When visiting London, the chances are you’ll do a lot of walking so bring some very comfy shoes. Whilst the underground system is the fastest way to get around, actually perambulating across the city is the very best way to ensure you see as much as possible.
Luckily The Melita Hotel, as well as being a fantastic base for London public transport, being so close to Victoria Station as it is, is also a great hub for some of London’s best walks. Here’s a selection of some you can try.
Albert Bridge to Hampton Court – The North Bank
Now just to be clear, this walk is twenty-three miles long and we are in no way suggesting that you do all of it in one go! You’ll enjoy every step if you do though.
The Albert Bridge itself is just over a ten minute walk from The Melita Hotel and is worth a look in itself. It uniquely incorporates three different bridge designs. It was originally designed as a cable-stayed bridge in 1873, this was structurally unsound so elements of a suspension bridge were incorporated in 1884. In 1973 two concrete piers were added in the middle, transforming it into a simple beam bridge. Trust me, if you have a bridge enthusiast with you, they’ll love it!
The bridge also has the only surviving bridge tollbooths in London and goes all wobbly when lots of people are on it, seriously! There’s even a sign at each end warning soldiers not to keep in step when they cross it together…
Once you’ve finished with the bridge and set off on your walk you’ll find it takes in some North Bank attractions that are well worth a peek. The botanical gardens at Kew, the Petersham Meadow view, Syon Park, before reaching the beautifully landscaped gardens at Hampton Court Palace.
If you don’t fancy the full twenty-three miles, this one may well be worth breaking up into pieces.
St James’s Park
If you’re looking for a quiet walk then keep scrolling, because this isn’t it. St James’s Park is one of the busiest of London’s parks, but it is within strolling distance of the Melita.
The park is teeming with wildlife which, thanks to the constant throng of pedestrians, is completely comfortable with a human presence. If you’re patient, you can feed a squirrel right from your hand. There’s also the famous Pelicans to see here too, which have been a feature since a colony was gifted to Charles II in 1664.
You can extend your walks to other London parks if you fancy being out for longer. Kensington Gardens, Green Park and Hyde Park are virtually all in a rather handy line.
This is a great walk to get some amazing photos of some of London’s most prominent landmarks: Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, London Eye and The Shard are all set in picture perfect frames.
The South Bank Walk
We’ve had a walk along the North Bank, it would of course be rude to ignore the South Bank of the Thames. The South Bank walk is a very popular one as it crams so much into such a small space. You may be walking along the South Bank but your focus will definitely be on the North as this is the best place to see some of London’s best features.
The walk goes from Tate Modern to Jubilee Gardens and affords very special views of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster as well as Tower Bridge.
Victorian lamp-posts light your way, this is a walk that offers very different but equally memorable experiences depending whether you choose to take it day or night.
The Jubilee Greenway
Walking from Little Venice to Camden along the Regent’s Canal is certainly one of the most picturesque walks in London.
It’s a definite ‘get away from the hustle and bustle’ walk and if it’s a sunny day the only traffic you’ll see are the boats and barges moving slowly across the water beside you. You’ll feel like you’re in the British countryside as opposed to a major capital city.
Feeling peckish? Camden is your perfect destination. There’s nothing like a dazzling array of street food to tempt you after a two mile walk.
London Wall Walk
London has been a big deal since Roman times. Whereas London is now a sprawling 611 square miles of 21st century city, back in 200AD it was a little bit smaller and a little bit easier to define. That was because it was surrounded by a massive wall.
The wall stretched around the original and ancient City of London and today there are still some surviving fragments. Starting at a piece located adjacent to the Tower of London, this walk will take you through the modern City of London, taking in plenty of surviving wall pieces as well as monuments and signs to commemorate where other significant pieces one stood.
Samuel Pepys’s London
Samuel Pepys was a British politician and naval administrator, but made his name as one of the most famous London diarists of his time. Indeed, if it wasn’t for Pepys our knowledge on major events such as the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague of London and the Second Dutch War would be very limited.
This is more of a ‘figure it out for yourself’ walk so be prepared to program your phones or step into your maps as you go along.
Seething Lane is where Pepys lived and was buried, so this would be a good place to start the walk. Victoria station is just a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel and Seething Lane is very close to Tower Hill Tube, which is a few minutes away on the District Line.
From Seething Lane, take a walk over to the Tower of London. This is the spot from where Pepys watched and wrote about the Great Fire of London. From there, head to Pudding Lane and The Monument, which is where the fire started as well as being home to the Sir Christopher Wren built memorial to it.
Walk past St Paul’s Cathedral to Fleet Street. This street used to be eponymous with British newspaper publishing but Samuel Pepys was also born here. A plaque in Salisbury Court remembers this fact.
These are just a few examples of some of the walks that can be had around the city. There are walks by design but the Samuel Pepys Walk is a great example of a walk that can just be made up as you go along, taking in sights along the way that might not appear in any guidebook.
The best thing about walking around London? Knowing you have a comfy bed in a quiet street waiting for you at the end of the day, at the Melita Hotel.