London’s most popular walks this year revealed by OS Map users

Thousands of subscribers to OS Maps have been out in force wandering the streets of London over the summer months – providing some revealing insights for us here at OS.

So many of you have poured out of tube stations, alighted from buses and spilled out of car parks to get outside and enjoy the majesty, wonder and gorgeous green space of London.

Thousands of journeys have been unselfishly logged, recorded and shared as routes in the phone and web app, whether that be cycle routes, gentle strolls or epic walks. And the data has thrown up some interesting results.

The number one place to start a walk in London this year – and end it – was Richmond station.

Top ten places in London where people start a route

  1. Richmond Station
  2. St Pancras / Kings Cross Stations
  3. Waterloo Station
  4. Coulsdon South Station
  5. London Bridge Station
  6. East Croydon Station
  7. Chingford Station
  8. The Thames Barrier (South Side)
  9. Hayes Station
  10. Tower Hill Station

Its location, with the picturesque Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richmond Park, and the Richmond and Twickenham Riverside walk all within strolling distance, made it first choice for a capital city walk this year. In fact, nine out of the top starting points were all tube or train stations.

Destinations to end a route in this year’s top 10 include The Cutty Sark at Greenwich, the London Stadium (home of West Ham United) in Stratford and arguably the most popular pub for city walkers to relax after a long hike – The Fox in Coulsdon Common (although The Blacksmith’s Arms in Cudham near Biggin Hill runs it close).

Top ten places in London where people end a route

  1. Richmond Station
  2. Cutty Sark
  3. Coulsdon South Station
  4. St Pancras / Kings Cross Stations
  5. London Stadium
  6. The Fox, Coulsdon Road
  7. Victoria Station
  8. Hampstead Underground Station
  9. London Bridge Station
  10. The Blacksmith Arms, Cudham

South London reigns supreme over the rest of the city for the greatest number of routes recorded. Data analysed for every single London borough shows Richmond-Upon-Thames (once again) as the most popular, with City of Westminster second ahead of Bromley in third. Seven out of the top 10 London Boroughs were south of the river.

East London proved to be least popular, with Barking and Dagenham ranked bottom with the fewest routes captured, just below Havering and Harrow.

London boroughs ranked by popularity of routes (number recorded in brackets)

  1. Richmond upon Thames (1008)
  2. City of Westminster (947)
  3. Bromley (837)
  4. Wandsworth (736)
  5. Tower Hamlets (694)
  6. Croydon (674)
  7. Southwark (666)
  8. Lambeth (655)
  9. Kingston upon Thames (632)
  10. Camden (601)
  11. Greenwich (564)
  12. City and County of the City of London (558)
  13. Lewisham (484)
  14. Hackney (471)
  15. Hillingdon (418)
  16. Waltham Forest (414)
  17. Islington (406)
  18. Kensington and Chelsea (401)
  19. Hounslow (365)
  20. Haringey (362)
  21. Hammersmith and Fulham (359)
  22. Merton (343)
  23. Newham (339)
  24. Barnet (314)
  25. Enfield (308)
  26. Sutton (294)
  27. Ealing (274)
  28. Bexley (249)
  29. Brent (166)
  30. Redbridge (162)
  31. Harrow (131)
  32. Havering (122)
  33. Barking and Dagenham (32)

The most popular attraction for a route to pass through was Kingston Bridge, which was enjoyed more by OS Map app users than the likes of The Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Science Museum. The Thames Path was another part of London that enticed huge numbers, with 1,556 routes recorded beside the famous old river.

The publication of the data coincides with the release of OS’s Walk London map, the first in its new Urban Map series.

The A5 sized paper map, which comes with a wallet, has two sides. One side follows the Thames Path from Richmond in the West all the way across to the Cutty Sark at Greenwich in the East (23 miles), pointing out 75 (numbered) points of interest along the way. On the other side of the map it depicts three separate walks on Richmond Park, Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens, and Greenwich Park, again with numbered points of interest for each. In total 5,747 routes around London were recorded and shared by OS Map app users.

Walk London is available to buy now

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2 Responses

  1. Tim

    Is this most popular in terms of where people walk, or most popular in terms of routes uploaded?

    Asking because I’m not really sure how the OS maps site works, is it like Strava where people upload the route they did (regardless of whether someone has already uploaded a similar route) or is it the case that if someone had already created a route the next person wouldn’t bother to upload the same thing?

    1. Jocelyn

      Tim, the route analysis was done on the number of routes uploaded to OS Maps. These routes have to have been made “publicly” available and not be left “private”.
      Regarding your second question, OS Maps is a bit of both. There may well be multiple similar routes starting at the same place but ending at different places, making it a popular starting point such as Richmond. Many thanks, Jocelyn

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