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Parkland Walk
Photograph: Parkland Walk

Big London walks to try on the last days of your annual leave

Are you in the dreaded ‘use it or lose it’ situation with your remaining holiday from work? Spend it walking your socks off around the city


‘The Line’ sculpture trail 

Laura Ford Bird Boy
Photograph: Laura Ford, ‘Bird Boy’, photo by Vassilis Skopelitis

As walks go ‘The Line’ is neither straight nor straightforward, following the path of the Greenwich meridian between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, with limited signage. But the trail of sculptures – which spans three miles of waterway – is all about discovery, with different artworks appearing and disappearing each year. Nothing sums up 2020 quite like Laura Ford’s ’Bird Boy’, a lonely figure of a lost child in a bird costume that stands on the edge of a pontoon in the Royal Docks
. Download a map and plan your route at

The Parkland Walk

Parkland Walk
Photograph: Parkland Walk

The Parkland Walk is a disused, tree-lined railway that used to connect Finsbury Park, Highgate and Alexandra Palace
, and also happens to be London’s longest Local Nature Reserve – which means you might just spot a hedgehog or a gang of foxes rustling through the undergrowth. It’s a great way to kill an hour (or more, if you want to stop and explore the old tunnels and graffiti). Go on a straightforward stroll on the path from Finsbury Park to emerge at Highgate, or keep going past Highgate Wood and on to Ally Pally. Look out for the sculpture of a 
spriggan by Marilyn Collins who pops out of the wall of a footbridge in Crouch End to laugh at passing joggers. Start at Oxford Road, Finsbury Park. Find full details on the route here

Little Venice to Camden Lock

Little Venice
Photograph: © Will Rodrigues /

The Jubilee Greenway is a 60km route created in 2012 for (as its name suggests) the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but you can just take a very pretty slice of it: section two, which will take you from the towpath of Little Venice, past Regent’s Park and the (closed) zoo, right up to Camden Lock. The air will be crisp, the leaves extremely crunchy, the punny-named narrowboats all quaint and multicoloured. It’s picturesque as hell.
 Start at Little Venice. Find full details about the route here

Grab a hot drink to fuel your walk. These London pubs are serving takeaway mulled wine.

Still looking for midweek hiking inspiration? Try these absurdly pretty walks.

Want to incorporate a little sightseeing while you’re at it? Share your walk with monuments, skyscrapers and outdoor art.  


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