A general walking guide to London containing 30 walks totalling nearly 100 miles. The walks cover the whole of the central area of the city, plus the most attractive outlying parts, such as Greenwich, Richmond, Dulwich and Hampstead. Each walk has its own detailed map plus full information on transport, refreshments and opening times. The book also contains 29 full-page colour photographs. The Journal of the London Society said this was ‘the best and most comprehensive of its genre…the skill which sets this volume above other publications is the way in which practical details about the route are woven with historical and contemporary information. Added to this is the genius…that Andrew Duncan has shown in teasing out so many charming and interesting spots that lie behind the main streets…a definite buy.' Now that's what I call a review!
'A fantastic book'
A reader from London
'The best travel guide I have ever used'
Mary H, BC, Canada
'My favorite memories of six
months in London'
Margaret S, New York
'I would recommend this book to anyone'
Mrs M H, Cambridge
Walking London has been translated into several
languages. Here, backed by
the Houses of Parliament,
a beaming Russian reader clutches her Russian edition.
London’s streets, squares, alleys and lanes; its parks, heaths, gardens and open spaces; its palaces, villages, docks, canals and rivers – all offer an amazing variety of terrain for the dedicated urban explorer. One minute you can find yourself breezing down some grand thoroughfare or strolling nonchalantly round an elegant square as though you owned it. The next you could be treading cautiously down narrow lanes and dark alleys, peering into cobbled courtyards, squeezing through gates and wickets, tramping through woods or puffing up hill and down dale startling deer and other creatures rare even in the countryside.
Walking London contains nearly 100 miles of walks through this endlessly surprising landscape, more than enough to keep even the most hardened city walker on his or her feet for a good while to come.
There are 30 walks altogether: 29 in London and one – mainly for the benefit of foreign visitors – in Windsor. All the walks are original, invented by me over a winter and a summer and then individually checked by a small army of pedestrian friends.
Each walk acts as a guide to a different part of London. In general, these are the most historic and attractive parts of the capital, the two usually going together. As in conventional guidebooks, the walks take you to most of the well-known places – but they also steer you off the beaten track into forgotten corners of London.
Wherever the walk happens to be, the emphasis is always on the visually attractive and stimulating, not on trying to cover every single place of interest that a guidebook would mention. As you will discover in this book, views take priority over venues.
History plays a strong part in the book – you cannot get away from it in London – but anything interesting, unusual or simply puzzling, whether old or new, gets a mention. My overall aim has been to try to anticipate any questions you may have about anything you can actually see en route and, subject to limitations of space, to provide satisfying answers.
By the time the book was finished, I had got to know large areas of London quite intimately and I realized that in the process my attitude to the city had been quietly but radically transformed. Although never a sufferer from the rootlessness and alienation that blights the lives of so many city dwellers, it suddenly dawned on me that I had actually begun to feel at home here. So much at home, in fact, that I no longer dreamt of returning to the dales and moors of my native Yorkshire. As my outlook changed, so London became a much friendlier place and life in general that much better.
Walking London in its various editionshas been guiding visitors and residents around the capital since the early 1990s. Many thousands of people have bought the book, and thousands more have borrowed it from public libraries. If (and it’s a big if) all these people had walked all the walks, between them they would have clocked up something like 13,000,000 miles (20,000,000 kilometres)! I hope you enjoy making your own contribution to this somewhat staggering figure; and if any comments, criticisms or suggestions occur to you as you tramp your way through the book, please email them to me or write care of my publishers (address on the imprint page). I’d love to hear from you.