This post contains seven different river walks in London. Some of them go through central London, and others follow quieter parts of the River Thames or River Wandle.
Whether you are wanting to enjoy historic sites in central London, or look for wildlife and plants, there’s a river walk here for everyone.
Summary of the Best London River Walks
The table below lists the 7 river walks in order from the shortest to the longest.
|Houses of Parliament,
St Pauls Cathedral
|Hammersmith to Putney||1.86m
Harrods Furniture Depository,
|Kew to Richmond||2.94m
|Putney to Battersea||3.7m
London Peace Pagoda,
Battersea Power Station
|Richmond to Kingston||4.5m
Eel Pie Island,
|London Bridge to Greenwich||4.93m
Watermeads Nature Reserve,
Morden Hall Park
1. River Wandle Walk
|Distance:||14 miles / 22.5 km|
The River Wandle is a tributary of the River Thames, and is one of the only rivers in London that remains almost entirely above ground. The full walk goes for 14 miles, but you can walk different sections of it to break it up.
This is a great walk if you are looking for a quiet stroll by the river, as it is far less busy than most other London river walks. It’s also a good option if you want to look for river wildlife, or plants since there are several nature reserves along the trail.
2. Queen’s Walk London
Highlights: Houses of Parliament, London Eye, St Pauls Cathedral
|Distance:||1.74 miles / 2.8 km|
|Finish:||St Pauls Cathedral|
The Queen’s Walk includes the Southbank, which runs from Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge. It then extends further to Millennium Bridge, which takes you to St Pauls Cathedral.
This is a good walk for seeing London landmarks, and tourist attractions. It passes a number of theatres, and galleries including the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, the National Theatre, and Royal Festival Hall. You also get great views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
The Queen’s Walk also passes many restaurants, bars and coffee shops, as well as venues such as the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo Bridge, which run gigs, courses and workshops.
This is not the best walk if you want to see river wildlife or plants. It is also not a quiet walk, since this is one of the busiest river walks in London.
3. Thames Path: London Bridge to Greenwich
Highlights: Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Cutty Sark
|Distance:||4.93 miles / 7.9 km|
This is a great walk if you want to see a mix of historic and modern landmarks. The walk starts at London Bridge, and goes past the Tower of London, HMS Belfast, and the Cutty Sark. It then continues to Greenwich, where you can visit the Greenwich Observatory and Maritime Museum.
4. Thames Path: Hammersmith to Putney
Highlights: Hammersmith Bridge, Harrods Furniture Depository, Fulham Palace
|Distance:||1.86 miles / 2.99 km|
This walk goes along the north bank of the River Thames. It follows the river for the full length of the walk, with only one diversion around Fulham Football Club. This is a great walk if you have an interest in wildlife, as at low tide this part of the river bed is one of the richest for small animals and birds.
On this walk you will also see a number of interesting historic places. These include Fulham Palace, which has medieval origins, and Hammersmith Bridge, the first suspension bridge to be built over the River Thames.
5. Thames Path Putney to Battersea
Highlights: Wandsworth Park, London Peace Pagoda, Battersea Power Station
|Distance:||3.7 miles / 5.95 km|
|Finish:||Battersea Power Station|
The river walk from Putney to Battersea is a busy walk. It includes Battersea Park, the London Peace Pagoda, and St Mary’s Church, one of the earliest documented Christian sites in London. The walk finishes at Battersea Power Station, which is a decommissioned coal-fired power station that has been converted into a luxury development.
This walk includes The Causeway, and The Tidal Planting Project where you can look for wildlife, and river plants, as well as four different bridges including Wandsworth Bridge, Battersea Bridge, Albert Bridge, and Chelsea Bridge.
6. Thames Path Richmond to Kingston
Highlights: Richmond Hill, Eel Pie Island, Ham House
|Distance:||4.5 miles / 7.26 km|
This river walk goes from Richmond Bridge to Kingston Bridge, and passes through Twickenham. It passes Richmond Hill which has a fantastic view of the River Thames, and the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament.
This is a quiet, green and leafy walk which passes many boat clubs and nature reserves. The trail goes past Eel Pie Island, which is the home to Twickenham Rowing Club, and Ham Lands which is a nature reserve containing many birds and butterfly species.
7. Thames Path Kew to Richmond
Highlights: Kew Gardens, Richmond Lock and Footbridge, Brentford Ait
|Distance:||2.94 miles / 4.73 km|
This walk goes from Kew Bridge to Richmond Bridge. It follows the part of the Thames Path that goes around Kew Gardens. This is a more wooded part of the Thames path. It’s a lovely walk if you want to get some fresh air, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Can you walk along the River Thames in London?
Yes, you can walk along both the north and south banks of the River Thames.
How long is the Thames Path walk?
The Thames Path National Trail, is a 184 mile long footpath.
Can you walk along the river at London bridge?
Yes, you can walk along the Thames Path at London Bridge
Where does the Thames walk start and finish?
The Thames path starts in Trewsbury Mead, Gloucestershire and runs all the way to the Thames Barrier in Woolwich, London.
What is the best part of the Thames Path?
My favourite part of the Thames Path is between Hammersmith Bridge and Putney bridge.
London Canal Walks
This post listed the best river walks in London, but there are also some great canal walks. These include:
- Regent’s Canal Walk – from the Paddington Basin to the Limehouse Basin, via Little Venice and Camden Lock
- The Grand Union Canal Walk (west London)
- Isle of Dogs Canal Walk (around Canary Wharf)
- Hackney Canal Walk
River Walks in London
Thank you for reading my post about the best river walks in London. If you know any other good routes, please leave me a comment below.