Take a hike near the capital and soak up these amazing views
hiking near london – surprising locations
Hiking is a great weekend microadventure to have on the horizon. But what if you want to go hiking and are unsure where to go? If you live in the concrete jungle that is London town it might feel as if you’re a zillion miles away from a hike with a beautiful natural backdrop to unwind to but you’d be surprised how many awesome hikes near London are within just a couple of hours of the capital (like these walks in Kent, for example). If you want to find out where to go hiking near London, you’ll find the best spots here.
Here are our pick of some of the best places to go hiking near London. These 10 hikes have views that will blow your mind. They’re all doable in a day and are perfect to blast away the cobwebs and leave you super-refreshed to return to the grind, whenever that may be.
1. Best Hike For Sea Views: Seaford to Eastbourne. 13.8 miles
A stunning hike across dramatic cliff-tops and river valleys, this is frequently called the most amazing hike in south east England and it’s easy to see why. It includes views of the white cliffs of Seven Sisters, Beachy Head, and the lovely Cuckmere Haven river valley, finishing up in restro seaside town of Eastbourne. It’ll take you the day and is barely flat for long but the rewards will be it’ll be worth it to take on this magical hike. You’ll be surprised what you find whilst hiking near London.
2. Best Hike For Insane Views: Ockley to Leith Hill. 7 miles
Climb up to the highest point in the south east, taking on Leith Hill from its steeper south side. This pretty walk takes you through green meadows, past ye olde cottages and it has some helpful built-in steps for the final push. Climb the tower and on a clear day you can see the clock face on Big Ben, 14 counties and the English Channel.
3. Best Hike For Vineyard Views: Mole Gap Trail. 6 miles
Walk from Leatherhead to Dorking through beautiful Surrey countryside following the route of the River Mole. You’ll pass an 18th century Manor House at Norbury Park and the Denbies Wine Estate, the largest vineyard in the country. And yep the do tours and tasting so you can stagger on for the short walk to Dorking town centre.
4. Best For Endless Green Views: Lewes via west Firle. 14.5 miles
Starting in the historic town of Lewes you’ll pass through a sheltered valley where if you’re lucky you’ll hear skylarks singing above. You can have lunch in the pretty village of Firle, and then hike along the chalk ridge of the South Downs Way with awesome views all around. You’ll end up back in Lewes walking along the levee by the River Ouse.
5. Best Hike For Art Views: Waltham Abbey. 6 miles
Walk through the wonderful Lea Valley passing unique art sculptures along the way. These include the Glade Sculpture, which depicts the world of the mini beast, carved wildlife benches, a work called Stag Beetles, which sees a beetle battling a mighty oak and a Giant Chair sculpture. Be sure to stop at Musicality, a giant xylophone in the park, to give that a whirl.
6. Best Hike For Forest Views: Epping Forest Oak Trail. 7 miles
Hiking near London can be conveniently local. Epping Forest offers one of the most awesome woodland hikes you can enjoy near London. The route gives you views of wonderful and historic beech pollards, woodland pasture, Ambresbury Banks, which is the remains of an Iron Age Hill Fort, and a deer sanctuary, which is home to black fallow deer. Hares and skylarks can also be seen along the way.
7. Best Hike For English Countryside Views: Chess Valley. 10 miles
This pretty walk takes you through the Chilterns from Rickmansworth to Chesham following the River Chess with some lovely villages and views of this Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, dragonflies, water voles, trout and orchids along the way.
8. Best Hike For Steep Hill Views: Hassocks to Lewes. 11.2 miles
Ditchling Beacon is one of the steepest hills in the south east with 214m of drop from the top to the bottom. This hike starts in Hassocks and finishes in Lewes past the Jack and Jill windmills then along the top of the towns to Ditchling Beacon. If you’re struggling with the steepness just be glad you’re not trying to climb it on a bike.
9. Best Hike For Castle Views: Hastings. 5.9 miles
Starting at Hastings station you’ll hike through Hastings Old Town along the seafront then up a steep coastal path, through Hastings Country Park by the East Hill funicular railway and to Fairlight Glen. You’ll then pass through some woodland and up to the atmospheric ruins of Hastings Castle.
10. Best Hike For River Views: Stonor Circular via Henley. 13.6 miles
Enjoy picturesque views of that quintessential English river town Henley but then also take on the some of the surprisingly varied and pretty countryside around it, which includes the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills, hidden valleys, plus woodland and farmland. There are lots of lovely views and nice pubs to stop at along the way.
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