Most day trips to London are planned around shopping, a visit to a museum or to see one of the wonderful landmarks but a recent visit I did was just for the purpose to walk along the Thames Path.
Starting at Waterloo Station and following the exit signs you soon find yourself by the Thames, its here I took the first diversion and headed off west along Mepham Street crossing the busy A301 and immediately turning left to the quieter Exton Street.
Walking the entire length of Exton first stop off was to photograph the very pretty purple painted windows of Konditor and Cook and drool over their exquisite sweets and cake.
Continuing in a westwards direction I always slow down and take in the beautiful and preserved Roupell Street before following my nose to The Shard. If keen to stop for coffee The Hixter in Great Guildford Street is cool and trendy and unusual enough to know that you are on Southbank.
The View from the Shard can be pre booked online, and if a fist time visitor to London or indeed any city I always recommend visiting a tall building to get an overview of the city, it helps to map the area as well as helping you plan an itinerary.
….. and by this time it really is time to meet the Thames Path and cut through the underground north until you reach the river stopping off at foodies heaven The Borough Hall Market by Southwark cathedral. Here you can try hand made chocolate, a raft of different coffee beans, eat an entire meal from across the globe and generally pick up on the exciting vibe that foodies create when tempting you to buy and satisfy your tastebud needs.
Once onto the pathway leading adjacent to the river you will see that the next mile or so is a mix of trendy wine bars, eateries and swish wharf living. The Thames Path is clearly marked when you need to divert away from the river.
And just as the Thames starts to meander into that well known loop before the Isle of Dogs you have hit the historic area of Rotherhithe where you can see the remains of the Manor House and some specially crafted statues telling you much about the area.
With potential rain likely to stop play The Angel pub at Rotherhithe was a great place to sip a wine and look across the river. I got talking to a local who entertained us with stories about working on the markets and jumping the barges as a kid.
Complete round trip with small diversions is just 6 miles or so, easy walk with great views and many distractions for an out of towner!