While London may an awesome city to set up camp in, those living in the Big Smoke’s urban sprawl may sometimes find they yearn for the opportunity to escape to the country, if only for a hipster-free afternoon of mud and cheaper beer in country pubs. Here’s a quick guide to 10 walks that are easily accessible from the capital:
Best for Energetic Families: Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular
This is one of the best walks for families who are fit. Lasting around five hours in length, it is 50 minutes away from London and moves through the Buckinghamshire countryside. The National Trust’s Flagmore Wood forms part of the walk, and the route is dotted with countryside cafes and pubs.
Best for Pub Lovers: Pluckley Circular, Kent
Pluckley Circular is just 20 minutes away from London, and is well-known for being one of the best country walks for those who love pubs. This is also one of the most scenic country walks just outside of London, as it is home to apple orchards and ancient oaks.
Best for Easy Walking: Guildford to Chilworth
If you are new to walking but want to escape the hustle and bustle of London all the same, this walk through Surrey is relaxing enough to let you get some much needed fresh air. As the walk moves through meadows and woods, it is a good idea for those who are walking during temperamental British weather spells to invest in a good pair of wellington boots, such as those provided by Hunter or Dunlop.
Best for Literature Fans: Alton Circular, Hampshire
Fans of Jane Austen will love this walk. As well as taking you along a path that runs past her house, it is also rich with the history of fellow author Gilbert White. This walk is around an hour away from London.
Best for Riverside Strolls: Henley via Stonor Circular, Oxfordshire
If you would like a walk that provides a variety of terrains, this one is ideal. As well as mixing woodlands and meadows, it also a walk that features many riversides.
Best for Sea Air: Seaford to Eastbourne
For some, gaining a little seaside air is essential when venturing outside London. This seven hour walk will take you along the Sussex coast, which features plenty of piers and authentic fish and chip shops.
Best for Autumn: Hurst Green to Oxted
As one of the best autumn walks of the south, Hurst Green to Oxted runs through Kent and Surrey. With the walk being around 40 minutes away from Victoria station, it is also one of the easiest to access. This is a gentle walk that passes through hills and woodland.
Best for Flexibility: Lewes via West Firle Circular
As an extensive Sussex countryside walk, the Lewes route can be taken in thirds. This means that those who fancy a brisk trip can enjoy one, and those who are fit can take on the full challenge.
Best for Plantlife: The Bluebell Woods, Kent and Surrey
The bluebell woods of Kent and Surrey are also home to the world-famous bluebell railway. During the spring and summer, this walk is at its prettiest, and is within an hour of London.
Best for Sunday Afternoons: The Park Circular Walk at Ankerwycke
With great bus connections throughout the week, this is the perfect walk for a Sunday afternoon. As a National Trust owned area, it is also steeped in history and filled with guides to the years that have passed in the area.