Discover central London on foot

Person walking along the street outside the British Museum beside a tree

Take 30 minutes to explore more of the City using Central London Footways, the walking network that connects key destinations across London using interesting or quiet streets and green spaces. πŸ’š

Find out where to get your free illustrated map of the network designed by London Living Streets and Urban Good, or access the online map. Check out some of our favourite routes. πŸ—ΊοΈ

Close up of the Central London Footways map

Waterloo Station to the British Museum via Covent Garden

⏱️ 25 minutes

This short walk has it all: iconic views, London landmarks, world-famous cultural institutions, shopping hotspots and beautiful places to pause and people-watch. βœ”οΈ

  • Enjoy spectacular views from Waterloo Bridge as you walk towards arts powerhouse, Somerset House. 🎨
  • Glance right at the magnificent St Mary le Strand as you cross the Strand and head north on Wellington and Bow Street, past the historic Theatre Royal and Royal Opera House. 🎭
  • Explore leafy Endell Street, full of independent restaurants and shops before you reach Princes Circus and pretty Museum Street. Spot the famous British Museum columns ahead. πŸ‘€

Paddington to Oxford Street

⏱️ 30 minutes

Wander through lovely 18th and 19th century squares and discover hidden shopping streets on this refreshing walk.Β πŸ›οΈ

  • Start in Hyde Park Square and wander down Connaught Street through picturesque Connaught Village. Shopping and eating time are extra! πŸ˜‰
  • Continue past Portman Square and Manchester Square, home to the Wallace Collection. πŸ–ΌοΈ
  • Join ancient Marylebone Lane, which bends as it follows the hidden River Tyburn.
  • Don’t miss car-free shopping and food lovers’ paradise, St Christopher’s Place before you finish at Oxford Street. πŸ“

King’s Cross St Pancras to Covent Garden via Lincoln’s Inn

Planters outside Covent Garden station
Credit: Paul Cochrane

⏱️ 30 minutes

Take yourself on a free architectural tour starting at iconic gothic masterpiece, St Pancras Station, through Bloomsbury’s distinctive streets, ancient Lincoln’s Inn and Covent Garden.

  • Cross Euston Road onto Judd Street πŸ“
  • Head south to Brunswick Square with the 1960’s Brunswick Centre, Foundling Museum and Coram’s Fields – one of London’s best playgrounds for kids! 🀸
  • Continue south on Lambs Conduit Street and Red Lion Street. Admirers of William Morris can stop off at Red Lion Square to check out the first Morris & Co. office.
  • Take in the beautiful gardens and historic houses, including the Sir John Soane’s Museum along Lincoln’s Inn Fields. 😍
  • Cross Kingsway for Covent Garden via Great Queen’s Street and the art deco Freemasons’ Hall. πŸ™Œ

Victoria Station to South Kensington

Couple walking down a mews in the sunshine
Credit: Paul Cochrane

⏱️ 35 minutes

Enjoy a quiet stroll past the grand 19th century buildings of Victoria through to South Kensington’s magnificent Victorian and Edwardian museums.

  • Exit Victoria station onto the quiet, backstreets of Belgravia. πŸ“
  • Wander up pretty Eccleston Street to Chester Square and the quaint cottages of Chester Row before turning right into Sloane Square. Fun fact: the River Westbourne, which formed the border between Westminster and Chelsea, still flows under the station. 🌊
  • Stop to shop on King’s Road or carry on behind Peter Jones along 19th century Cadogan Gardens. πŸ›οΈ
  • There’s plenty more optional shopping pit stops on Milner Street, First Street and Walton Street before you arrive at South Kensington station. πŸš‡
  • Follow Exhibition Road for a straight path to the museums. πŸ›οΈ

Columbia Road to the Barbican

⏱️ 30 minutes

Follow in the footsteps of London’s modern architectural history: from the first council estate at Arnold Circus to the 1960’s brutalist Barbican complex.

  • Start at Columbia Road, with its thriving Sunday flower market, and walk towards beautiful Arnold Circus. 🌼
  • Pass St Leonard’s in Shoreditch and continue your refreshing walk along Rivington Street through London’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone.
  • Cross Great Eastern Street, turn left onto Paul Street and right at tree-lined Leonard Circus. 🌳
  • A short stretch on City Road will take you to Bunhill Fields, the final resting place of great writers like John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe and William Blake. πŸ–‹οΈ
  • On weekdays, sample different cuisines at Whitecross Street market’s food stalls. 🍴
  • Take a break when you reach the Barbican and relax at its lovely lakeside cafe. β˜•

Liverpool Street to Tate Modern

Small groups walking in front of St Paul's Cathedral
Credit: Paul Cochrane

⏱️ 25 minutes

Experience a leisurely walk through the City’s winding, ancient streets before crossing the river to Bankside.

  • Exit Liverpool Street station and walk towards London Wall, which once surrounded the Roman city of Londinium.
  • Cross to Throgmorton Avenue. If you meet closed gates, find the hidden Austin Friar’s Passage just off Great Winchester Street. πŸ—οΈ
  • Follow the winding alleys from Copthall Avenue until you spot Guildhall. A survivor of the Great Fire in 1666 and the Blitz, this City relic is worth a visit! πŸ™Œ
  • Walk along Gresham Street, through One New Change towards iconic London landmark, St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Head south over the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern and buzzing Bankside.

Blackfriars to Bank

Reflection of St Mary le Bow in a window on Cheapside
Credit: Paul Cochrane

⏱️ 15 minutes

Try this easy and enjoyable dash from Blackfriars into the heart of the City.

  • Start at The Blackfriar pub, opposite Blackfriars station. πŸ“
  • Walk up Blackfriars Lane, past the historic 17th century Apothecaries’ Hall onto Carter Lane. βœ”οΈ
  • Look out for the Old Deanery, the Bishop of London’s home and the City’s finest 17th century house. πŸ‘€
  • Stroll through the grounds of St Paul’s and One New Change before you turn left to Cheapside, London’s oldest high street.
  • Pass medieval Guildhall on the left and St Mary le Bow church, with its legendary bells on the right.
  • Finish at Bank, home to the Royal Exchange. πŸ›οΈ

Victoria to Trafalgar Square

⏱️ 30 minutes

Travel through historic streets, past Royal residences and a Royal Park to enjoy a spectacular view of one of London’s most famous buildings. 🀩

  • Start at Cardinal Place shopping centre and stroll along Castle Street and Petty France before you turn into picturesque Queen Anne Gate with its magnificent early 18th century houses.
  • Enter St James’s Park and enjoy a walk by the lake. Top tip: visit between 2:30 – 3:30pm to see the resident pelicans being fed. ⏰
  • Experience classic views of Horse Guards Parade and Admiralty Arch before climbing the Duke of York steps. ⬆️
  • Turn right into Trafalgar Square and discover its famous lions, column and fountains. Look south for Westminster or head north for the National Gallery. 🎨

More walking ideas

Use our tools toΒ plan your journey. πŸ—ΊοΈ

Look out for quick walks between stations or quiet routes through the Royal Parks. πŸƒ

Which central London walking route would you recommend? Let us know in the comments! πŸ‘‡

1 Comment

  1. we walked everywhere when we visited London last summer. the transport network is excellent and there’s always something to see on foot. clocked up over 20,000 steps each day easily!

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