There’s nothing as beautiful as London in the winter. The air is crisp, and despite the chilly weather, it can be quite pleasant to stroll around the city. Whether you’re looking for a winter walk in London that ends in a pub, or just a relaxing jaunt around a scenic area, there are plenty of stunning winter walks near London that you can enjoy. Read on for a list of some of our favourites.
1. Ham House and Garden in London
The Ham House and Garden offers both gorgeous scenery and a chance to appreciate history. If you come during Christmas time, you can take in the fun atmosphere of lit candles all through Ham House, as well as greenery and Christmas trees that help set a festive tone. You can even take the kids along for a visit with Father Christmas. If you’d like to just stretch your legs, you can walk around the 17th-century gardens or take a guided tour around the historic site. No matter how you decide to spend your time there, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
2. Netley to Botley walk
For one of the best winter walks near London, head to the Hampshire coast for a walk from Netley to Botley. This four-hour walk offers beautiful sea views and lots to see. Start at the Netley Chapel down to the shore at Southampton Water and along the beach. You can then take a ferry (although it’s not always running regularly during the winter) and walk along the River Hamble. Stop for lunch or tea in Lower Swanwick or at Manor Farm if you find yourself getting hungry. The route ends in Botley where there are several pubs, convenient for rewarding yourself with a pint. It’s generally a pretty easy walk if you’re not interested in a strenuous route, but since you’ll be along the coast, it can get a bit cold. Be sure to throw on a PS Winter Parka to keep you protected from the elements.
Drive about an hour outside London to escape the busy city and to take some fun winter walks around Buckinghamshire. There’s much to choose from, including a walk around the scenic landscape at Stowe, the parklands of Hughenden, or the woodlands of the Chilterns countryside. These spots all differ in terms of how tough they are to walk, so you can choose a route that best fits the pace you want to take. The entire area is lovely with fresh snowfall as well.
4. Morden Hall Park in London
There are few things more delightful than a frosty morning touring the open expanse of South Park in Morden Hall Park. Because there are no leaves to block the views from the avenues, there are incredible scenes to take in everywhere you look. One of the best winter walks is into South Park and then returning along the river from the Surrey Arms entrance through the rose garden. You can also walk around the arboretum to view a rose garden that starts to bloom in January. One of the best parts is that you’re likely to spot egrets and snipes in the wintertime along the wetland – a dream for birdwatchers!
5. Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey
Surrey makes for one of the best walks near London during the winter. About an hour outside London, the Winkworth Arboretum offers a stunning wintry woodland that makes for an enjoyable walk outside. There are also several different routes you can take depending on how strenuous you want your walk to be. For an easier option, stick to the levelled walkways; for a tougher walk, you can hit up the more challenging hilly areas. You can also take a longer walk by going from Winkworth to the Oakhurst trail (for about two and a half miles); this walk goes through the picturesque Surrey countryside.
6. Box Hill to Leatherhead walk
If you’re someone that enjoys a tougher walk, try out the Box Hill to Leatherhead route. It’s not a very long walk (around three and a half hours), but there are a lot of hills to traverse. You start by crossing the River Mole and go to the top of Box Hill to enjoy views out over the valley. The route also goes along Juniper Top, which has its own pretty special views. After a steep climb up White Hill into Mickleham Downs, you can have lunch at one of two pubs there. The next part is less challenging, with a flat walk along the River Mole valley, through Norbury Park into the centre of Leatherhead. This walk has beautiful scenery throughout, but is definitely not for the faint of heart!
7. Hampstead Heath in London
Hampstead Heath can provide you with one of London’s best winter walks. The grassy area allows you to do a low-key stroll along the loop or trek up Parliament Hill for a spectacular view of the city skyline. If you’d like to take a break from your walk, you can tour the stately Kenwood House for free. If the hustle and bustle of London is getting you down, take a breather by enjoying the relaxing ponds and wooded areas throughout Hampstead Heath (a park that’s considered to be one of the best spots in all of London!). If you’re travelling to London from outside the area, make sure to research what to pack first so you’re prepared for your winter walks.
8. Wye Circular walk
If you tend to like a more structured walk, you can do the Wye Circular walk for a more direct approach. Start by going high up on the Crundale Downs to spot some beautiful views and then cross the River Great Stour and return to Wye. Depending on fitness levels, this five-hour walk could be a little challenging for some, but it’s worth it for the views. Just be prepared that the area can be a little muddy during the winter months.
If you’re in the mood to get in touch with nature, don’t let the cold temperatures deter you. Instead, bundle up in your waterproof parka and head out on one of these lovely winter walks. You can explore this part of England, spot some gorgeous views, and stay in shape all at the same time!