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
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

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.

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all