Ladies walking through the Isabella Plantation
Richmond Park

The best nature walks in London

Being in the open air, connecting with nature, is one of the best things we can do for our physical and emotional wellbeing. And in London, we’re lucky to have a wealth of parks where we can reconnect with the natural world.

5 minute read 

Is the sun shining, or you feel like some fresh air? Do you have a couple of hours when you can put the world on pause, and connect with the natural world?  Whether you you feel like you’re running on empty or full of energy, we’ve put together a list of our favourite nature walks in the city.  

Nature can be your mind’s best friend. This blog is your practical pocket guide to some of the loveliest nature walks in London. Find your nearest Royal Park – and enjoy!

1) Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park 

Some of London’s best-known green spaces, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park offer one of the best nature walks in the city. Starting at Kensington palace, head past the Round Pond toward Lancaster Gate until you reach the Italian Gardens at one end of the Long Water. Head down the path following the lake, passing the Peter Pan statue, Serpentine gallery, Diana Memorial Fountain, and the Lido at the Serpentine where you can swim or hire a boat. Continue along the path down to Hyde Park Corner or up to Speakers' Corner and Marble Arch.  

There’s no rush! You might want to drop into the Serpentine gallery or take a look at the architects Pavilion in the summer. Or dip your toes in the water, at the Lido. There’s a wealth of things to see and do in these central London Royal Parks.

2) Richmond Park and Isabella Plantation

If you’re looking for a nature walk with a slightly wilder feel, head to Richmond Park in Richmond upon Thames. We recommend entering through Ham Gate and heading from Queens Road to the Isabella Plantation, a 40-acre woodland garden. The winding paths, little streams and hidden benches are a wonderful retreat from city life. From there, make your way to Pond Plantation, Pen Pond, Leg of Mutton Pond, and Queen Elizabeth’s Plantation. Head back to Queens Road and up towards King Henry’s Mound, which offers spectacular views of the city. Wrap up the walk with a refreshing lunch at Pembroke Lodge, with its panoramic views over London – or bring a picnic!  

*Image credit: Ham Gate, Richmond Park by Peter Trimming, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3) Trafalgar Square to The Green Park 

Our Trafalgar Square to The Green Park nature walk will take you through two Royal Parks. Starting at Trafalgar Square, make your way to Admiralty Arch and onto the Mall, from which you can enter St. James’s Park. Head past the Guards Memorial to the lake and follow the path past Duck Island Cottage (keep an eye out for the pelicans), to reach Buckingham Palace. From there, it’s a hop, a skip, and a jump to The Green Park, where you can visit the Canada Memorial and stroll along the plane tree-lined Broad Walk.  

For a longer nature walk in London, combine this with the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park walk, following the suggested route in reverse from Hyde Park Corner to Kensington Palace.  

The longer walk will take most people around 3 hours – not counting any stops to admire the view, watch the wildlife or have something to eat! 

*Image credit: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4) Bushy Park

You’ll find Bushy Park just north of Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames. If you’re something of a history buff, you’ll probably know that Bushy Park has historic connections to King Henry VIII – and of course, his palace, Hampton Court, lies right next to the park. Bushy Park was a favourite hunting ground for King Henry and is still home to free-roaming  herds of fallow and red deer, as well as medieval farming system remnants, 17th century water gardens, and traces of World War military camps.  

Start at Hampton Wick Train Station and follow the path through the park’s main gates. You’ll pass several ponds before you head along the Chestnut Avenue to the Diana Fountain. Circle the fountain, head back down Chestnut Avenue and turn left towards Bushy Park’s Teddington end. Pass through the woodland gardens where you’ll find the Pheasantry Café where you can stop for a drink and a bite to eat, before joining up with Cobbler’s Walk and heading back to the station.

5) Blackheath to Greenwich Park

The short Blackheath to Greenwich Park route is one of the loveliest local nature walks. You’ll feel as though you’re in the middle of the country, surrounded by nature and sweeping views of the London skyline.  

Start at All Saints Church in Blackheath and follow any path across the Heath. Pass the Prince of Wales Pond and head along Duke Humphrey Road and through the Greenwich Park gates. Stroll along Blackheath Avenue to the General James Wolfe statue where you’ll enjoy incredible views of London. Head down Maze Hill into Greenwich and the Thames. Follow the Thames Path past the Old Naval College to end your walk at the Cutty Sark.

There are lots of places to eat and drink in Greenwich Park, but you’re also very welcome to bring your own, too. There are some beautiful flower meadows just made for alfresco picnics.

*Image credit: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
**Image credit: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
***Image credit: Ethan Doyle White, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6) Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill circular walk

The circular route through Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill is another London nature walk that offers fabulous views of the city. The Regent’s Park in particular is a mosaic of different natural habitats, and there’s abundant wildlife, gardens and flowers to enjoy, plus the wilder, more romantic landscape of Primrose Hill. 

Cross the road from Regent’s Park Station to Park Square Gardens and enter the park’s south side at Avenue Gardens. Take in the floral displays and the majestic Lion Tazza. Cross Chester Road and continue north along The Broad Walk (passing the Ready Money Fountain) until you rejoin the Outer Circle. Head left past ZSL London Zoo and cross the road via St Mark’s Bridge.  

Turn left and continue to the entrance of Primrose Hill. This is a rare example of an acid grassland habitat. Walk to the top of the hill for iconic views of London landmarks – from the British Telecom Tower, London Eye, to The Shard. Head back down the hill and cross Primrose Hill to enter the western side of Regent’s Park. Continue to the Boating Lake and Inner Circle Gardens. If you have time, explore the Japanese and Rose gardens before walking east along the Outer Circle to return to the station. 

*Image credit: Chmee2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7) Brompton Cemetery spider stroll

One of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries, Brompton Cemetery offers a nature walk with a difference, combining the history and heritage of one of the most famous Victorian garden cemeteries, with surprisingly wild and undisturbed natural habitats. The Spider Stroll (you don’t necessarily need to seek out the spiders!) makes one of our most fascinating nature walks.

Start at the North Lodge entrance on Old Brompton Road. Take a few steps along Central Avenue before taking the first path on the left. Follow the path past the Loggery, continue past the mature ivy, Eliza Phillips’ grave, and the Meadows, before turning right and heading past the Scrubs Planting. Make your way along Central Avenue to the Great Circle in front of the Chapel. You’ll see spiders, yew trees and the Peace Rose. Turn left into the path that leads off the circle and head past the nettles before turning right.  

Take the second path on the right then the first path on the left. Head past the anthills (please don’t play leapfrog on them!)  meadows, and shaded planting before following the path right and back to the North Lodge entrance.  

And if you get a little lost, don’t worry! The Cemetery is perfect for getting a little lost in, so let your mind wander as you wander, and enjoy the wildlife

8) Victoria Tower Gardens

The smallest of the Royal Parks in the Greater London region, Victoria Tower Gardens is between the Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Bridge. Go on a nature walk through the park and discover several monuments that celebrate freedom. You’ll find the Emmeline Pankhurst memorial near the park’s northern entrance. Auguste Rodin’s famous, and very moving sculpture, the Burghers of Calais, is not far from the tower that gave the park its name. Head to the centre of the park to see the impressive Buxton Memorial Fountain

No two walks are ever the same

It doesn’t matter how many times you walk them – each of these walks will reward you with something different each time you visit. It’s an endless natural resource for our own spiritual and physical wellbeing.  

Clear your diary, take a walk, and clear your mind!

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