Please use the following links to find out about walks you can take through London’s geology:
Bus Pass Geology – Around the southern limits of the Anglian Ice Sheet (2019)
The route begins at Coldfall Wood in Haringey, a Locally Important Geological Site (LIGS), and ends at Stephens House (formerly Avenue House) in Barnet, another LIGS, via Highgate Wood/Queens Wood, a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS). Estimated total travel time, 1 to 11⁄2 hours. An optional continuation to the east is Alexandra Palace. Although this is not a designated RIGS or LIGS the site offers extensive views over the Thames towards the south.
Download a pdf of the Bus Pass Geotrail.
Richmond Park Geotrail (2017)
The Richmond Park Geotrail can be downloaded here.
This walk has been produced by members of the LGP in association with the Green Chain Walk initiative. Scroll to the end of the page for the pdf. The Green Chain Geotrail connects some of London’s most important geological sites, allowing you to learn about the tropical seas and kilometre high glaciers that have covered London in the past. Our capital has suffered all this and more. The Geotrail is a 7 mile walk from the Thames Barrier to Lesnes Abbey Woods.
Click here to download a pdf of the Green Chain Geotrail (updated 2016).
A trail through time on the Green Chain Walk (2021)
In April 2016 a new initiative has been added: A trail through time which has extended the range of the original Green Chain Geotrail to include points of interest all over the Green Chain network. Click here to download a pdf of the Trail through Time leaflet.
Inevitably they do not link up in the same way as the geotrail but the 12 selected geologically interesting points can all be accessed via the South Eastern railway network. Each one is accompanied by an audio description of the site and associated interest as well as the route from the station.
The Green Chain has some remarkable geological sites that reveal how this landscape evolved millennia ago. We’ve highlighted for your convenience 12 of the best below – from submerged forests and fossil beds with sharks’ teeth to spring wells fit for a king!
Each feature is also included in a fascinating audio trail. Starting conveniently at a nearby train station, the 12 mini ‘Time Trails’ bring to life the massive forces of nature that created them, and their importance in shaping economic activity and the lives of everyday people.
After completing the mini-trail, you can either retrace your steps back to the station or continue along the sign-posted Green Chain Walk for further explorations.
Thames Path Geotrail (2012)
This trail has been prepared by the South London RIGS group associated with the Ravensbourne Geological Society.
The Thames Path Geotrail is a self led walk of 6 miles from the Thames Barrier to Rotherhithe, and reveals some of the fascinating Earth Science stories hidden below the concrete foundations of London. Traces of past climate change, that totally eclipse current concerns, and tales of human endeavor are made clear by studying the geology of London by walking over it.
The walk follows the Thames Path National Trail from the Thames Barrier to Rotherhithe, with a short deviation along the Green Chain Walk.
A pdf of the walk can be downloaded here.
Presented for the Geologists’ Association Festival of Geology 2020 as a live trip during the Covid pandemic. In the event the trip had to be cancelled because of the second Lockdwown. Instead detailed walking instructions and information on those chosen have been written up. The tour is based round the monument to George Bellas Greenough in the 200th anniversary year of the publication of his geological map and many of the other tombstones selected are related to this event.
Devised by John Henry of the History of Geology Group and Diana Clements of the London Geodiversity Partnership with some details of the descriptions of the chosen heroes taken from publications by Eric Robinson and Henry Vivian-Neal.
Greenwich Park is the oldest enclosed Royal Park covering 73 hectares with views across the River Thames to the Docklands and the City of London and lies within one of the most interesting areas geologically in Greater London as nearly all the different rock types to be found are in the close vicinity, several under the Park itself. This 5km long geotrail has been designed to demonstrate the effect of the geology on the landscape. Greenwich Park is part of Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site.
The walk starts from the Thames Path at Greenwich and then, through the Old Royal Naval College (formerly Royal Hospital for Seamen) and past Queen’s House (part of the National Maritime Museum) to enter Greenwich Park at Jubilee Gate. It finishes back on the Thames Path. The Pavilion Tea House makes a good halfway stopping off point and is conveniently placed near the famous Greenwich Meridian. The geotrail is mostly on metalled paths; there are some steep slopes.