11 Mar 2021

What Are The Best Walks Outside Of London?

Are you bored of the same old walking routes? Or perhaps you’re looking for some new pastures to explore? Lockdown in London has seen the revival of long leisurely walks, so we’ve come up with a list of the best walks outside of the city.

Just beyond the boundaries of London are some of the most amazing walks in the country.

The six counties surrounding the capital are home to various national parks and walking trails that make for a perfect weekend getaway.

We’ve lined up some places for you to discover that are easily accessible from London and will not disappoint if you decide to escape the city with friends. 

So here’s our guide to the best walks outside of London. Who knew beautiful nature, scenery and country air are all just a stone’s throw away from the Big Smoke?

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1. Epping Forest District

Best walks outside of London - Epping Forest

Distance from London: 1 hour by train or car

Epping Forest in the county of Essex offers lots of lovely walks at different distances, so you can plan precisely how long you want your route to be.

If you’re looking for a longer walk to immerse yourself in the British countryside or just an hour-long getaway then this National Trust park is for you.

Here are three routes for you to enjoy:

Epping Forest is not only a stunning location, but also has dotted about highlights from British history such as forts from the Iron Age! If you’re lucky enough to pass one, be sure to take a closer look.

2. Hadleigh Castle

Best walks outside of London - Hadleigh Castle

Distance from London: 1 hour by car or 1 hour 30 by train

Also situated in the county of Essex is Hadleigh Castle, of which only the romantic ruins of the fortress remain. The royal castle overlooks the Essex marshes and was built in 1215 during the reign of Henry III.

Whether you’re seeking some fresh air with the family or looking to switch up your daily exercise routine, Hadleigh Castle has walks to suit:

This is the perfect location for those who would like to try and spot some rare wildlife or look at stunning landscapes filled with British history. These walks are all dog friendly too!

3. Heartwood Forest

Best walks outside of London - Heartwood Forest

Distance from London: 1 hour by car or 1 hour 10 by train

Situated in the county of Hertfordshire, Heartwood Forest is an absolute must for anyone trying to escape busy London life. You’d never know that this ancient forest was so close!

To make the most of this scenic walk, we recommend visiting in April or May so that you can see the breathtakingly beautiful bluebells that cover the whole forest floor. 

But if you can’t visit during these months, don’t worry as the forest is still an incredible place to venture all year round! Similar to other places on this list, there are various walks to choose from:

Click on the walk for more information and what to expect on each. The beautiful woodland of Heartwood Forest is also home to some magnificent wildlife, from birds to deer. You simply have to visit if you get a chance!

4. Stanborough Park

Best walks outside of London - Stanborough

Distance from London: 1 hour by train or car

Stanborough Park in Hertfordshire is truly an exceptional place. This park offers astonishing lakes which link to the River Lea and incredible views over 129 acres of countryside.

Be sure to keep an eye out for birds and other animals too! If you go on a quiet day, you could end up spotting some of Britain’s greatest wildlife in their natural habitat.

The Hertfordshire walk (2 miles / 1 hour) is suited to all levels of walker and perfect for a leisurely weekend stroll. The paths are also extremely well looked after, so if you’re missing walking boots or worried about the mud this is the walk for you.

5. Ashridge

Best walks outside of London - Ashridge

Distance from London: 1 hour by car or 1 hour 20 by train

If you’re looking to be at one with nature, then take a trip to Ashridge in Hertfordshire.

Ashridge Estate suits all levels of walking experience without sacrificing any of its beauty for those who only want a short walk. The location, which is rife with wildlife and ancient trees, is truly magical. 

Here are the best walking routes to make the most of your visit:

Whichever walk you opt for, all are dog friendly. Ashridge Estate also has step-by-step guides for all of their walks which you can check out here.

6. Winkworth Arboretum

Best walks outside of London - Winkworth Arboretum

Distance from London: 1 hour 15 by car or 1 hour 20 by train

Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey offers a complete escape into nature. Spanning 121 acres, there’s no shortage of woodland to get lost in.

The wonderful thing about Winkworth is that all the walks are incredibly easy to follow and end up at a lovely tea house with lots of homemade food and local produce:

The Estate has a colour coordinated signing system, so each of the routes are easy to follow. If you’re short on time, Winkworth is a fantastic place to walk around.

7. Runnymede & Ankerwyke

Best walks outside of London - Runnymede

Distance from London: 40 minutes by car or 1 hour 25 by train

Runnymede & Ankerwycke in Surrey offers special trails that are suitable for all weathers and times of year. The two walks we recommend are quiet routes which are perfect for escaping the busy London crowds. 

Runnymede & Ankerwyke boast ancient woodland and magnificent scenery so either of the walks will certainly hit the spot:

Both walks are dog friendly, but they ask that dogs be under control due to the cattle grazing nearby. The beautiful scenery of Egham is absolutely worth the journey in our opinion.

8. Sissinghurst Estate

sissinghurst castle

Distance from London: 1 hour 30 by car

The 450 acres of Sissinghurst Estate in Kent offer fantastic walks and idyllic views of the castle. The activities you can do before or after your walk, such as tours of the estate, or a lovely alfresco lunch in the grounds, make the journey well worth it. 

The Castle Estate walk (3 miles / 1 hour 30) is a lovely stroll and perfect for families. And if you’re pushed for time, it’s also possible to cut the Castle Estate Walk in half. This is also a dog friendly destination with lots of opportunities to let your pooch off the lead.

Thank You From easyGuide

We hope you found our guide to What Are The Best Walks Outside Of London? useful. Don’t forget you can find tickets to the top attractions, activities, experiences and tours in London here.

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