5 Socially Distanced Self-Guided London Walks for 2021


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Last Updated on June 18, 2023 by London City Calling

The country is finally reopening after months of lockdown and freedom is well and truly in sight. Bars, restaurants and shops are returning and London is starting to feel like its old self again. However, with the excitement of this newfound freedom, we’ve also seen a return of crowds around the capital’s hotspots. Social distancing is not always the easiest thing to do. So if you’re looking for something to do away from the crowds, there are still many social distanced activities in London that you can try, such as taking yourself on one of these self-guided London walks…


Socially distanced self-guided London walks:

One of the best socially distanced activities in London right now is a walk through some of the capital’s most beautiful and fascinating neighbourhoods. From hunting down street art in Shoreditch to strolling down the Regents Canal, these are a few of the best self-guided walking tours in London…


Self-guided street art tour of Shoreditch

By Allison of Eternal Arrival

If you’re looking for something fun and exciting to do in London that is safe and socially distanced, head to the lovely East London neighborhood of Shoreditch for a self-guided street art tour!

Shoreditch is home to some of the best street art in London, and it’s definitely one of the areas of London that is most densely packed with urban murals and art: it’s a London itinerary must!

The street art in Shoreditch is constantly changing with new murals being added often, so even if you’ve visited the area before it’s probably changed quite a bit already.

Expect everything from satirical art to beautiful portraits to abstract pieces and beyond. The location of the best pieces of street art changes often, but Brick Lane and Redchurch Street are good places to start.

To have the most success staying socially distant, I recommend visiting on a weekday. Avoid Sundays if at all possible, when the Brick Lane street market brings Londoners and tourists alike to pack the streets of Shoreditch. Whatever you do, it’s best practice to wear a mask on the busy streets of Shoreditch, to protect yourself as well as fellow tourists and Londoners!

Read more: The best things to do in Shoreditch



South Bank self-guided walk

By Caroline from CK Travels

Self guided London walk along the South Bank

One of the most beautiful walks in central London is the riverside walk along the south bank.

Starting at Westminster Bridge, the 2.5-mile stroll takes you all the way to Tower Bridge via many historic and iconic attractions. This is a perfect outdoor activity to do in 2021 as the promenade is mostly wide which means there is plenty of space for social distancing.

You will take in sites such as the London Eye, Tate Modern, Millenium Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral and HMS Belfast. If you get hungry or thirsty you can enjoy delicious street food and drinks from the outdoor South Bank food market or Borough Market, and there is even an outdoor book market by the BFI Centre.

This walk is the perfect introduction to London if you are new to the city and can be done either by day or by night. By night many of the landmarks are beautifully lit up such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben.



Harry Potter London self-guided tour

By Pauline of BeeLovedCity

If you are a Potterhead, you must have heard of the Warner Bros Studios in London. Although they are currently open with new safety rules, it’s not quite the best thing to do for social distancing.

Instead, you could explore London and discover the real-life Harry Potter filming locations!

There are a lot of places in the city that were used for the Harry Potter movies. Back in the days, they even closed Piccadilly Circus for 2 days to film. This was pretty extraordinary as it was the first and only time it has ever happened.

Amongst the most famous Harry Potter places in London, you will find Kings Cross Station, Borough Market, Piccadilly Circus and the Millenium Bridge.

You can choose to visit them by yourself or hop on a Harry Potter walking tour of London. The guide will tell you everything you need to know about HP. The groups are pretty small, perfect for social distancing.

Read more: Harry Potter attractions and filming locations in London



Regents Canal riverwalk

By Rose from Where Rose Goes

Regents Canal London

A great socially distanced self-guided walk in London is the riverwalk from Camden to Little Venice along the charming Regents Canal.

Start either at Camden Lock or reverse the route and begin in Little Venice. If you start in Camden, you find the path from the locks and begin the peaceful walk through the northern section of Regents Park and behind the back of London Zoo, where you’ll even spy a few animals if you’re lucky.

You’ll see a whole range of homes from impressive mansions lived in by London millionaires, to quirky canal boats painted all colours of the rainbow. Many have community gardens along the riverwalk and have painted colourful murals along the pathway. It’s a great way to see how different communities in London live – all from a distance of course.

Once you reach Little Venice, you will be in the heart of one of London’s most fascinating neighbourhoods. There are cafes inside riverboats or you can simply sit outside with a packed lunch or takeaway coffee to explore this beautiful part of London.



Kensington self-guided walk

Emily from London City Calling

Kensington self guided London walk

Kensington is one of my personal favourite places for a self-guided London walk, thanks to its many grand homes (for me to lust over even though I’ll never be able to afford one myself!), pretty little mewses covered in wisteria and cute cafes to stop and grab a coffee and slice of cake.

Starting at the colourful streets of Notting Hill in the north of the area, you can take a slow stroll through the elegant Kensington Gardens or through the luscious greenery of lesser-known Holland Park, until you reach the stunning and extremely wealthy residential area of South Kensington.

A walk through Kensington can take you past some of London’s most impressive landmarks, such as historic Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and the world-class museums and academic establishments of Exhibition Road.

A lot of Kensington is also generally more spread out and somewhat quieter than many other London neighbourhoods so is a great self-guided walk option for those concerned about social distancing.



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Self guided London walks

London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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