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Raouf lead image TfL walking feature
Photograph: Rob Greig

Walk this way: what happens when six Londoners changed their commute

Transport for London is encouraging Londoners to discover the benefits of walking by introducing a bit of a stroll into one of their journeys. We thought we’d get in on the action...

Written by Time Out. Paid for by Transport for London
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Did you know that introducing only 20 minutes of walking and/or cycling into a daily journey can improve your mood, make you feel physically better and help you feel more connected to your local area? That’s what Transport for London discovered when it asked sample segments of Londoners to switch up a part of their journey last year. We were so impressed we thought we’d put these positive findings to the test by asking some Time Out staff to do the same. Here’s how they got on.

Remember to check the TfL Journey Planner before you travel.

              

For more tips on making the most of everything London has to offer, visit our guide to the wonderful world of off-peak.

Paula, from Peckham Rye
Photograph: Rob Greig

Paula, from Peckham Rye

I live in Peckham Rye and often travel to a freelance gig in Mayfair. I want to get more walking into my daily commute so I decided to walk up Rye Lane and along Peckham Road, picking up the number 36 bus at St Giles Church. I love where I live but don’t really get to see it much on weekday mornings, so it was great to see this part of south-east London kicking into life. And the walk felt like a really great way to start the day. I think I’ll keep it up.

Wayne, from Greenwich
Photograph: Rob Greig

Wayne, from Greenwich

I usually go from Maze Hill up to St Pancras, which doesn’t involve much walking at all if I’m honest. I walked down to Greenwich station past the Old Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich Uni, so I got to see loads of nice sights and greenery. I enjoyed it, even when it was freezing cold. I might even extend it and walk along the Thames next time.

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Angela, from Bethnal Green
Photograph: Rob Greig

Angela, from Bethnal Green

For my commute, I usually jump on the Hammersmith & City line from Stepney Green straight into King’s Cross. I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment, so fancied changing up my routine to get more steps in. I hopped on the Central line from Bethnal Green changing to the Northern line at Bank to get off at Angel before walking along the Regent’s Canal Towpath to Granary Square. Walking past all the boats, buildings and trees was a calming start to the day.

James, from Battersea
Photograph: Rob Greig

James, from Battersea

One thing I do too often is drive from Battersea to Chelsea at the weekend. I’ve been advised by my doctor that I should do some more walking so this was great timing! Last weekend I walked through Battersea Park and up to Chelsea Bridge. The exercise felt good and there’s so much going on at Battersea Park, like the Peace Pagoda, the zoo and crazy golf.

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Frankie, from Islington
Photograph: Rob Greig

Frankie, from Islington

I have a pal who lives in Enfield Town and I often get the train from Moorgate all the way to Enfield Chase station. I tried getting off at Grange Park and walked through Enfield Town Park. I hadn’t been there for years and the park’s changed quite a bit – the new wetland and conservation area is great!

Raouf, from Fulham
Photograph: Rob Greig

Raouf, from Fulham

I’m always on public transport so I liked the idea of getting some walking into my life. I normally take the tube from Parsons Green to King’s Cross but I tried walking all the way to Earl’s Court. I took a little detour through Brompton Cemetery, which made for a surprisingly peaceful start to my day! I spent the rest of my walk taking more notice of my surroundings, imagining what people were up to and where they were going.

Need some extra motivation? TfL has it covered

Four of the best London walking resources
Photograph: Shutterstock

Four of the best London walking resources

Headspace and TfL

What if your trip to work was the most relaxing part of your day? TfL has teamed up with the Headspace mindfulness app to offer Londoners two months of free access to all of Headspace’s content. You’ll find hundreds of meditations, including audio guides for commuting. Redeem the offer by visiting www.headspace.com/tfl and entering the code thetube.

Go Jauntly

This free wayfinding app makes it super-easy to incorporate walking into your journey. Discover step-by-step directions that’ll get you to your destination on foot, plus plenty of short walks, day trips and kid-friendly strolls. It even includes major TfL walking routes like the Capital Ring and the Jubilee Walkway

Walking Tube Map

Admit it: you were shocked when you realised that it only takes four minutes to walk from Covent Garden to Leicester Square. Luckily, the Walking Tube Map shows you the walking time between stations on the same line, so you can plan a quicker way to get around – especially during a busy commute.

Legible London

The capital is dotted with navy and yellow Legible London street signs, which provide helpful maps, info on the local area, realistic walking times to nearby attractions and more.

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