Best wintry West London walks, according to locals
It’s winter in London, and while we don’t have the picturesque snowfall that our Northern friends enjoy, our city holds its own kind of sparkle. West London boasts plenty of picturesque trails and green spaces to explore that, in winter, take on their own unique charm.
Going for a walk may be the only outside activity available to us during lockdown, but this is nothing to be sniffed at: walking is a great way to get some fresh air, boost your mental health, and get some exercise in. Here are some of the best wintry West London walks, according to locals.
Hammersmith, Holland Park, Kensington Gardens
Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park. Photo: Ewan Munro
This walk is favoured by Kindred’s co-Founder, Anna Anderson, who does it weekly. This trail passes Royal Parks Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, cuts through Holland park, and passes some gorgeous townhouses and Holland Park mansions. The complete trail is about 10km but can be broken up and walked in separate stretches. For example, it’s 4km from Hammersmith to Kensington Gardens.
Starting at Kindred, walk up Shepherds Bush Road (passing Broadway shopping centre on your right). Pass Brook Green on your right and turn right onto Blythe Road. Turn left onto Addison Gardens and carry on right to the end, cross the main road, and continue down Lower Addison Gardens. Turn right on Holland Villas Road (and enjoy passing the huge villas on this wide, tree-lined street!), briefly join the main road by bearing left at the end of the road, and then walk down Oakwood Court. Turn right on Abbotsbury Rd and then left on Ilchester Place (where there are more mansions to pass), leading you to enter Holland Park at the end of the road.
Take the opportunity to explore the park (try and find the peacocks!), or walk straight across towards the other side, walking down Duchess of Bedford’s Walk (which boasts more beautiful London architecture, mansion blocks, and gardens). The rest of the trail will take you through pretty streets lined with town houses, hidden mews, art galleries, and cafes, and through Kensington Gardens — follow along via this map.
Earls Court, Parson’s Green, Hammersmith
The walk joins the Thames path just near Hammersmith Bridge. Photo: Maureen Barlin
Another route loved by the Kindred team, this walk offers a mix of quiet neighbourhood streets and the bustle of Parsons Green, while passing through some green pockets of Fulham and ending with a stretch along Bishops Park and the river Thames. It’s a point-to-point trail that is 7.5km long, but if you wanted to make it into a loop, walk from Brompton Cemetery back to Hammersmith — adding about 3km extra to the route.
Starting at Kindred, standing with your back to Kindred on the St Paul’s Green side, turn left and walk in the direction of Queen Caroline Street. Pass underneath the flyover to get onto Queen Caroline Street and follow it until you reach the river. Turn left onto the Thames path.
Following the path, walk alongside the river bank until you reach Stevenage Park. You’ll need to go around the rugby field so turn left as the Thames path ends, right onto Stevenage Road, and then left into Bishops Park (this will be the first left turn available). Walk through Bishop’s park until you reach the end — slightly ahead and to your left should be All Saints Parish. Walk through the church grounds with your back to the river, exiting right onto Church Gate, and turning right into New King’s Road (crossing Putney Bridge Approach).
Thames path: Hammersmith, Fulham, Putney, Barnes, Chiswick
The Thames path passes by the Leg O’Mutton reserve. Photo: Maureen Barlin
Perhaps the best-known walking path in our city, the Thames path follows the course of the Thames river through London, with a total distance of 184 miles (294 km). The path is clearly marked, suitable for all skill levels, and can be joined at any point. For example, the distance from Hammersmith Bridge to Richmond Bridge is 10.3km.
You can make a 13km loop by following the path on both banks of the river, starting either from Barnes Bridge or Putney Bridge. If you’re starting at Barnes Bridge, on the Barnes side, turn right and follow the path all the way to Putney Bridge. When you get there, cross the bridge, turn left, and trace the river bank from the other side.
Community is at the heart of everything we do at Kindred and while we are closed in line with national guidance, it’s important to us to engage with and support our community as best we can. We hope that our content and events series during this time have helped to inspire and uplift, and perhaps even encourage you to try something new
Featured image by Valentino Blas. All other images within this article are shared under Creative Commons
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