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What is Urban Hiking?

Urban hiking basically involves walking or hiking through cities! You take on a city hike like you would a trail, but you’re rewarded with majestic landmarks, stories, architecture and hidden alleyways. City hiking covers longer distances and allows you to explore the many layers of a city.

Urban vs Countryside Trail Hiking

A perfect city time-saver! Walking through a city's historic neighbourhoods while 8070389599_ffc05d0afc_cfollowing a dedicated trail can be an easy and convenient way to see a city if you only have a limited time to explore. If you take a city-break and you only have two full days to take on a city you can maximise that by spending one day on an official urban hike. Many cities are quieter on a Sunday with shops or museums closed. So that could be the day you dedicate to a sightseeing packed adventure, brought to life through architecture, monuments, and stories.

Sure there are many ‘European city hikes’ but these take you outside of the city to greener spaces. But hike through a city in the morning or on a Sunday and you can find it just as peaceful as you would under green canopies

There’s Way More to See! Many cities havesebastiaan-stam-IHYyDEvKRAk-unsplash ‘villages’, local markets and lesser-known attractions away from the hotspots and you’d stumble upon charming cafes, beautiful gardens, or captivating street art that might have been missed on a guided tour or from a city bus tour. On the London Way you can see the crow's nest from Shackleton's ship The Quest alongside a the dedication to William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, christened in the chapel of All-Hallows by the Tower in 1644, and where the sixth president of America, John Quincy Adams, was married while ambassador to the Court of St James! 

Be Your Own Local Tourist! As someone who knows the ins and outs of their city, being a tourist in their own town is like discovering a whole new world! It's fun to explore with a new perspective, taking on the mindset of seeing the city for the first time. Being a tourist in your own city is not just about having fun - it also creates a sense of pride for it.

Getting Physical. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise but hiking in a city can pack in the steps! The Waytrails London Way is a 20km loop. That not only benefits your physical health but feeds the brain too with all the information and sites you’ll see. If you're a keen runner, urban trails are an ideal way to up the ante.

Here are our Top Tips for Visiting a Waytrails City Hike for the First Time:

john-t-5KEdogagd88-unsplashPlan Ahead: Read and get excited about your checkpoints beforehand and pick out your highlights. You can book hotels and restaurants and familiarise yourself with the city's history, major attractions, and transportation options before your visit.

Wear Comfortable Shoes: City hiking is still hiking! Covering long distances, wearing supportive footwear is essential. Opt for good trainers or walking shoes that will keep your feet happy.

Essential Gear: A day pack, water, suncream and snacks. Take on an urban hike like you would a day on the trails.