An Easter walk along canal paths and farm tracks, in partnership with Walk London.
With two long weekends before us, and the best spring weather in years, there's never been a better time to discover the London LOOP, an 152 mile walk around the fringes of Greater London that some call the M25 for walkers.
You're guaranteed to find much of interest on any section of the trail, with a reliable mix of countryside paths, riverine tracks and pleasant suburbia. One of the finest stretches, which we'll highlight here, runs from Uxbridge to Moor Park, sections 12 and 13 of the official route. Both start and finish are served by Metropolitan Line trains, and are unaffected by Tube closures during the Easter long weekend. It's around 10 miles, but such is the beauty that the time flies by.
The stretch heading north from Uxbridge is among the most charming on the whole LOOP. The path follows the Grand Union Canal past numerous locks and lakes. An early highlight is Fran's Tea Garden at Denham Lock, where you can sit and watch the terrapins over a cuppa. Indeed, the next stretch is a wildlife bonanza, especially at this time of year. You'll spot any number of water fowl, dragonfly and hedgerow birds. The peace and quiet is only interrupted by the squark of parakeets. Legend has it that a breeding pair escaped from the set of The African Queen in the 1950s. It's probably not true, but they now number in the tens of thousands.
The aqueous adventure continues for several miles until you reach the smashing Coy Carp pub. Legend has it that the copper for St Paul’s dome was beaten hereabouts. From here, the character of the walk changes. You head away from the canal into gently undulating country and woodlands. Eventually, you'll reach Moor Park, an affluent area of impressive houses, where the walk ends at the local Tube station.
See a map of this walk here.