New north to south London walking trail launched

Battersea Power Station
The world-famous Battersea Power Station is on the route. Photo: Jim Cornall/Walking Post

A new walking trail has been launched from Cockfosters in north London to Carshalton Beeches in the south of the city.

Designed by route-planning UK website, a weekend walkathon will celebrate the new 34-mile trail on May 4 and 5, 2024.

The new trail passes through the centre of London, and complements popular circular routes such as the Capital Ring and London Loop.

Co-founders of the route-planning site, Lucy Maddison and Emily Morrison, will follow the trail from start to finish over two days. The event is open to fellow walkers – tickets are free and can be booked for one or both days from early April.

The trail takes in some of the capital’s green spaces as well as those that are less well-known, along with several familiar London landmarks. The route is 75% off-road, following public byways, footpaths and waterways, and is divided into five sections, each between six and eight miles long.

Stage 1 runs from Cockfosters to Highgate. The 8-mile leg includes Oak Hill Park, Pymme’s Brook, Arnos Park, Broomfield Park, New River Aqueduct, Alexandra Palace and Highgate Woods.

The second part, from Highgate to Baker Street, is 6.5 miles long. It encompasses Hampstead Heath, Kenwood House, Parliament Hill, Regent’s Canal, Primrose Hill, London Zoo, Regent’s Park, and London Planetarium.

The next stage, from Baker Street to Battersea, is a 6.2 mile walk that passes Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park, Trafalgar Square, South Bank Centre, Thames Path, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Lambeth Palace, and the Battersea Power Station.

The penultimate stage is the 7.2 miles from Battersea to Colliers Wood. Highlights include Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park, Peace Pagoda, Thames Path, St Mary’s Church, River Wandle, King George’s Park, and Wandle Meadow Nature Park.

The fifth stage is 6.5 miles in length and is from Colliers Wood to Carshalton. It takes in Deen City Farm, Merton Abbey Mills, Wandle River, Morden Hall Park, Watermeads Nature Reserve, Watercress Park, The Grove, and Carshalton Park.

Each segment has downloadable GPX maps and a link to the route on an Ordnance Survey (OS) map. A guide to public transport links is also provided, along with images of walk highlights, eating recommendations and toilet facilities along the route.

Maddison said: “The challenge of the North to South Trail was to create a route that goes right through the centre of London but also includes as many green spaces and footpaths as possible.”

Morrison added: “London is blessed with an array of green space and unexpected vistas, even when you’re right in the centre and think you’ve seen it all before. Walking is the perfect way to discover all kinds of details you might otherwise miss; we want to make it easy for everyone to explore and enjoy our capital city on foot.”

The North to South Trail across London will be augmented with an extension to Brighton, scheduled for launch in June.