'Spring Into Summer' With Free London Guided Walks

Explore the capital's hidden gems and famous landmarks

Enjoy views of London in bloom on one of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) ‘Spring into Summer’ free guided walks, on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May.

There are 45 walks across the Capital, organised by Walk London and TfL, which explore London’s hidden gems, famous landmarks, parks and canals.

Many of the walks are family friendly with Animal I-Spy in the City, a gentle stroll searching for dragons, lions and unicorns and Goodnight Mister Tom, inspired by the much-loved book, particularly popular with children.

One of the walks, which takes place on May 21, is a 7.5 mile walk from Wimbledon Park station to Richmond station.

There’s also a new design themed walk following the Bakerloo line above ground - featuring Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Marlboro Man. This is a special walk to celebrate TfL’s ‘Transported by Design’ programme.

The walks, which have been running since 2007, have grown significantly in popularity as Londoners have embraced walking. To cope with the increased demand there is a new online booking system for the ‘Spring into Summer’ walks at www.walklondon.org.uk.

The programme includes walks such as:

Saturday 21 May

• Royal Parks and Palaces - Buckingham Palace to Little Venice at 11.00 (4 miles) this walk goes through three Royal Parks, past royal palaces, over hidden rivers and along lakes, ponds and canals. Discover where Wookey the Witch lives, where Peter Pan was created and where Paddington Bear arrived from 'darkest Peru.' Find out where the address 'Number one, London' is, where the 'Crystal Palace' stood and where the first ever Underground train started its journey.
• Animal I-Spy in the City at 10:30 (1.5 miles) this family-friendly stroll takes you through the streets of the city, where you’ll discover where dragons, lions and even unicorns may be hiding. Perfect for children aged between four and seven years old, but younger or older children are also welcome.
• Scenes on Screen - Film and TV in London at 14:00 (1.7 miles) takes in locations used for films, TV series and commercials and offers insights into some of the famous former local residents.
• Goodnight Mister Tom - London in the Blitz at 14:00 (1.6 miles) this family-focused walk is inspired by Michelle Magorian’s much loved book “Goodnight Mister Tom”, which tells the story of Willy Beech who is evacuated from London during World War II. The walk explores the City of London and hears what life was like for those who remained in the Capital during the Blitz.

Sunday 22 May

• The Bakerloo line - featuring Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Marlboro Man at 11:00 (2.2 miles) this is a special new design-led walk above the Bakerloo line, which celebrates TfL’s Transported by Design programme. Discover the beautiful architecture of the Tube stations along the Bakerloo line as well as what happened when Oscar Wilde had dinner with Arthur Conan Doyle, and how the supposedly all-American Marlboro man actually owes his name to Soho.
• London's Hidden Treasures - Waterloo to London Bridge at 11:30 (2 miles) this stroll along both sides of the River Thames will reveal some of the secrets that lie beneath the streets and under the river. The walk starts at Waterloo and the iconic London Eye before moving directly on to the river where the history is over 2,000 years old.
• Gleaming Spires - Architecture and public art in the City of London at 13:00 (1.5 miles) explore the art and architecture in the vibrant City of London and experience its ever-changing skyline.
• Twin Peaks on the Capital Ring at 13:30 (4.5 miles) come along on this new walk through nature reserves and along the canal to cross Horsenden Hill and then Harrow on the Hill (one of the hilliest sections of the Capital Ring). There are fine views over West London and be ready for some strenuous climbs.

Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: “May is National Walking Month and we hope that our 45 free guided walks will inspire people to walk more around our beautiful and vibrant city. Walking is not only good for your health and wellbeing, but it is also the perfect way to explore new places and we are committed to making London the most walkable city in the world.”

The walks are led by experienced Walk London guides who provide fascinating facts that highlight London’s curiosities, history and culture.

May 9, 2016