Hiking near London can feel totally impossible in the flat, concrete jungle that is the UK’s capital city. Immersed in all the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s no wonder most of us begin to crave fresh air, quiet, and the beautiful views the English countryside can offer.
While it may not seem it, there are in fact a number of beautiful hikes all around London – perfectly feasible to complete in a day trip.
The below hikes near London can all be accessed easily via train or car, and promise a great day out in the countryside – and leaving you plenty of time to travel back home for a well-deserved pint in your local when you’re done.
1) Hampstead Heath, London
You don’t even need to leave London for this first hike: you simply need to get the Northern line up to Hampstead!
The short version of this hike is an easy 4.55 miles (7.32 km), while the longer version has steeper hills and covers a total of 6.5 miles (10.59 km). This hike explores all over Hampstead Heath, one of London’s most well-known open spaces. You’ll ascend to the viewpoint at Parliament Hill, and then skirt around the Heath via Highgate Ponds, Whitestone Pond, finally returning to the start through the gorgeous streets of Hampstead.
How to get there: Take the Northern Line up to Hampstead.
Duration: Around three hours.
2) Ashridge & Ivinghoe Beacon, Hertfordshire
The Ivinghoe Beacon circular walk is a 10-mile hike starting from the beautiful village of Aldbury, near Tring, following the Ridgeway National Trail to the viewpoint of Ivinghoe Beacon. The hike then returns through the woods and fields of the Ashridge Estate, offering a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the UK’s National Trails and get a real look into the typical ‘English Countryside’.
How to get there: Take a train from London Euston to Tring Station (36 minutes), and walk 300m to the Ridgeway footpath.
Duration: 3 – 4 hours
3) Epping Forest, The Oak Trail in Essex
Epping Forest is over 2400 hectares and offers a wide variety of hiking options to suit everyone. This peaceful, sprawling forest is a must for any visitor to London looking to experience a different side of the city, and also makes a great day trip for residents of London and the surrounding areas.
A great hike in Epping forest is the 11 km circular hike that takes you through the best parts of the forest and circles back round to Chingford station. Upon leaving the station, head towards Royal Forest Hotel and you’ll see a trail leading to the Connaught Water lake, which you can follow to Strawberry Hills Pond, Loughton Camp, and continue to High Beach where there’s a pub that makes the perfect rest stop before continuing the final third of the hike.
How to get there: You can take the Overground to Chingford Station. Trains depart from Liverpool Street Station and take 30 minutes.
Duration: 2.5 hours
4) Henley via Stonor Circular, Oxfordshire
A longer walk (the shorter version is still 11.9 miles (19.1km), this is best for people prepared to get up early to make the most of the day. The Stonor Circular walk takes you through the Chiltern Hills, roaming through long valleys and mixed woodland, leading up to Stonor with stunning views, then returning to Henley with a range of tearooms to stop for a well-deserved break before heading back home.
How To Get There: Trains run hourly between Paddington and Henley and take an hour to get there (change at Twyford). You can also drive to Henley – there is a car park at the train station.
Duration: 7 hours
5) Chess Valley Walk, Buckinghamshire
This gentle 10-mile walk follows the River Chess from Rickmansworth to Chesham, passing through the Chess Valley along a mostly flat waymarked path. This walk passes through multiple attractive villages and provides plenty of opportunities for refreshment stops along the way.
How to get there: Both Rickmansworth and Chesham stations are found on the Metropolitan line, so you can start at one and finish at the other.
Duration: 5-6 hours.
6) Cliveden Green Walking Trail, Maidenhead
The Cliveden Green Walking Trail is an easy 2.3 mile (3.7 km) walk along the River Thames through the Cliveden estate and Berkshire countryside. You’ll start at the Woodland car park, and simply follow the signposted path.
Duration: 1 hour
how to get there: You can get a train to Taplow station, which is 1.3 mile walk from the start. Alternatively, you can drive directly to the car park.
7) Box Hill Circular, Surrey
Box Hill is a good choice for anyone looking for a range of walking options near to London. Located in Surrey, you can enjoy views of rolling green hills, whether you take the 9.2-mile circular hike or a shorter walk through the woodlands. There are plenty of stopping points along the circular walk, so this is a great place to make a day out of your hike.
Duration: 4-5 hours
How to get here: You can take the train from Waterloo to Box Hill station which is 0.5-miles from the area. Trains take about 47 minutes.
8) Seaford To Eastbourne
Craving a glimpse of the sea? The 13.8 miles (22.3 km) hike from Seaford to Eastbourne offers absolutely stunning views of chalk-white cliffs and the turquoise blue water of the English channel. This is a fairly easy-going, leisurely hike, but it is a long-distance to cover so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. There are multiple places you can stop along the way for lunch and refreshment breaks.
Duration: Allow yourself about 7 hours for the hike, plus an hour and a half journey there and back.
How to get there: You can take a train from London Victoria to Seaford which will take about 90 minutes.
9) Ockley To Leith Hill, Surrey
This 7-mile hike offers utterly breathtaking views – on a clear day, you can see the English Channel and even Big Ben if you climb the tower. Leith Hill is the highest point in the south-east, so this isn’t the most easy-going hike, but it is one with views to remember.
Duration: Around 4 hours, plus 2 hours travel time
How to get there: Take the train from London Victoria to Ockley. Trains take approximately 65 minutes.
9) Egham to Runnymede Circular Walk, Windsor
This moderate circular 3.7 miles (5.9 km) walk takes you through old woodlands, open meadows, all around Runnymede nature reserve. This walk may appeal particularly to history buffs, as you’ll explore the woodlands and wildflower meadows that are home to the birthplace of the Magna Carta.
Duration: 2 hours
How To Get There: Trains run from London Waterloo to Egham station, with the journey taking between 37 – 57 minutes. There are also plenty of car parks in Egham if you would prefer to drive.
10) Ham House From Richmond Walk
This 4.5-mile walk (7km) starts at Richmond station and passes Ham House, providing great views along the Thames Path. This is perfect for people who don’t want to stray too far outside London but are craving a peaceful, rural walk.
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
How To Get There: Get the District Line to Richmond Station, or you can also take an overground train from Waterloo.