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Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

An argument for walking some of the Capital Ring this week

It’s a unique way to fall back in love with London again (while getting your steps in)

Isabelle Aron

Welcome to our new series, One Good Thing to Do Today. It’s a guide to little things you can actually do in lockdown London that will provide bits of light in these dark times. Today, Isabelle Aron puts her walking boots on.

London might not have the vast countryside fields that you’ll find in the home counties, but the city does have a surprising amount of green space. In fact, 47 percent of the capital is green space. Take that, Buckinghamshire. And while you’re probably overfamiliar with your local parks after the relentless daily walks of 2020, if you’re keen to explore, following the Capital Ring is a great way to do it. 

Made up of 78 miles of walking routes which form a circular loop around the city, it’s broken down into 15 sections which take in nature reserves, trails and points of interest all over the capital. Do the whole lot and you can spot birds in Walthamstow Marshes, creep yourself out in Abney Park Cemetery and relive the simpler times of 2012 with a wander through Stratford’s Olympic Park. You’ll find all the routes on the TfL website and there are also signs around the city marking the route.

You could try to do it all in one weekend – if you’re a masochist and own some very heavy-duty walking boots – but the idea is you tackle each section on a different day, so you can spread the walks out and go at your own pace. Plus, that means you can start closer to home while were in lockdown, trying walks around your neighbourhood. 

By the end of it, you’ll have done a lot of walking (ideal if everything else is closed thanks to the pandemic) and almost definitely seen some parts of London you haven’t explored before. And if the sheer sense of achievement of completing it isn’t enough for you, TfL even has a certificate you can download and stick on your fridge. But maybe don’t do that.

Read more from our One Good Thing to Do Today series

The best walks in London


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