London Summits Walk

Length — 320km (walked 2016-17)

The Regent’s Canal: east portal of Islington tunnel

I was looking around for a route which would link up all the boroughs in one walk, and decided to connect the highest points in each of our thirty-two London boroughs (plus that of the City of London, of course). Initial planning gave me a total length of 300km, but plans never survive contact with the enemy! Once I had the route under my feet, and had seen the options on the ground, it became 320km. The rough shape of the route gives it its less formal name — the Capital C. Note the “Kingsbury fjord” in the north-west to collect the Brent summit!


Naturally, the route is coincident with established routes (such as the London Loop and the Capital Ring) in places: there are only so many options to get through a particular area. But the constraints of visiting the summits (some of which are far from lofty) made me focus on the places between, and there are lots of fascinating histories to be found on the streets. Some of the transitional corridors of urban streets are just that, but many have real reasons to choose to go there, whether that may be the general architecture of the place, a surprise building or vista, or a rich history of an area or a building. Like the Loop, the London Summits Walk will occasionally stray beyond the strict London boundary, most notably in the south-west corner.

The walk is clearly a circuit, and may therefor be started or finished at any point, but there is a ‘conventional’ start and finish point at Chancery Lane station, near the summit of the County and City of the City of London, and that is reflected in the numeration of the route-notes.

Here are the sectional documents, grouped into general areas. We recommend that you read the introduction first: it gives context, and explains the layout of the individual sections.

Inner arc
Angel, Finsbury Park, Hampstead Heath, Swiss Cottage, Kensal Green, Craven Cottage, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Shooter’s Hill, Sidcup
868m ascent
South-east and south
Sidcup, Petts Wood, Westerham Heights, Farthing Down, Ashtead Common, Malden Rushett
1152m ascent
Malden Rushett, Kingston, Richmond Park, Horsenden Hill, Kingsbury, Ruislip Lido, Stanmore Common, Stanmore
888m ascent
North and north-east
Stanmore, Moat Mount Park, Trent Park, Enfield Lock, Havering-atte-Bower, Wanstead Park, Victoria Park, Smithfield, Chancery Lane
915m ascent

There is a document for the entire route description (279 pages, without maps).

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