One of the best ways to get an overview of London is to walk the Jubilee Walkway, a self-guided walking route created in 1977 to mark the Queen’s 25th anniversary.
The 14-mile (23km) route connects all the main places of interest in central London from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London.
Circular silver plaques set in the pavement, like the one pictured above, help to guide you in the right direction but it’s more rewarding to download the maps and descriptions from the Walk London website. There are also information panels along the route describing the buildings in the area.
It takes a long day to walk the whole Jubilee Walkway, but if you’re not a keen walker the route can be divided into five sections which take between 1 and 4 hours to walk.
We recommend the Jubilee Loop and the Western Loop sections for first-time visitors. If you do them both, you’ll see most of the important sights in central London:
Jubilee Loop Walk – 1 hour walk
This is the section to walk if you’re short of time. You pass some of London’s main sights: Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Horse Guards Parade.
The walk starts and ends in Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly tube stations).
View Jubilee Loop Walk in a larger map
Western Loop Walk – 4 hour walk
The Western Loop is the best route to help you get your bearings in London. It passes Trafalgar Square, St James’s Park, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the river Thames, the South Bank, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and back towards the West End via Covent Garden.
This one starts and finishes in Leicester Square. If you’ve already done the Jubilee Loop and don’t want to walk through St James’s Park again, start at Westminster tube.
View Western Loop Walk in a larger map
Last updated – 9 May 2013