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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Thames walk is one of world's top hiking trails

18th September 2013

Walking along the Thames is a great way to experience the best of what London has to offer, with the famous river passing by many of the city's most iconic buildings while also being a major landmark in its own right.

However, despite the fact that you won't need any trekking boots or walking poles to journey along it, Lonely Planet has decided to include the banks of the Thames as one of the top ten hiking trails in the world.

In fact, it listed it as second, just behind the Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro.

Those who want to discover the full length of the river on foot will find a 184-mile trail awaiting them, beginning at the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds and running all the way to the North Sea.

However, Lonely Planet has singled out the stretch of the river that passes through the capital as being particularly worthy of a hike, as it's here that you'll see most of the Thames's highlights.

The South Bank, for example, is full of wonderful landmarks and attractions, providing excellent views of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster before passing by the London Eye, the Southbank Centre - complete with its iconic skate park - and Shakespeare's Globe.

A stop off at Borough market for some of the best street food found anywhere on the planet is then the perfect way to refuel your energy, before continuing on to Tower Bridge and eastwards through London's Docklands area and eventually the Thames Barrier.

Lonely Planet also makes a note of pointing out the wonderful contrast that walkers are likely to experience as they progress through London along the banks of the river, with the "leafy emptiness" of places like Richmond and Kew in the south-west of the city perfectly offset by the hustle and bustle of the South Bank.


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