Walking in London

May 12th, 2014, 08:48 AM
  #1  
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Walking in London

I've been scouring the London posts here and also guidebooks.

We are used to walking a lot in Paris and using the Metro, but sometimes in Paris it's faster just to walk because of all the stairs & hallways.

That said, my question is-------Would it be reasonable for us to walk from say the Eye, across the bridge to St. Paul's, and then on to Covent Gardens? It really doesn't look that far on the map and maybe taking the tube would be just as much walking. Also we would see more walking than the inside of the tube tunnels.

I realize that London is a huge city but it seems walkable right in the center. Am I crazy to want to walk?
TPAYT is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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It is walkable. There's a great app called Citymapper that shows how long it takes to walk compared to bus, tube, taxi.
If you get tired, hop on a bus for all or part of your route.
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May 12th, 2014, 08:55 AM
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Most of us walk most of the time.

The standard resource for people unfamiliar with central London is the pedestrian route planner at http://walkit.com/cities/london/

The complex street layout means many visitors seem to prefer being told how to get from A to BE. Personally, I've never seen the point (look at a map, draw a mental line and follow it is how I learned and it's done me no harm).

But people who like that sort of thing find it's the sort of thing they like.
flanneruk is online now  
May 12th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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If I read Google maps correctly, the total would be about 2 1/2 miles. Seems reasonable to me.

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May 12th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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I loooooove walking all over London. That is a great walk. Lots of diversions along the way.
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May 12th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Fodorites always have what your looking for---thanks for the responses. We will definitely check out the app and the website suggested.

Since we walk 2 miles most days that seems like the way to go. If needed, we certainly would take a bus, taxi, or tube but walking is far more interesting. As flanner said, just head in the right direction and see where it takes you..
TPAYT is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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Go to Londontown.com and it will have walking tour itineraries that you can do on your own.

It'd be easier to go from the Eye to Covent Garden (just one, not plural) to St. Paul's then take the Tube back to wherever you need to be.
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May 12th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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that's one of my favorite walks and one that I've done many many times - take the fanastic South Bank Walkway - stopping perhaps at the Tate Modern or detouring a tad to Shakespeare's Globe Experience and The Globe Theatre and cross the shaky pedestrian bridge that leads you straight to St Paul's - from there a busy road or empty back roads to Covent Garden and onto Leicester Square and Traflagar is you like.

I'd say about three miles at the most. I walk all over central London and rarely take the Tube (where if changing lines you can walk a whole lot with loads of stairs, etc.).

PS I say 'shaky bridge' because when it was built it was designed by a world-famous architect to actually bend and twist when folks walked over it - but when unveiled it shook way too much for most tourists' liking and they thought it was going down - it was closed and the shake today is much much less if even apparent!
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May 12th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAXVa__XWZ8

Here's how the first pedestrians on the opened span found it!
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May 12th, 2014, 10:46 AM
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Yikes! I'm glad the bridge isn't like that today. BTW, is it always that crowded?

BigRuss--thanks for the tip, we'll reverse the walk.
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May 12th, 2014, 10:51 AM
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BigRuss--thanks for the tip, we'll reverse the walk>

then you'll be walking mainly along crowded sidewalks instead of the leisurely South Bank - that is if you do as BigRuss says take the Tube bank from St Paul's - do not miss the South Bank if any kind of walker - even if you use a walker!
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May 12th, 2014, 11:02 AM
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If you walk to the top of St. Paul's, you can eat as much Sticky Toffee Pudding as you want that night.

maitaitom is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 12:57 PM
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Definitely won't miss South Bank. We are staying near The Eye.

At present we plan to arrive jet lagged about noon and walk along the South Bank & have lunch. Then possibly see Sh.'s Globe theater. Rest an hour or 2, early dinner & sleep(our usual pattern for jet lag.)

The next morning(on our own)
Sh.'s Globe(if we didn't make it there the 1st day)
to
St. Paul's
to
Covent Garden(so we won't be following BR's idea)
to
St. Martin's in the Field
to hotel
This day is totally open so we may change it up to The National Gallery if we can just get into the impressionist part and not wander aimlessly--it looks as big as The Louvre)
Dinner with our tour group

Next Day:
All day tour with group(family tour with our 13 yr. old GD)
Tower of London, The Eye, boat ride, bus tour, etc.
Dinner that night at Butler's-Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel (Our GD loves Dover Sole & this was recommended here on Fodors)---any opinions on that choice are welcome .

Next Day:
Hampton Court on our own
Pre-theater dinner near Cambridge Theater(haven't decided on where yet)
Matilda

Next Day:
Chunnel to Paris with the group.
1 day tour with group, the rest on our own.

Normally we travel on our own but we chose this partial tour because it was for families. Not that she'd make friends with anyone, so she wouldn't be touring with all old people. With only 1 tour day in London & Paris it gave us a lot of freedom but still had some structure.

Any suggestions would be appreciated as this is our 1st trip to London(Paris, many times)
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May 12th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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As you walk by the Tate Modern, in an old Thameside Power Plant since it is free pop in just to see the unique interior of a converted power plant - worth a few minutes - right by the shaky bridge!
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May 12th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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For others not familiar with the South Bank Walkway: (To me a don't miss thing in London!)

https://www.google.com/search?q=sout...=1600&bih=1075
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May 12th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Wow! I am so impressed. I've been doing research for weeks and have seen many different photos of South Bank but those are so inticing. We are so in love with Paris that we were not expecting anything but a big city in London. We now have a new interest in seeing London. Thank you for posting that site.
TPAYT is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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thanks - to me the South Bank Walkway is as fine a strolling place as Europe has to offer - so many landmarks in view on opposite bank!
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May 12th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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Good info!
deladeb is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Hi TPAYT,

You are receiving good advice here.

From Flanner: "The standard resource for people unfamiliar with central London is the pedestrian route planner at http://walkit.com/cities/london/ " I use it all the time.

Big Russ and PalenQ suggest two different routes to your destination. The former would include a stroll up WHITEHALL (love all those statues, memorials, and monuments) as you approach Covent Garden. Yet PalenQ's includes a ramble along Southbank. You can't go wrong with either.

Then you wrote: "This day is totally open so we may change it up to The National Gallery if we can just get into the impressionist part and not wander aimlessly--it looks as big as The Louvre)"

I hear you. The NATIONAL GALLERY is huge. But if you go to their website you will see that those famous Impressionist paintings you are interested in are very near the entry to the right. I always have to visit Van Gogh's SUNFLOWERS and Monet's paintings of London.

Looking forward to your trip report. Have a great time...
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May 12th, 2014, 04:59 PM
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Yes, walkable. Doesn;t your map have any indication of distance on it? If not I suggest a better map. The center of London is a very complex collections or roads shooting off in all directions and without a decent map you can lose track of where you are. Make sure it has ALL of the streets on it.
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