Walking around London is one the best ways to explore the city. Whether it’s self-guided or guided themed walks, or a stroll through the many green spaces in the capital. But there’s also a social aspect to walking with others – it offers the opportunity to discover new places and reduce stress as well as meeting new people. So if you’re interested in getting your walking boots on, here’s our guide to walking groups in London.

Walking Groups That Are Part of The Ramblers

The biggest association of walking groups in London, and indeed the UK is The Ramblers. It’s a walking charity, promoting walking for health and pleasure. One of the easiest ways to find a walking group in London is by searching on the Ramblers website by location or via the group directories.

Walking groups might be based in London, but not all of the walks are urban, or within the city. You can filter down by age, level, distance, and suitability. The suitability filter will help you find walks with accessibility needs including wheelchair friendly, dog-friendly, child-friendly, and whether a car is needed or not.

There are 24 walking groups in The Ramblers, including:

Epping Forest
Epping Forest has some great walks, and with starting points easily reachable by bus. | Photo by Julia Mascetti

London Strollers:

As the name suggests, London Strollers is aimed at people who enjoy their walks at a leisurely pace, and most walks are between 2-7 miles. The walks usually take place in greater London or the surrounding countryside, and you can try up to three walks for free before deciding whether you want to join. After that, you can sign up for membership to The Ramblers which allows you to join other groups too. Walks take place twice during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at weekends. All walks should be easily accessible via public transport, and include city walks including heritage trails, hidden river walks and countryside wanders. Check the timetable (up to March 2023) to see what’s coming up, for some you can just turn up, but others have limited space, and you’ll need to book in advance.

  • Area Greater London and surrounding countryside
  • Distances: 2-7 miles
  • Age: None specified
  • Aimed at: All levels, people wanting to go on shorter, easier walks.
  • Level: Easy/Leisurely
  • When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
  • Costs: Ramblers membership: Individual £38.00 , Joint (two adults) £51.75, Lifetime: £844.00 (concessions available for students, unemployed, means-tested benefits)

Metropolitan Walkers

For a more fitness-oriented group, you can join the Metropolitan Walkers – although the 20-30s policy is frankly a more than a little ageist, it’s a great option for anyone looking to get out of the city and go on longer walks or hikes. The group even has mountain fitness walks and weekends away in different parts of the UK, and even the odd trip abroad including Portugal and Norway. As with other Ramblers groups, you can try up to three walks for free first.

  • Area South-East/Countryside near London
  • Distances: 15-20 miles
  • Age: 20s – 30s
  • Aimed at: More challenging walks/hikes
  • Level: Easy/Leisurely
  • When: Thursday, Saturdays & Sundays
  • Costs: Ramblers membership: Individual £38.00 , Joint (two adults) £51.75, Lifetime: £844.00 (concessions available for students, unemployed, means-tested benefits)

Capital Walkers

Capital Walkers is a group aimed at people aged 40+ (but anyone can join), and is a good option if you fancy easy but slightly longer walks. Walks take place on Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays and include city walks such as Regent’s Park to Olympic Park, and woodland walks, suburban routes and country rambles. The group also arranges weekends away and social events including theatre trips, ceilidh’s, and dinners. Check the timetable on the website for upcoming walks, you can try some for free, and most walks don’t need to be booked in advance.

  • Area London and surrounding areas
  • Age 40+
  • Aimed at: Anyone who wants to explore the city and surrounding areas
  • Level: Casual/Leisurely
  • When: Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
  • Costs: Ramblers membership: Individual £38.00 , Joint (two adults) £51.75, Lifetime: £844.00 (concessions available for students, unemployed, means-tested benefits)
Headstand photo on Southbank with St Pauls behind
Southbank, a nice place for a stroll (London Cheapo CEO Chris pictured) | Photo by Dan Fone

South Bank Ramblers

Don’t let the name fool you, this is not a group for people who simply want to stroll up and down the South Bank. The South Bank Ramblers is open to all and each walk is accessible by public transport, including city walks and long, countrywide trails. The longer walks include lunch stops at a café or pub or picnic. Walking routes have included urban strolls from Cannon Street to Columbia road and Nunhead to Crystal Palace and countryside walks including East Grinstead Circular in Sussex. You can try a couple of walks out first before joining up via The Ramblers Inner London groups.

  • Area London and the South East
  • Age Mixed/non-specified
  • When: Weekdays (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) and weekends
  • Level: Leisurely to challenging (from 4-18 miles)
  • Costs: Ramblers membership: Individual £38.00 , Joint (two adults) £51.75, Lifetime: £844.00 (concessions available for students, unemployed, means-tested benefits)

Other London-based Walking Groups

Saturday Walkers Club

If you want to join group walks, but don’t want the financial commitment of joining a club, the Saturday Walkers Club might be a good option. It’s volunteer run, self-led (most walking groups have leaders), and it’s free to participate. You’ll need to make your own way to the walks via the files published on the website each week, along with the timings. All walks are accessible via public transport in London and the South East (within an hour or so travel time from central London). Walks have included ancient forests, meadows, and longer hikes.

Area: London and the South East

  • Age: Any
  • Aimed at: Anyone who fancies a weekend stroll and pub lunch
  • Level: Mixed Leisurely to Challenging
  • When: Mix of weekdays and weekends (not just Saturdays!)
  • Costs: Free
  • Chiltern Hills Farmland Agricultural Field in Buckinghamshire
    Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire | Photo by iStock.com/kodachrome25

    London Explorers – Walks, Hikes, Socials

    Meetup is another good way to find various social groups, including the London Explorers. It’s a London-based group that leads guided walls across the city and further afield. Most walks can be easily accessed by public transport, and the leaders aim to use group saver or ticket deals where possible to keep costs down.And as it’s a social group too, expect some pub lunches too, it’s also twinned with the Chiltern Explorers in Buckinghamshire.

    • Area: London and the South East
    • Age: Any
    • Distances: 10-12 Miles (varies)
    • Aimed at: Casual walks to people looking for longer hikes
    • Level: Mixed
    • When: Weekends
    • Costs: From £7.00 per walk, join via Meetup.com

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