Greater London is blessed with parks, tow paths, open spaces, rights of way, country parks, ancient forests and woods. It is not only possible to go on country walks (with minimum road walking) in London, it can be be hugely enjoyable.
Some routes are well-publicised and well-trodden, such as the London Loop, Capital Ring and Green Chain. Others are more hidden away and require either local knowledge or a guidebook written by someone with this knowledge. Some of these are real gems.
You may be familiar with some of the better known walking books such as the Time Out guides. However these mainly cover walks outside London and many are more than an hour away by train.
I'm talking about walks within the London area itself and therefore easily accessible by tube, DLR, Overground, local train, bus or tram.
Here is a selection of my favourite books on country walks in London.
Discovering Country Walks in North London by Merry Lundow, Shire publications. Out of print, but used copies are obtainable
Very detailed descriptions and sketch maps and photos of 20 walks with distances ranging for 4.5 miles to 9 miles. 88 pages
Discovering Country Walks in South London by Susan Owen and Angela Haine, Shire publications. Out of print, but used copies are obtainable
Very detailed descriptions and sketch maps of 17 walks with distances ranging for 4.5 miles to 8 miles. 64 pages.
100 walks in Greater London by Peter Rudd, Crowood Press, Available
Detailed descriptions and sketch maps of 100 walks with distances ranging for 2.75 miles to 10 miles. 191 pages
Country walks around London (in association with London Transport) by Geoff Garvey and Leigh Hatts, Mainstream Publishing. Out of print, but used copies are obtainable
Very detailed descriptions and sketch maps of 26 walks with distances ranging from 3 miles to 11.5 miles