London is so vast and so spread out that sometimes seeing the city on foot can be daunting. The famous central London spots like Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye can all be seen easily in a Westminster Walking Tour.
However, for much of the rest of the city, you need public transport to get to all the best sights and places in the city. Therefore, we have devised three ideas for London walking tours that you can take and see loads of the city on foot.
You’ll catch some hidden gems along with London's top sights while getting plenty of exercise and saving money on the often expensive public transport system! One thing to keep in mind, though - if you have any large bags or luggage that you’re stuck with before you start walking, you’ll surely want to store it somewhere securely before you begin.
Check out Nannybag, a service that allows you to safely and securely store bags in locations all around the city for only £6 per bag per day.
Uncover the cultural treasures of London with the Nannybag guides. Explore the rich history of Europe's most iconic landmarks, from the literary legacy of Shakespeare to the grandeur of Trafalgar Square, Kensington's artistic charm, and the theatrical wonders of Covent Garden. Immerse yourself in the solemnity of Westminster Abbey, the regal allure of Buckingham Palace, and the spiritual grandeur of St. Paul's Cathedral. This guide provides a comprehensive journey through London's cultural tapestry, ensuring you experience the best the city has to offer.
In the meantime, let’s have a look at some self-guided London walking tours in London!
The first stop is Temple Church, located in the heart of the grand, magnificent legal district known as the Temple, and to get here, there’s a tube stop here on the Circle and District Line. The Knights Templar built this historic church in the 12th century constructed in a unique round shape and contains intricate stone carvings. The church has a rich history, serving as a place of worship and a burial ground for knights. It also played a part in the story of the legendary Holy Grail.
Next, a ten-minute walk away down historic Fleet Street is St. Paul's Cathedral, one of London's most iconic landmarks. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this magnificent, enormous, and ornate cathedral has stood for over 300 years.
St. Paul's has witnessed significant events in British history, including state funerals, royal weddings, and national celebrations. You can go inside, but you need a ticket to see everything. On this walking tour, enjoying it from the outside makes sense.
From there, a fifteen-minute walk takes you to the hidden gem of St. Dunstan in the East Church and its garden. This tranquil garden is nestled amidst the ruins of a medieval church that was severely damaged during the Blitz in World War II. Take a moment to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere as nature intertwines with the remnants of the church, creating a picturesque scene that reflects London's history and resilience.
Our next stop is the Tower of London, a historic fortress on the banks of the River Thames. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a storied past, serving as a royal palace, prison, and treasury.
Explore the ancient walls, visit the Crown Jewels, and hear tales of infamous prisoners and ghostly legends. The Tower's history is intertwined with the history of England itself. Tickets cost a little over £30 to enter.
Then, cross the iconic Tower Bridge, right beside the tower. With its striking towers and intricate details, this famous bascule bridge has become another symbol of London. y. Walk on the 42-meter-high glass walkways, and get a ticket to the Engine Rooms, a museum that details this bridge's history and complicated, genius workings.
You might even catch it being raised to let ships pass through, which happens 2-3 times daily.
Finally, check out the HMS Belfast, a floating museum on the Thames that offers a glimpse into life aboard a Royal Navy cruiser during World War II. Explore the decks, wander through the various sections of the ship, and imagine what it was like to serve on this mighty vessel. The HMS Belfast played a crucial role in major naval events, including the D-Day landings.
This tour will take you to some of the best markets in Central London, usually with a rich history and a wide range of things on offer. We recommend doing this walking tour on the weekend, when they’re at their busiest, as this is when you get the best atmosphere and all of the stalls will be open.
The first stop is Maltby Market, which is located in Bermondsey, near the tube stop on the Jubilee line. The market is tucked away under the railway arches, which helps create a unique and bustling atmosphere. It offers a wide variety of street food options, including gourmet burgers, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked pastries, and international cuisine. Local produce, craft beers, specialty coffee, and vintage clothing stalls can also be found.
Next is Borough Market, only a fifteen-minute walk away and the city's oldest and most renowned food markets - it has a rich history dating back over a thousand years! This bustling market is a food lover's paradise, offering extensive fresh produce, specialty ingredients, baked goods, charcuterie, cheeses, and international cuisine. You can sample delicious street food, pick up ingredients for a gourmet meal, or wander around and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
After this, head to Leadenhall Market, only a twelve-minute walk away, and you’ll get some great views as you cross London Bridge. This is a covered Victorian marketplace, but its roots go back to the 15th century. It is renowned for its stunning architecture and ornately painted ceilings, creating a unique and charming atmosphere.
While primarily catering to office workers during weekdays, the market offers a variety of boutique shops, including fashion, accessories, and gifts. You can also find traditional British pubs where you can enjoy a drink and classic pub fare. Much of the first Harry Potter movie was filmed here - you might recognize it as the iconic “Diagon Alley”!
Head northeast, around a 15-minute walk, to Spitalfields Market, as you enter London’s charming East End. This is a bustling marketplace that seamlessly blends modern retail with vintage charm. It offers a mix of permanent shops, independent boutiques, and stalls selling unique crafts, artwork, antiques, and vintage clothing.
The market also hosts various events, including art exhibitions, live music performances, and food festivals. It’s a mix of Spitalfields Traders Market and the covered Old Spitalfields Market (which is over 350 years old) and is one of the most popular in the city.
Finally, finish up your tour by heading to the highly trendy and vibrant Brick Lane, only a ten-minute walk away, where the Brick Lane Market takes place. Again, this market comprises permanent shops, temporary stalls, and some of the best food stalls anywhere in the city (especially Middle Eastern Cuisine).
Like the other markets, there is a wide range of goods on offer, but if you want some cool retro or vintage clothing, it might be worth waiting until you hit up Brick Lane and check out some amazing art stalls. There’s a fantastic youthful atmosphere here, and it’s a great way to end the walking tour.
This is a really long route along the Regent’s Canal, so don’t feel obligated to follow the whole route around the canal, which amounts to over 5 miles and around 2 hours of walking. But, this takes you on a lovely path, helping you see loads of north London all while walking along a pretty and picturesque canal lined with boats, greenery, and nature.
You’ll start off at Mile End Park, a pretty, lively part beside the canal in a trendy East London neighborhood. As you follow the canal, you will soon reach Victoria Park, another
A little further on the route from the park, you will come to The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History, which opens at 3 pm on weekdays but at midday on weekends. This is a very small museum, which won’t take too much time to go around.
Still, it showcases a truly unique and fascinating collection of weird and spooky curiosities, like real stuffed animals, shrunken heads, surrealist and erotic art, and plenty of things a little too crude to be written here! It’s not really a family-friendly exhibition by any means, but definitely one for the curious and lovers of the occult. Tickets for full admission cost less than £7.
Five minutes walk down the canal takes you to Broadway Market in Hackney, a bustling and vibrant street market that dates back to the Victorian era, with the street itself dating back to Roman times.
The market takes place on a Saturday, but the street still has over 70 permanent shops with a diverse range of goods, foods, and services during the week. It’s a really cool place to check out for an hour or so, and you could sit down with some food or coffee to recharge during your walk.
Another thing you will pass is the London Canal Museum, which, as the name suggests, details the history and workings of London Canals - you might find this appropriate, seeing as you’re walking along the main one! It’s open from 10 am-4.30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. It’s located at King’s Cross, where you might want to quickly check out some of the amazing architecture, such as King’s Cross and St. Pancras Station or the magnificent Renaissance Hotel.
Further, twenty-five minutes along the canal, where you’ll pass the small but beautiful Camley Street Natural Park, takes you to Camden Town. This is one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods, packed with buzzy bars, street art, and iconic music venues. There’s also the world-famous Camden Market, where there are stalls selling pretty much everything under the sun. There are some especially good food trucks here at the market too, so why not grab something tasty and a well-deserved pint after your walk?
While Camden Town might be somewhere you want to finish up, especially if you have settled into a nice pub or have stumbled into a live music venue, walking a little further along the canal will take you to Regent’s Park. This large, leafy green space contains beautiful nature, a famous Rose Garden, and London Zoo.
The Canal bisects the park with Primrose Hill, another pretty green space famous for the amazing views you get from the hilltop looking down over central London. We think that this would be a beautiful place to end your canal walk, lying down and relaxing watching the sunset over London.
Outside these walking tours, there are many places which you should stop by, including Westminster Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square or St James Park. You should also stop by the British Museum if you still have time to.
Need tips for a budget-friendly trip to London? Navigate through Europe's bustling streets, explore Kensington's budget-friendly attractions, and catch a captivating theatre performance. Discover the affordability of Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, and the many delights of London without compromising on your travel experience. Get ready for some budget-friendly adventures in London: wander through charming lanes in Kensington, revel in the world-class theatre scene of Covent Garden, and explore the historic neighborhoods of Westminster and Buckingham. It's your ticket to discovering hidden gems and cultural delights in London without breaking the bank.
What if you could enjoy every minute in the city without the burden of your bags?