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London Loop (walking route)

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yorkie

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Is anyone here doing, or has anyone completed, the London Loop?

I know @jumble (+ Summer!) are doing this walk and I've heard various other forum members mention it to me; I've done a few sections myself too.

If you have completed it, which of the 24 sections were your top 10?

If you are in the process of doing this walk, which sections have you done, and how have you found it so far?
 
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eMeS

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Although I lived in the North Finchley & New Barnet areas for several years in the 1960s and used to visit London regularly until Covid made me think better of it, this is the first time I've heard of the existence of the London Loop. Many thanks for the pointer - I've downloaded map section 16.
 

Techniquest

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Never heard of this before, but I like the sound of it. 150 miles, that's impressive, even at my faster-than-average walking speed that would take quite a few days!

I definitely need to remember this for when travel becomes an option again!
 

duncanp

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I have done the whole LOOP 4 times, and would like to do it again when I get a chance.

My favourite sections are the ones between Uxbridge and Cockfosters, because they combine good scenery with an easy choice of stopping points and break points en route. The sections between Chigwell and Noak Hill on the Northern side, and Petts Woods to West Wickham are also very rural, making in difficult to believe that you are still in a London borough.

This is the thing about the LOOP, although there are 24 official sections, each section has several break points along it, where the route passes close to a railway or tube station (or in one instance a tram stop), and in addition there are numerous bus routes that can be used to lengthen or shorten each days walk as required. The longest stretch of the walk where there is no public transport connection is about 5 miles, between Farnborough and Keston

It is not that well known, but it does offer an opportunity to see a part of London that tourists and visitors rarely see.

You do need a good pair of walking shoes or boots, as some parts can be very muddy after a period of wet weather.

The signage is variable. On some sections the waymarking is very good, on others it is non existent. You really do need a copy of the official guidebook, and you should study the description of the section you intend to walk.

If you are interested in the LOOP, there is a shorter circular walk in London called the Capital Ring which I have done a couple of times as well. This is slightly more urban than the LOOP, but there are some really nice sections, my favourite being the climb over Horsenden Hill, between Greenford and Sudbury Hill.
 

matt

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I've not heard of this before, sounds like it might be something to explore during the summer.
 

A Challenge

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I've never set out to walk a section of the loop, but have done small parts of Sections 1, 2, 4 and 11 just randomly and they have been quite nice (though not the bit along the A2, obviously). If you are thinking of this as a potential forum walk, I think a section (or part of it) would work quite well, and I'd certainly be interested if I am available.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I have not heard of this, but I shall investigate now the weather seems to be getting better and things may be easing slightly too.
 

Kite159

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It's on my list of walking ideas, something for me to do (along with the smaller Capital Ring) once leisure travel is allowed.
 

Typhoon

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I've done bits. Favourite sections - a lot depends on what you are looking for. I wouldn't start with Section 1 unless you particularly like scrappies. The section I had penciled in for last year year was the last, having been enthused by John Rogers' Youtube video
 

PeterY

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I've only ever done small sections around the Uxbridge area. It follows the river Colne.
 

joncombe

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I walked all of it, but it was around 15 years ago so no doubt a lot has changed since then. I remember at that point that the path on the Essex side of the Thames ended at Coldharbour Point and that was a dead-end there and back walk from Rainham, now it goes up to Purfleet.

Some sections are certainly better than others. I particularly enjoyed the sections through Richmond Park, the downland around Happy Valley and Coulsdon, the remoter parts in Kent around Farnborough, Keston and Coney Hall in south east London and lastly the section around Chingford and Epping Forest. The sections that are not so good are the industrial parts around the Thames in east London (on both sides), around Heathrow Airport and some parts of South London where there is a lot of "pavement pounding" on not very interesting suburban streets.

From a railway point of view it's also interesting to explore some lines you perhaps haven't been on before.

I've also walked all of the Capital Ring, which was also enoyable.
 

High Dyke

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I started doing the LOOP on a bit of a whim, having travelled to London for a day out a few years ago. I decided that I might as well do it properly. I'm intending to cover two more sections next weekend.

I concur with the comments about the quality of signage along the route. I've also found some sections get muddy after rain - though in fairness various blogs / guides about the route do advise this.

Section 1 from Erith seems a bit barren at first, riverside marshes and industrial sites, but does improve. As posted on the thread the areas that stretch into Kent etc do seem far removed from the urban sprawl of London.

I've still got a long way to go, but some of the scenery so far has been great, as has finding informative historical locations along the route.

I'm also walking the Capital Ring, when time permits.
 

davews

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Walked it all a couple of years ago following the excellent Colin Saunders guide book which is now very thumbed. Looks daunting, took me best part of a year. Previously did the Capital Ring and now doing Bob Gilbert's Green London Way which follows the Ring and more.
Much of it blogged on my website at http://davesergeant.com/londonloop.htm
 

High Dyke

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Due to train problems south of Croydon on the Sunday, I never got to walk the intended sections of the LOOP. A quick change of plans saw me walk the Capital Ring between Richmond and Greenford instead.
 

Mojo

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I’m shocked of how few people have heard of the Loop. I personally haven’t sought out to complete it but have done many sections of the Loop myself. I’m very lucky in that I have so many other walking routes near me, I’d prefer to have done them firstly.

My council provides excellent maps of their Public rights of way, and I also make use of the AllTrails App (which I’ve recently paid for the use of the premium version for offline use); so I’ll often make up my own routes for walking. Normally my objective is to spend as little time as possible walking alongside roads.
 
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