Enjoy The Magic Of Winter On A Free Guided Walk In The Capital

Hidden Gems Await On TfL's Winter Wanders

Start the New Year on a walking note and enjoy the changing landscape in the city by joining one of 44 free guided walks on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January, as part of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Winter Wanders weekend.

The walks, which are led by experienced Walk London guides, range from short strolls to more challenging routes. All walks start and finish within easy reach of public transport.

They include one starting from Wimbledon Park tube and taking in Wimbledon Common (left).

New for Winter Wanders 2017 is a transport-themed flat and easy walk, which follows part of the Central line above ground; a Family Favourites walk, which features a location visited by Paddington Bear, a clever trick for staying lucky and a fun filled quiz for the children. The popular Animal I-Spy stroll searching for dragons, lions and unicorns also returns, along with Scenes on Screen, which takes in film locations around Russell Square.

Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: “We hope that through these free guided walks people will see how easy, quick and enjoyable it can be to get around this vibrant city on foot. The walks are the perfect way to start a healthy new year and to explore all that London has to offer, so book soon to avoid missing out.”

The 44 guided Winter Wanders include:

Saturday 28 January

  • The Real West End – Soho and Covent Garden at 10.30 (1.5 miles) – This walk takes you down some of the lesser known streets and alleys of Covent Garden and Soho. Go down an alley where the buildings have hardly changed in 300 years and which is still lit with gas lights.
  • Hidden Alleyways and Courtyards – St Paul’s to Chancery Lane at 11.00 (1.5 miles) – This walk explores London's past including a monastery, hidden alleyways and the history of London's newspapers and journalism.
  • Scenes on Screen – Film and TV in London at 14:00 (1.7 miles) – A walk to take in locations used for films, TV series and commercials, as well as insights into some of the famous former local residents.
  • Goodnight Mr Tom – London in the Blitz at 14:00 (1.6 miles) – A family-focused walk 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.
  • Discovering Historic Southwark – in the Shadow of the Shard at 14.30 (2 miles) – Walk from London Bridge to Tower Hill. Learn about Roman times to the present day, Southwark’s famous landmarks and inhabitants, its seafaring past, its literary connections and some of its dark secrets.

Sunday 29 January

  • Walk the Central Line at 12.00 (1.5 miles) – This is a transport-themed walk and will follow part of the Central line above ground. On this walk discover how someone broke into the vaults of the Bank of England and how the 1908 London Olympics gave the marathon its final 385 yards.
  • The Spooky City – ghosts, body snatchers and public executions at 11.00 (1.1 miles) – Join this walk round the City of London and experience gruesome tales of ghosts, body snatching and public executions.
  • Family Favourites – the walk that’s also a quiz at 15.00 (1 mile) – Learn about a location visited by Paddington Bear and its clever trick for staying lucky, and other stories such as why a king of England wore two shirts when he had his head cut off.
  • Tales from the Riverbank – Waterloo to London Bridge at 14.00 (1.5 miles) – A fascinating stroll along the South Bank of the River Thames from Waterloo Station to London Bridge explores the crucial role played by the river in London’s development from a Roman settlement to a world-class mega-city.
  • Royal Parks and Palaces – Buckingham Palace to Little Venice at 13.00 (4 miles) – A walk through three Royal Parks, Royal Palaces, 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'.

To find out more about the ‘Winter Wanders’ guided walks, visit www.walklondon.org.uk. For more information about walking in the Capital and to download the Walking Tube map and other maps, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/walking.

January 6, 2017