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What’s better than a stroll through London on a sunny day? One where you get to walk by the water, of course. Here's five of our favourites.

Stratford to North Greenwich

The Line - self guided London walk

Find the full route here: http://the-line.org/

If you’d like a little culture with your meander, why not walk The Line (to be sung in the tune of the Johnny Cash song). London’s first modern and contemporary art walk will take you from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park all the way to The O2 along the scenic and industrial waterways. As you stroll, you’ll see big public works by Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Anthony Gormley, Abigail Fallis, Alex Chinneck and more. This is also probably the only time you’ll ever take the Emirates Air Lane (aka the cable car) - so it's worth it for that alone!

London Bridge to Waterloo

unusual-walks-london

Sure, this is path well-travelled, but for very good reason. This Southbank stroll shouldn’t be left for tourists and those on twee first dates. Make an afternoon of it: start by buying some picnic food from Borough Market then head to the Thames and wander to find a nice bench. Stop at the Tate Modern for an art fix (or just a quick trip to the top floor to see the view), then pop into The Mondrian hotel for a refreshing boozy beverage at the Dandylyan bar. Keep strolling, stopping off for a mooch at the Oxo Tower and Gabriel Wharf and end up at the Southbank Centre, where you’re spoilt for choice for drinking spots and cultural shenanigans.

Angel to Broadway Market

unusual london walks

Head down behind the bustle of Angel into the leafy residential streets and find the discreet entrance to Regent’s Canal – from there you can stroll all the way to Hackney along the 'Haggerston Riviera'. If you fancy some art, duck off at Wharf Road to see what’s on at Victoria Miro and Parasol Unit galleries. Once you’re back on the canal path, wander to Haggerston to stop off for an alfresco lunch by the water at the Towpath Café just before the Kingsland Road bridge. Once you’re sated, carry on dodging cyclists and admiring canal boats until you get to Broadway Market where you can pop up to street level for a shop, tipple and a nibble.

Victoria Park to Hackney Wick

Number90 hackney

Photo credit: Number90 Bar and Kitchen

Start off with a delicious Sri Lankan brunch at The Pavilion café watching the Coots squabble on the lake. Once you’ve eaten, pop across to Chisenhale Gallery to see what’s on before joining the path on the Hertford Union Canal and taking a walk down to Hackney Wick. Stop off at Growing Concerns garden centre if you’re in the market for any foliage otherwise head straight to Crate Brewery for a pizza and home-brewed beer. From there you can do a bar hop along the water stopping at Grow, Number 90 and then cross over to the new Here East development where you’ll find buzzing eateries and the Four Quarters bar which is full of old arcade games.

Kings Cross to Primrose Hill

kings cross tube

Photo credit: Graeme Worsfold @worsfoldphotos . Kings Cross underground exit Granary Square. 

Head behind King’s Cross station and see what’s going down at Granary Square (something always is) before joining the canal path. From here, stroll up Regent’s Canal, past Gasholder Park and the other new redevelopments. If you’re thirsty, drop into The Constitution pub on St Pancras Way before trundling on to Camden. Relive your teenage years with a quick look around Camden Lock Market (okay, that’s enough of that) and then head to Kerb market to stuff your face with street food delights. Once your pockets are empty and your stomach is full of halloumi fries, stumble down the canal and you’ll get serious house-envy with all the beautiful gardens backing on to the canal. Soon you’ll find yourself at Regent’s Park Zoo. If you’re feeling wild, stop there or continue up to Primrose Hill and climb up to enjoy the beautiful skyline view.

 

Written by Sonya Barber, author of 'East London: an Opinionated Guide' by Hoxton Mini Press, former News & Events editor at Time Out London and general woman about town.

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