Walk 16 - From Wimbledon, at the South-Western End of the District Line, to Putney




7.5 km (4.5 miles)


Paved surfaces and footpaths

Outward Journey

By District Line to Wimbledon or train from Waterloo - about 30 minutes from Central Londonth


By train from Putney

Points of Interest

Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon Windmill, Putney Heath


Pubs & cafes in Wimbledon Village and Putney, Windmill Cafe on the Common. Green Man Pub at top of Putney Hill

Public Toilets

At Wimbledon Station and at Windmill Cafe

Shortening the Walk

You can catch a bus down Putney Hill


What to Expect From This Walk This is an easy walk exploring an attractive corner of south west London.  Wimbledon Common and  Putney Heath are recreational areas with extensive woodland and large areas of open heath.  The walk starts with a gentle climb from Wimbledon Station to Wimbledon Village.  The village has many shops, cafes and pubs where you can take a break before setting out across the common.  There is another cafe in the centre of the common beneath the sails of the the windmill. After passing the windmill you gain access to Putney Heath via an underpass beneath the busy A3. The Heath has a distinctly different feel to the common.  It has less open spaces but a pleasant mix of woodland and ponds.  You will emerge from the Heath at the Green Man PH.   Then it is simply downhill for 1Km to the end of the walk.  Putney is another bustling high street with all facilties. Instead of going directly to the station you may like to extend the walk slightly to see Putney riverside which hosts the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race each year. Simply continue straight ahead for 500m.  

The Route

1. Wimbledon Station has two exits. To find the exit for this walk, turn right after climbing the steps from the platform and exit the station via the main concourse. Cross the road and turn right. Cross two junctions at the traffic lights. Follow the left-hand footway of Wimbledon Hill Road uphill for 1 km.  If you  prefer to avoid this part of the walk you can catch the no. 93 bus from Stop R for two stops to Marryat Road, opposite the Rose & Crown pub, and then pick up the walk route at the war memorial. Otherwise, walk up the road which brings you into Wimbledon Village with its cafés, shops and pubs.    

2. At the first roundabout the road swings to the right. At the second roundabout it swings to the left.  Continue to the end of the village, keeping to the left-hand footway. Wimbledon Common is now on your left and ahead of you is a war memorial in a triangle of land between roads. Walk right up to the memorial and then go around it to continue in the same direction. After a few steps, cross a small road and go ahead on a sandy track (which may be muddy after rain) which bends to the right. You follow this track for 140m to reach another road. Cross the road and enter the track directly opposite, which takes you straight ahead into the woods. It is separated into a bridleway on the right and a footpath on the left. 

3. Ignore all turnings to the left and the right including  a wide path after 500m which cuts diagonally across. 300m after the diagonal crossing path, reach a major crossing track.  Turn right along this crossing track, which immediately curves gently to the right.  Continue for 300m until you see a golf course on your left. Leave the track and walk along the left-hand edge of the golf course, taking care not to inconvenience any golfers. You can now see a windmill to your  right, in a cluster of other buildings. Walk between the golf fairways towards the left-hand corner of the buildings. Turn left here and then immediately right to walk around the perimeter. At another corner, turn right to reach the Windmill Café and car park. 

4. With the café  at your back, turn right and walk through the car park. At the end of the car park, you will see two footpaths ahead of you. Do not take the right-hand path, which is signed Capital Ring. Instead, take the narrower left-hand path, which leads towards some trees, about 100m distant. Pass through the trees, arrive at a junction of paths and turn left on a broad track. Walk for 300m and where the track divides, take the left-hand fork. In another 300m go through an underpass. You have now entered Putney Heath. 

5. About 30m after the underpass, turn right on a narrow path and follow it for 150m to reach a pond at a junction of paths. Go straight ahead along the top of the pond for 30m and then turn left at its far corner, so that you are still walking with the pond on your left. 70m beyond the end of the pond, reach a broad crossing path and turn sharp right. You will see houses and a vehicle barrier ahead. 50m before reaching the barrier, turn left on a clear path, which goes into the wood and becomes a broader track. Follow this for the next 450m, ignoring all paths to the left and right. At first there is a wooden fence on the right and later a stone wall. 

6. Cross a small road and enter a large grassy area which contains a cricket pitch. Follow the left-hand perimeter until you reach the top left-hand corner. Turn left here on a track which you follow for 250m to reach a five-way junction. Take the second path on the right, which is an earth track (rather than a grass track). Walk for another 250m, ignoring all crossing tracks, and emerge at the corner of Putney Heath, with Putney Hill (the A219) on your right. The Green Man pub (out of sight initially) is ahead on your left, near the bus stops. From here you can catch a bus no. 14, 37, 93 or 85 down the hill to Putney High Street. Otherwise, simply walk down the hill for 900m to reach Putney Station.

7.  To extend the walk to Putney Bridge, the starting point for the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, continue down the High Street for a further 500m until you reach the riverside. Putney Bridge Underground Station can be reached by crossing the River Thames and then turning right down some steps




Information on things You Will See

Wimbledon Common is a large open space of forest and heathland totaling about 1,150 acres.  It comprises three area : Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath and Putney Lower Common. It is protected from being enclosed or built upon by an act of parliament which was passed in 1871.  It is a site of Special Scientic Interest. The common is maintained  for the benefit of the general public for informal recreation, and for the preservation of natural flora and fauna. It is the notional home of the Wombles who were created by Elizabeth Beresford and had their own TV show and pop group.  It was also one of the locations in H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds.

Putney Heath  is comprised of woodland and a series of open glades, including "The Frying Pan", a popular area for picnicking. The Heath was once described as ‘a wide expanse of open ground, uncultivated, where large crowds could assemble, horses could be raced, troops could be exercised and reviewed, duels could be fought and highwaymen preyed on the increasing traffic along the Portsmouth Road.

The Green Man Pub Dating back to somewhere around 1700, the Green Man on Putney Heath stands on an old duelling spot. The pub was often the refuge for the surviving contestants. It is also notorious for its highwaymen. Rumour has it that Dick Turpin once stashed his guns in the upstairs room whilst other robbers watched their intended victims taking refreshment in the pub before going after them once they resumed their journey across the heath.