Explore the capital with a free guided walk this weekend (24-25 September). Walk London are organising tens of autumn ambles around the city. Whether you enjoy the crunch of new-fallen leaves underfoot or prefer a more urban trek, you’ll find plenty of options.
All events are free and there’s no need to book (unless otherwise stated). The following is just a modest selection of the 60 walks on offer.
London is full of charming distractions, peculiar architecture and historically fascinating locations. Explore the hidden alleyways of the City (1.5 miles, Saturday, 10.30am, 1.30pm), treasures of the South Bank (2 miles, Saturday, 10.30am, 2.30pm), Subterranean London (<5 miles, Sunday, 10.30am), or Spies and Spycatchers’ London (<5 miles, Saturday, 2.30pm). A similar tour to the latter will stake out the river around Vauxhall, home to both MI5 and MI6 (2.5 miles, Sunday, 10.30am, 2pm).
Nearly all the guided walks on offer will provide general historical overviews of the areas they encompass, but several pick out specific themes. The Plague and Fire walk highlights the double tragedy of 1665-1666, when the city was consumed by the Great Plague, only to be followed by a devastating fire (5 miles, Saturday, 10.45). You can also explore the London of Oscar Wilde (5 miles, Saturday, 11am), or Shakespeare and Dickens (<5 miles, Sunday, 2pm).
With just 11 months to go until London 2012, several of the weekend walks are themed around the Olympics. Catch a ferry across the Thames before strolling along the Greenway to the Olympic Park (5.8 miles, Saturday, 11am). A Blue Badge tour follows a similar but shorter route (<5 miles, Saturday, 2.15pm). Alternatively, follow the River Lea from Tottenham down to the Thames Path (6 miles, Saturday, 11am). You can also follow the Epping Forest Centenary Walk (8.3 miles, Saturday, 11am), one of eight routes that are being promoted to encourage walking and cycling to the Olympic Park.
Things get creepy as night time draws in. The Blood-curdling London walk promises ‘Slaughter at the Savoy; a stiff in a left luggage office; a smoking pistol and silk stocking murders’ (<5 miles, Saturday, 6.30pm). In a similar vein, Ghosts of the Old City tours some of the spookier locations in the oldest parts of London (<5 miles, Saturday, 7.30pm). Another ghost tour runs on Sunday (<5 miles, 7.30pm).
Hardier walkers might like to try the 21.5 mile Green Chain Megawalk. The route will take you through some of London’s most verdant areas and offers many excellent views. (21.5 miles, Saturday, 9.15am)
Please check Walk4Life’s website for full details before heading along to any of these walks.