It is a shame that London is not better-known for its walks. Practically everyone visiting knows the Thames and some consider walking along the South bank. There are also some that do go on walking tours but still, most people see the city as a destination that should not be enjoyed on foot. Things couldn’t be farther away from this belief.
Tourists and even residents end up discovering a completely new city when they decide to take a walking tour. With a very good transportation system that can take you literally everywhere, here are the top reasons why a London walking tour might very well be the best way to experience what the city has to offer.
London Is Green
One of the most common misconceptions about London is that the city is an urban nightmare. People that did not visit often say that there is smog everywhere, the weather is awful and there is nothing green around.
In reality, London is one of the, if not the greenest cities in Europe. There are hundreds of public green spaces and parks in the city that complement 16 navigable canals and rivers. Most of the canals and rivers have really good paths that can be explored next to them.
You Can Do It For Free
While there are many walking tours that you can be on in London, there are also official walking routes that are well-documented and that you can experience alone. These take you from one place to the next through good signage for top places of interest and navigation. All you need is an Oyster card.
Even if you do not take a pre-planned route and you just decide to visit completely on your own, you still only need to pay for transportation.
A Better Understanding Of London
This is, most likely, the most important reason why you would go on a walking tour in the first place. If you travel by tube or train, you do not really get to appreciate the surrounding area or the scenery. Every single island becomes an entity that is not connected with anything else.
You lose perception of buildings and geography. For instance, you do not notice how Brixton and Clapham are connected. When you choose the train to travel between the two you end up thinking that they are far away. If you go by foot you figure out how close they are. Simply put, as you walk, you quickly figure out that most places are closer together than initially envisioned, all with a lot of interest and history in-between.
There are many places in London that have a really bad reputation. This reputation is based on past public disorder statistics and older criminal cases. They are simply written off before researching for a potential trip there.
As an example, Eltham is instantly associated with Stephen Lawrence’s murder. In reality, it is a wonderful place to explore. In Brixton there is no longer racial tension and is now very dynamic. Even Deptford, which does look bad compared to the rest of the city, features numerous odd characters that are quite interesting.
London is a wonderful city that is constantly changing. It recently officially became a National City Park. There is so much that you can explore and experience but you miss a lot when you go on a regular tour. If you have the necessary time, consider walking. This might be the best way to feel what London is all about.