Here on the Ordnance Survey blog we usually provide you with walks of the week that are in rural locations. Today I thought we’d head into a city instead and take a walk around London. Having lived in London for a while I always preferred to get around the city on foot rather than by public transport. It often felt quicker and it meant I got to see a side of London I wouldn’t usually get to see.
On our walk today we're heading over the Millennium Bridge towards St Pauls Cathedral
Today our walk is 4.5miles long and I would allow 2 hours to complete it (not allowing for browsing in the shops / have a drink at a cafe!!). The walk starts at Waterloo Station (as that’s where my train from here in Southampton would get into) but there are various other tube stations along the route including Charing Cross, Westminster, Leicester Square and St Pauls that are within very easy reach of the route. The route has been plotted for you on OS getamap.
Walking out of Waterloo Station we head down onto the South Bank, past the Royal Festival Hall and head east. At a weekend there is plenty of street theatre entertainment along this part of the Thames. We walk underneath Waterloo bridge and past the National Theatre. If you decide to walk this in the summer make sure you keep an eye out for their Watch this Space festival with free theatre, music and dance events outside the theatre. Continuing along we pass Gabriels Wharf with it’s delightful craft shops, cycle hire and cafes. The next place of note is the Oxo Tower followed by Sea Containers House. As we continue along the Thames Path, we pass under Blackfriars Bridge where we come to Tate Modern. This is where we cross to the north bank of the river going over the Millennium Bridge.
Crossing over the bridge we continue walking straight ahead of us until we get to St Pauls Cathedral. This is where we make a left turn and head along Cannon Street and onto Fleet Street. As Fleet Street becomes The Strand we pass the High Courts of Justice and make our way onto the Aldwych and into Theatreland. Walking past the Aldwych Theatre we turn right after the Novello Theatre and head in towards Covent Garden, after turning left onto Russel Street.
We'll be walking past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament back over Westminster Bridge
Covent Garden is the perfect place to while away many an hour either listening to buskers, watching street entertainers, having a relaxing drink or browsing through the shops. Once you’ve had your fill of Covent Garden head along King Street and then Garrick Street until you come to Leicester Square. You want to head to the diagonally opposite corner of the square to the one you’ve entered – you’re looking for Panton Street where you take a left turn along Whitcomb Street that will bring you down into Trafalgar Square.
From here we’re heading down Whitehall, past Downing Street and onto Parliament Square where we see the Houses of Westminster and Big Ben. Turning left at the Parliament Square we’re headed across Westminster Bridge and then head east again, back along the South Bank, passing the London Eye where a right turn brings us back to Waterloo station and where we started.
So that’s taken you on one of my favourite walks around London – where is your favourite London walk?