London Tree Walks

London Tree Walks, by Paul Wood (Safe Haven Books, 2020)

The late writer and broadcaster Bernard Levin would insist that urban walking needed to have a conceit for its choice of route — his favourite was to start at Tower Bridge and walk upstream to Hampton Court, crossing every pedestrian-accessible bridge along the way, and keeping as close as possible to the river without having to retrace steps. He would then turn downstream and do the same, thus walking both banks in their entirety between the two endpoints.

Paul Wood (is this nominative determinism?) uses the trees of London to weave routes through the capital, each with its own non-arboreal theme. The species range over the native and introduced, from Scots Pine to the impressively-named Caucasian Wingnut (that one’s to be found in Ealing and Rotherhithe). As well as details of each species, there are pieces about the areas covered and their histories. The distances range from 2km to 11km, so the walks are perfect for short escapes and family introductions to the joys of walking.

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