
From Tower Bridge to Waterloo
Conclusion: My walking week in London proves London is great destination for walkers, who appreciate the variety and culture of the city, but still want to see nature close by. London has many species of wildlife and provides unique environment for wildlife spotting. However navigating in urban environment can be stressful at times and the routes are not always straightforward. Large parks have plenty of space to enjoy nature, but the main paths are often crowded and traffic can be heard nearly everywhere. I loved to see few smaller squares and parks in city centre opening up for public in recent years. I sometimes felt unwelcomed outside city centre, yet again few people stopped to help me. Some paths lacked facilities such as fresh drinking water or toilets. If not to account these few issues, London’s urban forrest is very special city environment and I hope more people will choose London as nature walking destination.
Next: I would explore certain area, instead of taking linear path. London has lot of cultural variety and North feels completely different than South or Docklands. I would love to take time discovering different areas in depth as each area is unique.