London: the step-by-step guide Michael Leapman takes a stroll through Chelsea and Battersea

This is a walk for all seasons that combines park, river and some of London's most elegant houses.

Turn left out of Sloane Square station and fork left down Holbein Place, then turn right to cross the lights into Royal Hospital Road. Go into the hospital grounds through the gates on your left (open 10am-3.30pm), passing the museum which relates the history of the Chelsea Pensioners. If you want to visit this, and the great hall and chapel of Wren's splendid building, they are open Mon-Sat fron 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm.

Past the museum go through the gate on your left (closed between 1pm and 2pm) into Ranelagh Gardens. A small pavilion contains a potted history of the gardens, a popular pleasure ground in the 18th century, when it had a large rotunda for indoor entertainments. Take time to walk round the garden and leave it the way you came in.

From the garden gate turn left and right to walk along the back of the hospital: look out for Grinling Gibbons's bronze statue of Charles II, in whose reign it was built. Turn left here to pass the obelisk (the centre of the marquee at the annual ChelseaFlower Show), go out of the south gate and turn left on the embankment to Chelsea Bridge.

As you cross the bridge look up to admire the gilded galleons on the pillars at each end. Turn right into Battersea Park, then immediately right to join the river walkway, passing the car park (where drivers begin the walk) to turn left at the Buddhist Peace Pagoda. Turn left again at the bandstand and take the first path to the right to pass a pavilion by the lake.

Turn left to go between the lake and the old pump house (now an art gallery), then turn sharp right, keeping the pump house on your right. At a T-junction turn right and follow the path until you reach Henry Moore's Three Standing Figures.

From here, turn right on to a diagonal path that passes to the right of football pitches. Cross the central avenue and head north, following an iron fence beside another football field. Turn left and right to enter the gate of the English garden, beneatha wooden pergola, and wander round it before leaving by the gate on the opposite side. Turn left and then right to leave the park at its north-west corner.

Cross Albert Bridge ("All troops must break step when marching") and turn left to pass in front of the stately houses of Cheyne Walk, past statues of Thomas Carlyle, the historian, and the Tudor statesman and cleric Sir Thomas More, both Chelsea residents. Turn right at Chelsea Old Church, which has good Tudor monuments inside.

Turn right again down Justice Walk, a narrow alley, then left, right and left again to join Glebe Place, with its quaint houses: look at the fancy terracotta on No 50. Where Glebe Place meets King's Road turn right to pass some fine early 18th-century houses whose former residents included Ellen Terry, the actress, and the film director Sir Carol Reed.

Cross King's Road and go diagonally across Dovehouse Green to pass through Chelsea Farmers' Market, with its variety of cafes and a good garden shop. Turn left on Sydney Street. A few yards past the Wellesley Arms go through the gate into St Luke's chuchyard, crossing it diagonally to round the church at its east end.

Head north to leave the churchyard and turn right, passing the Blenheim pub on your right and Jane Asher's fancy cake shop on your left. At the junction keep ahead down Elystan Place, admiring the lush container garden in front of No 45. Press on until turning right on Blacklands Terrace past (or into) John Sandoe's wonderful bookshop.

Turn left on King's Road and cross Sloane Square to get back to the station. Car drivers still have the first section to complete.

This walk is based on a route Michael Leapman devised for the `Eyewitness Guide to London' (Dorling Kindersley, £14.99)

Distance: Four miles Time: Two hours plus visits Underground: Sloane Square (District and Circle lines)

Buses: 11, 19, 22, 137, 349

Parking: Large car park at north end of Battersea Park (drivers adjust route to start and end there).

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine