COVID-19 Update: The Government has asked everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and non-essential travel, which is also known as social distancing. This measure aims to reduce close contact with others.
The Government is strongly advising anyone over the age of 70 (regardless of how well they are) people with underlying conditions and pregnant women to strictly adhere to the guidance on social distancing for the next 12 weeks. This is to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus and experiencing severe illness from it.
This means you should avoid crowds and places where you are likely to come into close contact with others (within 2 metres). This includes public transport, large gatherings and events, and ‘closed areas’ such as pubs, restaurants and cafes. It also means avoiding gatherings with family and friends and ‘non-essential’ visitors to your home.
It does not mean you have to remain at home 24/7, but rather take care to go out at times and to places when you are unlikely to come into close contact with others.
For more information please click here.
Park walks are a great opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships, which can be a huge boost to your mental health and wellbeing. Luckily it's so easy to join a walking group or find a park walk route near you, just check out the list below:
Find a Walk Near You
Explore the best parks in London - www.visitlondon.com
Nature reserves and woodlands in London - www.visitlondon.com/things-to-to/openspace
Find Health walk schemes in your area - www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/London
Some Suggested Park Walk Routes
London’s Royal Parks
London’s eight Royal Parks cover 5,000 acres and are home to more than 170,000 trees. Richmond Park, which contains 1,200 ancient trees, as well as herds of red and fallow deer.
Walk through Greenwich Park and you can see Queen Elizabeth’s Oak. This historic tree stood for around 800 years before finally falling in 1991. It was a favoured picnic spot for Queen Elizabeth I and it’s said that her parents - King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn - danced around the oak when they were courting.
Seven of the Best Walks in London
Canal circuits, South Bank strolls and park perambulations... the website Wanderlust have put together a list of their 7 favourite walks in London - take a look!
London Wlogger's List of Walks
Stu (A.K.A "The London Wlogger") is a walking enthusiast who loves exploring London and has written up all of his favourite walks on his blog. Click below to view Stu's favourite walks - all accompanied with photos and a brief history guide of the area.
Ruffet and Big Wood
Escape the city buzz with a trip to this peaceful wood close to Coulsdon, Sutton. Head to the north side of the wood on a clear day and you’ll be treated to fine views out across London.
Winter Walks in London and the South East
Discover the magical winter landscapes on your doorstep this season. From the tree-filled valleys of Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey to the watery winter wonderland of Mottisfont in Hampshire - find a place to unwind and enjoy a winter walk in London and the South East.
Straddling London’s north-eastern border, Epping Forest is a walker’s dream. The vast site contains ancient woodland, grassland, lakes and lots of wildlife. Look out for the many ancient pollarded trees.
Blackbush & Twenty Acre Shaw Woods
This pair of picturesque woods is a stone’s throw from the village of Cudham in Bromley. A mixture of ancient and young woodland, beautiful bluebells bloom here each spring. The woods are located close to Down House, home of Charles Darwin. It's likely he would have visited as he worked on his theory of evolution.
One of London’s most popular outdoor destinations. This sprawling park offers woodland, meadows, ponds and wildlife. No visit is complete without viewing the city skyline from Parliament Hill.
Ramblers organise group walks for health, leisure and as a means of getting around for people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of fitness
Towns and cities offer interesting walks, including parks, heritage trails, canal towpaths, riverside paths, commons, woodlands, heaths and nature reserves.
Walks for People with Disabilities
Liberty Drives provide a transportation service free of charge for individuals with disabilities (along with caregivers, friends and family) to visit inside Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
SENSE Golders Hill Park Sensory Walk, London
Sense and The Outdoor Guide have partnered to create two sensory walks in London – ‘Giving people the space to explore nature whilst being active.’ Sense is a national charity supporting people with complex disabilities. At Sense, we believe everyone, no matter how complex their disabilities, deserves the right to enjoy a physically active life.
London Gentle Walks
This group is for people who would like to take a gentle stroll in and around London. Walks will be of no more than 5 miles, and with no pressure to take a particular pace - if you want to stop we can stop, if you want to take it slower we can. This might be particularly suitable for people who are just starting out on a fitness regime, those recovering from illness or injury, but really it is for anyone who wants to take life gently!
Walks with Wheelchairs
The only UK web-site totally dedicated to providing free information on routes that are suitable for those with access challenges.
Older Londoners' Recommended Park Walks
We asked you to recommend your favourite walks in London's parks and green spaces! Take a look at the full list below. To recommend a walk, click here.
"Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London with many walks, free parking, refreshments and toilets. Bus routes Include 371 & 65 which also connect with Kingston & Richmond Stations" - Glenn
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
"I would like to recommend Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, conveniently close to Mile End Underground Station.
The cemetery closed to burials in 1966 and the graves date back to 1841. This is now a very successful nature reserve, managed by the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, with a small staff and a vast array of volunteers from the local community and various banks and businesses.
The site is flat and accessible by wheelchair with many wide paths. The park has fields, wooded areas, and a circular path. It is popular with dog walkers, and many others seeking a taste of nature in the busy area of East London. There are many activities including guided walks exploration of flora and fauna, and history of the park. A real hidden gem. The staff are friendly and approachable.
I have been visiting the park almost daily for 15 years and still enjoy the changing seasons and different flowers, trees and shrubs. It is a great place to relax and feel at peace with nature, a fantastic boost for mental health.
It's not all oldies like me! Mothers walk here with their children, and local schools take advantage of the education service. It is a joy to watch them enjoying nature and learning." - Eileen
"I suggest Barham Park near Wembley. It is possible to do a circuit of the park on hard surfaces and it has good bus links." - Tom
"May I recommend Barking Park, it has open spaces with games green, a bowling club, an avenue of trees tarmac walking paths, a lake with walkways (featuring swans, geese, blackbirds, boating, and sitting benches). There's also a cafeteria, a play area for children, tennis courts, and a small railway operated in the summer. This park is beautiful anyone would enjoy it!" - Arvind
Russia Dock Woodland
"Located in Surrey Quays, Southwark." - Ann
"You can walk down the road from Nonsuch Park in Cheam to the Manor House Café and then onwards to many other walks. This should take around half an hour or maybe a couple of hours. Depends how much energy you have!" - Roy
"Located in Stoke Newington, in the London Borough of Hackney. It is possible to do a circuit of the park on hard surfaces." - Tom
Recommend a Route!
Do you know of a walking group or a park walk in London that isn't on our list? Please get in touch so we can add it to our collection!