Whether it’s a crisp winter day or a warm spring evening, London is an amazing place to explore on foot. So get ready to get those steps in! This is London in Fitbit steps.
Although pedometers have been in existence since the late 1700s, it wasn’t until recently that reaching a target number of steps a day became such a trend. With fitness accessories now connected to our phones and keeping track of our heart rates and general health as well as our steps, why not combine health and happiness? Many of the most popular wearable fitness devices set 10,000 steps as their default goal so why not get those steps under your belt while sightseeing on your London city break! We explore four great walking routes which will suit any interest; you’ll be so engrossed in our wonderful capital that you won’t even feel the burn.
How to walk 10,000 steps a day in London
First and foremost… the stats:
10,000 steps equates to around 5 miles or 8 kilometres, which can be done in a little over an hour and a half at a leisurely pace*
The Fashionista’s Shopping Route
Hit all of London’s top shopping destinations within your 10,000 steps! Starting at department store Harrods, you will walk through Knightsbridge until you reach Harvey Nichols then have a nice stroll in Hyde Park until you reach Marble Arch where you will start your Oxford Street adventure.
Have a break from the high street brands to explore the designer hot-spots of New Bond Street and Old Bond Street, sparkling diamonds in Burlington Arcade and the sharp tailoring of Savile Row. Go down Regent Street and snap a fashionable selfie with the lights of Piccadilly Circus in the background. Then explore the hip Carnaby Street district (more selfies are a must here) and once back to Oxford Street finish the last stretch of your high street adventure. And of course, there are various cafes and bars along the way to keep you hydrated and fed during your shopping expedition.
Distance: 4.3 miles/ 7km
Time: 1hr and 31mins (without stopping and visiting shops)
Steps: around 9,000 steps not counting browsing the rails. Add a little perusing in the three department stores and several retail flagships and you should be around the 10,000 step mark. Plus, bonus calorie-burning for all those bags!
The Culture Vulture Walking Route
London has a wealth of museums and cultural attractions. Starting in South Kensington you will be spoiled for choice with the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum all around the corner from each other.
Walking down Brompton Road you will pass department store Harrods, where you can see a monument to Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. Through Green Park, you will wander by Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace and you can walk The Mall straight to Trafalgar Square where you will find The National Portrait Gallery.
Walking down Whitehall towards Westminster you will pass The Household Cavalry Museum with the famous guards that don’t move much, and 10 Downing Street where the Prime Minister lives. At the bottom of this road you will find The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as well as Westminster Abbey.
Crossing Westminster Bridge and following the Embankment on the other side you will walk past the London Eye, Sea Life London Aquarium and The London Dungeon. Further down the embankment, you will be able to admire art or get involved in one of Southbank Centre’s many events. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants along the way too, so don’t forget to keep hydrated.
Distance: 4.1 miles/ 7Km
Time: 1hr and 25mins (without stopping and visiting the museums)
Steps: around 8,200 not counting visiting any of the museums, which of course you will want to do. Some of them are even free! Check our Free Things to do in London for more details.
The Green Warrior Walking Route
If you enjoy open green spaces and nature, then this route is the one for you.
Starting in front of Big Ben, walk down to St James’s Park and following the lake, go over the bridge to walk by Buckingham Palace, the Canada War Memorial, The Bomber Command Memorial and Wellington Arch on your way to Hyde Park.
Once in Hyde Park, find your way to the beautiful Joy of Life Fountain then down to The Serpentine, following its banks until you come to the stunning Italian Gardens. Wander to the famous Albert Memorial and walk past the Round Pound and Kensington Palace, where Lady Diana used to live, on your way to Holland Park. Once there, take in the beauty of the Japanese inspired Kyoto Garden then admire the perfectly manicured flower beds behind The Belvedere restaurant.
Congratulations, you have just walked five of London’s main parks – St James’s Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Holland Park!
Distance: 5.5 miles/ 9km
Time: 1hr and 47mins (nonstop)
Steps: around 11,000 steps. You can shorten or change this walk by just changing the paths you take inside the parks, but we have chosen a route that walks past some of the most famous memorials and monuments inside each garden, so you don’t miss the best bits.
The River Thames Sightseeing Route
River views, famous attractions, hidden passages and London’s most iconic skyline are yours for the taking on this walk. In fact, this route is so filled with sightseeing spots, our potted guide will highlight just a few of the less obvious ones in order of how they appear as you walk…
Start at the Tower of London Park right in front of the famous castle. Cross London’s iconic Tower bridge and start your embankment adventure on the other side. From here you will see a classic London skyline with Tower Bridge, Tower of London, The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), The Cheesegrater (Leadenhall Building) and The Walkie-Talkie (Fenchurch Street building) all lined up on the opposite side of the river, with London’s GLA (City Hall) building in front of you on your side of the river. These are some of London’s architectural gems so a good time for a panoramic picture, don’t forget to tag us!
Carry on walking through Hay’s Galleria along the embankment until you come up the stairs near number 1 London Bridge. Here you are going to move away from the river for a little while and we are going to share with you a secret London Unlocked tip…Right across the road you will see number 2 London Bridge, to the right of the main door there is a staircase going down to Montague Close, which runs under the road where you’ll be standing. Take the steps down to the street below, but before you do, turn around. The otherworldly building towering over you is The Shard, another of London’s famous architectural landmarks. The restaurant at the top serves a mean afternoon tea if you fancy a pit stop. You will also have some amazing views of the river from up there.
Once in Montague Close, you will walk past Southwark Cathedral and hidden away on Cathedral Street is St Mary Overie Dock. There you will find the replica of the Golden Hinde – the first English ship to sail around the world. Even if you don’t pay it a visit, it’s quite a sight. Follow Clink Street into the tunnel running under the railway tracks where you will find a trendy enclave of riverside cafes and restaurants between Bank End and Bankside.
At Southwark Bridge, take the steps over the bridge and down the other side back to the Embankment. From here you will walk by the Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern art gallery and the Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Thames right in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. Cross the bridge and have a wander around St Paul’s Churchyard and Festival Gardens. It will not only add to your steps, but you will be visiting another one of London’s iconic spots. St Paul’s is particularly stunning lit up in the evenings. Half way over the bridge you will also be able to spot another view of London’s famous skyline, with The Shard on the right, Tower Bridge at the distance and The Walkie-Talkie and Leadenhall Buiding to the left.
Take the Millennium Bridge back to the south side of the river, once you walk past the Founders Arms, you will start walking under London’s many bridges. Under Blackfriars Bridge you will walk through a very interesting tiled tunnel with pictures of old London on the walls. Carry on walking and you will pass The OXO Tower, the National Theatre and bustling Southbank Centre. This is another good stop if you like art or fancy a refuel. The Centre always has exhibitions, festivals and events on, many of which you can visit for free! Definitely worth exploring.
Soon after you will reach the London Eye, The London Dungeon and the Sea Life London Aquarium. You will also spot the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben across the river. Cross Westminster Bridge and walk past the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to reach Victoria Tower Gardens where you can sit on a bench, watch the Thames flow by and pat yourself on the back for completing your steps!
Distance: 4.6 miles/ 7km
Time: 1hr and 33mins (nonstop and without visiting any of the attractions)
Steps: around 9,200. You can reach the 10,000 steps mark by visiting any of the attractions you will encounter on the way.
And this is how to walk 10,000 Fitbit steps without even realising you are doing it. Get your trainers on and enjoy!
*based on averages, please note individual pace, step size and performance may vary