The route for the London Parks Ways was devised using the London A-Z 2011 edition. This book is essential when walking the London Parks Way as diversions are always possible.
Most of the London Parks Way is covered by OS Explorer 161 London South and OS Explorer 173 London North. Small areas of docklands and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park can only be found in OS Explorer 162 Greenwich and Gravesend and OS Explorer 174 Epping Forest and Lee Valley. Personally I think that the A-Z is sufficient. Others might disagree.
I have followed the example of handbook providers in not using abbreviations, grid references or compass bearings.
No route map has been provided for fear of breaching copyright. A rough sketch map may be provided in due course.
A brief description of each of the stages is as follows:-
Stage 1 Kingston Station to Kingston Bridge – The route goes through Hampton Court Park and then along a short stretch of the Thames before passing through Hampton Court Palace and entering Bushy Park. The next 3 miles is spent exploring the highlights of Bushy Park before the stage finishes at Kingston Bridge. Herds of Red and Fallow Deer roam freely in Hampton Court and Bushy Parks.
Stage 2 Kingston Bridge to Barnes Bridge – The route commences with a short attractive walk along the Thames followed by a mile’s road walking to reach Richmond Park. The next 7 miles is spent exploring the highlights of Richmond Park before reaching the Thames crossing at Barnes Bridge. Herds of Red and Fallow Deer roam freely in Richmond Park.
Stage 3 Barnes Bridge to Baker Street – The route begins with a walk along the Thames to Hammersmith Bridge. There is now an unavoidable road section that takes us to Holland Park. After a tour of Holland Park there is only a short walk to Kensington Gardens. The next 3 miles in spent exploring the highlights of Kensington Gardens before the route continues to Speakers Corner of Hyde Park. Another road section that passes through Grosvenor Square takes us to Baker Street.
Stage 4 Baker Street to Trafalgar Square – Shortly after beginning this section we spend 2 ½ miles exploring the highlights of Regents Park before entering Primrose Hill for a skyline view of London. A stroll along the Regents Canal takes us to Little Venice from where it is a short walk via Paddington Station to re-enter Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate. A walk along the Serpentine leads eventually to Buckingham Palace. Finally the route takes us via Green Park and St James Park to Trafalgar Square.
Stage 5 Trafalgar Square to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – The route begins with a road section that visits Covent Garden and passes the British Museum before joining the Regents Canal. The Regents Canal detours at one stage to visit the Chappel Street Market before the route enters Victoria Park. This park is explored before the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is entered via “The Greenway”. This stage ends at the Aquatics Centre.
Stage 6 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Cutty Sark – Rejoining the route at the Aquatics Centre the next 3 ½ miles are spent exploring the highlights of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. After re-tracing our steps to rejoin “The Greenway”, there is a pleasant canal walk to 3 Mills and Limehouse Basin. The next few miles is through the re-generated London Docklands including Canary Wharf and Mudchute Farm. After using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to cross the Thames, the London Parks Way concludes by visiting Greenwich Park and Historic Greenwich. The walk finishes at the Cutty Sark.