6 of the Best Hikes Near London
Despite its parks and green spaces, The City of London is not known for its great hiking potential. However, not to miss out, walkers across the capital regularly take to the Overground and venture beyond the city limits to enjoy a delightful day out.
So, if you’ve spent the week stuck in commuting traffic and staring out of the window, dreaming wistfully of freedom and open spaces, take a look at six of our favourite walks near London. All of these walks can be done in a day from the capital and suit a range of experiences.
Mole Gap Trail, Surrey
Hop off the train at Leatherhead, Surry and take the moderate, six-mile stroll to the town of Dorking along the relaxing River Mole. The path also passes by England’s largest single estate vineyard, Denbies Wine Estate, which houses a café. You can even book in a wine tasting experience!
Getting there: Around 45 minutes from London Victoria to Leatherhead and 50 minutes return from Dorking.
Length of walk: Three hours, without wine or food stops.
Chess Valley Walk, Chiltern Hills AONB
A day out in the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect way to blow out those city cobwebs and let the explorer within take over. Spanning around ten miles, follow the straight path alongside the bubbling River Chess. Not only is the riverside location abundant with local wildlife – look out for water voles, kingfishers, brown trout, orchids and dragonflies – but also historical sights. You’ll stroll past the rediscovered site of a Roman villa-farm and the remarkable Chenies Manor House, a marvellous example of 13th-century Tudor architecture.
Getting there: The walk stretches from Rickmansworth to Chesham, stations for both can be found on the London Underground Metropolitan Line.
Length of walk: Around five hours.
Seaford to Eastbourne, East Sussex
If you are in need of some sea air, head to the coast for this dramatic walk of clifftop views and the opportunity to see the famous natural landmark, The Seven Sisters. The moderate-to-high intensity walk from Seaford to Eastbourne is around 13.6 miles and offers highly photogenic views of the famous Seven Sisters, a series of spectacular chalk cliffs.
Getting there: The train from Victoria to Seaford takes around 90 minutes.
Length of walk: The walk takes around seven hours; some of the hills are not for the faint-hearted. Take a look at our lightweight hiking boots for the ultimate all-round walking footwear.
Hastings Circular, East Sussex
Another one for clifftop drama, the Hastings circular also includes woodlands and castle ruins, making it full of variety. Starting from the harbour in Hastings, the trail runs for about six miles, with some steep hills, and will take you all the way back round to where you left off.
Getting there: Trains from Charing Cross to Hastings take about one hour 30 minutes.
Length of walk: Around three hours, which may vary due to several steep hills.
Epping Forest, Essex
Just a stone’s throw from Central London, Epping Forest offers plenty of winding trails, woodland and grassland spanning an area of 2,400 hectares. You can plan ahead and choose your trail or stop into one of their visitor centres for information on trails and facilities. The trails vary in length, meaning you can choose from a long walk or a relaxed stroll.
Getting there: Trains from Liverpool Street station take around 30 minutes.
Length of walk: Variable.
Goring to Pangbourne, The Thames Path
The Thames Path stretches some 184 miles, but the Goring Gap has some of the most scenic views. The five-mile gentle walk between Goring and Pangbourne takes you through the narrowest part of the Thames Valley, passing under Brunel’s red brick railway bridge.
Getting there: Trains from Paddington take around one hour.
Length of walk: Five miles.
Are you looking to explore further afield? Take a look at Seven of the Best Walks in the Lake District to take your walking adventures to the next level.