Here’s a list of our favourite hikes near London.
Hiking near London isn’t as uncommon as it sounds, the city’s surrounding areas have some hidden gems, and some can be reached, explored and returned from before the day is out. Here are some of our favourites to head out of the concrete jungle and return to the city refreshed and revitalised:
This 13.8-mile hike provides some of the most beautiful coastal views in the country, owing in no small part to the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, where weather permitting you can jump in for a swim. You’ll also be treated to views of the Cuckmere Haven river valley. If you have extra time on your hands the valley itself is a visual diamond with the Cuckmere River a particularly beautiful feature. The Seaford to Eastbourne route has regularly been called the best hike in south east England. With Seaford only a half hour journey from Victoria station so is very close to London!
If woodlands are your thing, this is the hike for you. The beautiful woodland trails of the Ashridge Estate offer a seasonally dependent blend of colours and visual charm. The six-mile hike beginning at the Ashridge Estate Visitor centre offers an entry level hike with marked paths. You may even be lucky and spot some deer among the rich wildlife of the Estate or bluebells if you come at the right time of year.
At nearly two hours away this one is a longer journey, but certainly a rewarding one. There's a train from London Euston to Berkhamsted, then the bus line 29, 30 or 31 from Berkhamsted, Kings Road, to Ashridge, Monument Drive.
With a route running past the largest vineyard in the country, the Denbies Wine Estate, those who like to stop for a tipple on their walks are in luck. Though it would be wise to plan ahead to align your hike with their tasting events!
This six-mile hike follows the River Mole between Leatherhead and Dorking, before arriving at the manor house at Norbury Park, an 18th century, Georgian manor house, finishing up at the famous wine estate. An hour away by train, you can grab a train from London Waterloo to Box Hill and Westhumble taking 45 minutes, then after a 20-minute walk you’ll arrive at the trail. It's a beautiful hike near London.
This is a nice short hike near central London. The heath boasts 790 acres of grassy rambling space, with many hills, ponds, and new and ancient woodland. You will also find playgrounds for the kids and a training trail with outdoor gym equipment for those of you looking to turn the intensity up a notch. While Hampstead rambles are very customisable the circular is a four to six-mile hike beginning at the viewpoint at the top of Parliament Hill. From here the choice is yours but head by the Highgate and Whitestone Ponds to end up at Hampstead village. The village itself, which is more of a millionaire’s London borough, has some lovely pubs, art galleries and restaurants to stop off at after your walk.
If your seeking some crazy views, then head to Leith Hill for a fantastic hike. Once reaching the summit you’re going to be treated to spectacular views across 14 counties, London’s skyline including Big Ben and the Shard, and even across the English Channel (weather permitting). The climb to the summit isn’t the easiest, however. Be prepared for some steep incline toward the end of the hike, and don’t forget your binoculars. You’ll also want your camera or smartphone to snap some of the beautiful green meadows and historic cottages along the way.
Head to Ockley, Dorking from London Victoria to get to the starting point, which should take around an hour and a half.