Explore London

Fancy a gander? The team’s favourite London walks

“I am just going outside and may be some time.” Over 100 years after R.F Scott’s fateful expedition to the South Pole, it may seem in poor taste to make reference to those explorers when thinking about an afternoon stroll along the Thames. But in this case it couldn’t be more apt: London has some beautiful routes where you can escape the city, deadlines, Monday mornings; enjoy the great outdoors for a while.

Regents Canal: Camden Lock to Little Venice.

Matthew Gardiner, Director of Acquisition Marketing

(About 2.5 Miles) Packed with interest; an attractive route with captivating changes of tone from one bridge to the next – it’s the sudden contrasts that makes this my favourite London walk. That and the sense that you’re in some hidden green corridor as you sneak along the canal.

Setting off from world-famous Camden Town; head towards the very visible Pirate Castle. The Regent’s Canal tow path will take you through an assortment of areas. After the Feng Shang Princess, a quirky floating Chinese restaurant, you will soon find yourself doing a second take as you pass London Zoo and have exotic animals scurry past. Originally Regents’ Canal was designed to run through Regent’s Park but the refined residents of the area didn’t want canal men in their space. Post London Zoo you’re presented with the grandest of Nash Regency houses with immaculately manicured gardens that stretch to the water. Then immediately, it’s a council estate with high walls and graffiti – but that’s London.

Next you’re into stretches of moored, much loved, flower-adorned house boats. Keep following that canal all the way into Little Venice which is essentially an attractive triangle of water where one arm ends in the redeveloped Paddington Basin and the other corner comes in from the North. Arriving in this slightly-off-the-tourist-trail destination, why not tuck into the British tradition of scones and afternoon tea at the Waterside Cafe canal boat. Or if you’re more in the mood for a beer, there are a number of good pubs looking onto the canal.

If you’re looking for a beautiful home to stay in near Little Venice my recommendation would be Anni’s three-bedroom home near Maida Vale station.

Greenwich: Park or river walk?

Stefano Ciurlia, Marketing Intern

(About 4 miles) Greenwich is really well connected by conventional means of transport, but the nicest way to explore the area in my opinion is by walking. Personally I go there any time I need to unplug from the routine because the landscape has a mix that makes me feel very well and free.

I usually start walking from the Cutty Sark towards the park. The streets there are really characteristic with their own style. In a certain way it seems like walking through an actual maritime area and it is charming.

At the park I love walking up the hill to the observatory from which extends a superb view of London. The paths that lead there are framed by typical hilly vegetation with numerous bushes and blackberry plants and sometimes you can also sight a few squirrels. After a while and after enjoying the fresh air on the skin, I advise to walk down the slope going back to the Cutty Sark’s small wharf where the second part of my walk usually starts.

Leaving behind the imperial clipper going towards the East along the river, it is possible to find a couple of traditional British pubs located on the riverbank. My favourite one is called “The Cutty Sark” with chairs and tables outside where you can chill out after the walk or, if you prefer, you can just get an ale and head to one of the terraces on the Thames, sitting and drinking under one of the trees.

All of this will take around a couple of hours; it is the moment to go back! Will you take the DLR to have a panoramic view over the Dockland or will you prefer a lovely Thames boat-trip on your way back?

Thames Path: Putney to Richmond

Merilee Karr, Founder and CEO

(About 8 Miles) It’s incredible to think you are in one of the world’s major global cities when you go along the Thames between Putney and Richmond. It’s such a beautiful escape and you can watch the rowing, pass the Barnes Wetlands and simply feel like you are wandering in nature. And pop in to some amazing pubs along the river along the way – or as a treat at the end!

Starting at Putney Bridge, you pass all the rowing clubs (this is actually the start of the Oxford-Cambridge Boat race you see each year on TV). Pretty much straight away, you are amongst the trees along the river and if you get the timing right, it’s perfect for blackberry picking at the end of the summer. Walking further you pass Hammersmith bridge. The north side has a number of famous pubs if you want to stop for a brief rest (a little too soon for me!). In particular, The Dove in Hammersmith is one of my favorite river pubs in all of London. Staying on the south side, you pass by the old Harrod’s Furniture Warehouse that they used to store and ship things down the river. The building is iconic. Passing through Barnes Bridge, The White Hart is another wonderful old Riverside pub and depending on the tide, you’ll find the picnic tables under water!

The second half of the walk is more about the riverside itself, walking through trees, under bridges and past beautiful cottages. It’s the sort of ideal world that you can hardly believe exists so close to the centre. As you approach Richmond the bridges get closer together and you can start to see the boardwalk ahead. The White Swan pub is a great final destination, tucked away on a little side road. It has a beautiful garden in the back and wonderful food (and drinks). It’s always a good idea to book in advance and target your time. Relax and enjoy, explore Richmond which is one of the most ‘villagey’ places in London and then you can take the train back in 10 minutes!!!

If you’re looking for a beautiful home to stay in near Richmond my recommendation would be Tim’s Isleworth home overlooking the island you just passed along the last stretch of your walk.