Escapes on your doorstep
from anywhere in London by public transport
Log Off – Head Out
Access the outdoors, in London and beyond, from your doorstep
Keen walker, reluctant rambler or just need to get outside, somewhere… anywhere?
This website is for anyone living in or around London who might need a mind clearing, spirit restorative escape route or two. No droning history lectures or improving nature guides – nothing to learn apart from that which catches your free-wandering mind. Here you might find stories, idiosyncratic observations, curated curiosities and ‘mind noodling’ about anything rambly in the wide, and occasionally narrow, blue yonder.
And then there are the routes…
Each route has:
- An easy step by step navigation guide
- Essential feature guides, pointing out stories and features of note
- For the out of London routes there is an additional printable map
So, here’s what to do:
- Pick a route
- Print off the step by step navigation guide (‘Print-Friendly’ tab on the right beneath the header of each walk) and, if going out of town, the map
- Pack up and go
Log off, Head out – you know you want to…
10 Walks in and out of London
Lucky you. I’ve walked several thousand miles of footpaths and city streets to distil out a choice selection of rambles for everyone to enjoy. There is no way of knowing whether a walk is worth doing except by walking the route every step of the way; a lot of terrible walks, dull vistas, and frankly boring trudges have been endured and discarded. Lucky me, I love walking and being outside so it’s all been worth it. I hope you can find the time to explore a route or two.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you create the time..."
ST MARYLEBONE I MODERATE I 6.8m/11km
Leaving habitation behind you, spend the day following one of Britain’s most ancient trackways dating back 5000 years, possibly much further...
WATERLOO/VAUXHALL I EASY/MODERATE I 7.8m/12.5k
A favourite walk bookended by the imposing Hampton Court Palace and the bare remains of Richmond Palace, along the Thames path and through diverse parks and meadows...
I EASY/MODERATE I 6.8m/11km
A perennial favourite to introduce self-identifying 'non-walkers'. Stunning views of the length of the Darenth Valley, an impressive Roman Villa, a 'castle', a 'palace' and three typically Kentish villages...
I MODERATE I 8.2 - 9.1m/13.3 - 14.8km
A longer cousin of Walk No. 6, this route follows the lovely Darenth Valley on its western slopes and returns along the valley bottom. A landscape of hills, open views and a riverine return with a choice of picnic, pub or vineyard for the lunch stop...
VICTORIA/ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL
I MODERATE I 8.8m/14.2km
Continuously undulating chalk hills and farmland welcome you with vineyards and gorgeous valley views, including a welcome and timely lunch stop at a splendid Kentish scene of a windmill and pub overlooking the local cricket pitch...
WATERLOO I MODERATE I 7.3m/11.7km
Along the meandering River Wey via an old watermill to an ascent along ancient pilgrim paths under open skies and woodland, tracking the North Downs Way and the Pilgrims' Way, including an aerobic climb to the perfectly located St Martha’s Chapel for a rest and lunch...
No 10 : Greenwich to London Bridge via Limehouse & Wapping
Notes of the Season
The Oak, the Jay and the Acorn
“Deep, southern and hairless, or shallow, norther and hairy?”
There’s no need to swat this up unless you want to though it would be great if we just looked just a little longer and closer at any oak.
…Or “Ac…” as the Saxons would have said. Their word for the oak is buried deep and wide in our language centuries long after many of their forests vanished beneath our streets and homes. From Gospel Oak to Honor Oak the oak tree is embedded not only in our city life but deep in our culture – as in Acton and (quite possibly some contest) Hackney,
The Celtic word for Oak is Duir from which we get the word Druid. The Druidic world believed the oak was the source of strength and energy and later folklore intimated that to catch a falling oak leaf brought good luck and prosperity. READ MORE>>
Walk of the Season
In the spotlight – Hampton Court to Richmond
This is my most walked of walks; the walk I turn to more than any other for all the right reasons (riverside breezes, historical tales, wide open skies) and a few of the ‘wrong’ ones (convenience, no hills and an excellent pub)…
A quick TravelCard trip to the Tudor show piece, Hampton Court, and in moments you are gazing across the wide relaxing Thames, still sleepy from its meandering route from Oxford. Following the river with a soul relieving diversionary stroll through Hampton Court Park, then crossing Kingston Bridge and onto the glorious dilemma of which pub to choose at Teddington lock – the bustling variety of The Anglers or the intimacy of bijou The Tides End next door?
And then on, with the option of roaming across a semi-wild meadow at Ham Lands, and later views of Richmond Hill with the civilised pleasures of riverside Richmond town.
As well as being book-ended by Hampton Court and the poignant ragged remains of Richmond Palace, don’t forget to look out in the Highlights section for tales of aristocratic intrigue by two remarkable women.