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. 💚

Pick up a free copy of the second edition of Central London Footways, a beautifully illustrated map, from one of Network Rail’s mainline stations or follow the routes online. Check out some of our favourite routes. 🗺️

Footways map

Victoria to Trafalgar Square

⏱️ 22 minutes

It’s an enjoyable stroll from Victoria to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square and you’ll pass an abbey, a palace, one of London’s prettiest parks and the Grand old Duke of York. Here are some more curiosities to uncover.

  •  Outside Victoria Station is Little Ben, a mini clock tower built to commemorate its big brother down the road. ⏰
  • Weave through the Cardinal Place shopping centre into ancient Westminster.
  • Tothill Street was a busy road in mediaeval London and provides a mesmerising view of Westminster Abbey. ⛪️
  • Don’t miss 55 Broadway, an Art Deco masterpiece and until recently Transport for London’s HQ
  • In St James’s Park, take in the views to Buckingham Palace and the London Eye from the bridge.
    Either take the steps under the ‘Grand old’ Duke of York Column or follow a step-free route under Admiralty Arch.
  • At Trafalgar Square, take a closer look at Nelson’s Column – its lions have cats’ paws. 🦁

London Bridge to Southbank

⏱️ 28 minutes

The car-free walk along the Southbank from London Bridge is one of London’s most popular.

  • Did you know that London Bridge Station is at the end of one of the world’s oldest viaducts?
  • Borough Market was built in 1756. Visitors still flock here today for artisanal food offerings. 🥐
  • Meander past the Golden Hinde, a life-size and fully seaworthy replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship. ⛵️
  • Nearby are the remains of the Bishops of Winchester’s palace. Look up for its impressive rose window. 🌹
  • Shakespeare’s Globe was modelled on the Elizabethan playhouse which stood nearby.
  • OXO Tower used window design to overcome a ban on Thames-side advertising.
  • Your destination is Southbank Centre, an arts complex built between 1950 and 1970s in radical architecture. Highlights include the Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre. 🎭

Farringdon to Angel

⏱️ 20 minutes

Did you know Farringdon is one of the world’s oldest underground stations? It’s busier than ever with the opening of the Elizabeth line. Why not continue your Elizabeth Line journey on foot to Angel and see some of London’s ancient and radical history en route?

  • Built in 1504, St John’s Gate is one of the few remnants of Clerkenwell’s monastic past.
  • Across Clerkenwell Road is St John Priory Church and its secret cloister garden. 🌸
  • Pause at the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green where it is rumoured Lenin and Stalin met over a pint. 🍻
  • Exmouth Market has pretty rows of independent shops, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. ☕️
  • The villas of Lloyd Square feature cast-iron railings with pine-cone and urn-shaped finials.
  • Near Myddelton Square are the remains of New River Head, which once supplied 8% of London’s water. 💦
  • Camden Passage offers a nice end to this journey, a pretty pedestrianised street for shopping and eating. 🛍

Waterloo to 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. ✅

  • 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 pretty Museum Street. Spot the famous British Museum columns ahead. 👀

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. 🖋️
  • 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. ☕

Liverpool Street to Tate Modern

⏱️ 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. 🗝️
  • 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! 🙌
  • 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

⏱️ 15 minutes

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

  • Start at The Blackfriar pub, opposite Blackfriars station. 📍
  • Walk up Blackfriars Lane, past the historic 17th century Apothecaries’ Hall onto Carter Lane. ✔️
  • Look out for the Old Deanery, the Bishop of London’s home and the City’s finest 17th century house. 👀
  • 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. 🛍️

More walking ideas

Use our tools to plan your journey. 🗺️

Look out for quick walks between stations or quiet routes through the Royal Parks. 🍃

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

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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