Category Archives: London Wanderings

Five London Day Hikes for Winter

Richmond Park London day hikes

Limited daylight and wintry weather doesn’t mean your hiking plans have to go into hibernation. With a little forward planning and an early(ish) start, the following hikes can easily be completed from London in a day.

Seven Sisters a London day hike

For the Coastal Hikers – Birling Gap, the Seven Sisters and Exceat London Day Hike

Salty sea air and cold winds are the perfect remedy to sweep away the cobwebs after too much time indoors. While this route might require hikers to leave earlier in the morning (depending on where you live in London) to make the most of daylight hours, this walk is one of the prettiest stretches of the English coast in any weather. While the Seven Sisters attracts droves of visitors in the summer, it is quieter in the winter, giving you more space and quiet to appreciate its rugged beauty.

If you like to be beside the seaside for a hike, check the Beachy Head website, or check out my own route review for this route.

Deer in Richmond Park.

For the Lazy Sunday Hikers – Ham House from Richmond Walk London Day Hike

For those that like their walks with detours to cosy pubs and roast dinners, this route is ideal. This circular walk begins and ends handily at Richmond station, and if you’re lucky you might spot one of Richmond Park’s famous inhabitants. King Henry’s Mound still offers beautiful panoramic views of London, and there’s always the option to warm up with coffee and cake at Ham House, or The Dysart for those with deeper wallets. One of my favourite spots along this trail however is closer towards Richmond’s centre, along the Thames. Pubs line the riverfront, and in winter there’s a good chance you can stretch out and have a portion to yourself on a Sunday.  

For more information and to download the trail guide, check The National Trust website.

Slaugham Place historic remains.

For the History Buff Hikers – Balcombe Circular Walk London Day Hike

Located approximately 40 minutes away on the train from London Bridge, this walk takes London hikers through some of the prettiest sections of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The forests and walkways of Nymans gardens easily lull hikers into multiple detours around its stunning landscapes. The ruins of Slaugham Place, a 16th-century Elizabethan manor house, are also a beautiful place to stop for a breather. At the end of the walk in Balcombe is the quaint and hiker-friendly Half Moon Inn pub, to toast a successful walk.

To try this hike yourself, check out the Saturday Walker’s Club route directions.

Box Hill view London day hikes

For the ‘Tree Huggers’ – Mole Gap Trail Day Hike

While the Mole Gap Trail is famous in the summer for the fact that it includes a pitstop at the largest vineyard in England, hiking this in winter showcases the sheer variety of ancient trees located along this trail. Starting at Leatherhead station, the route meanders along the river before gradually climbing through forests, where old yew and box woodlands dwell. Towards the end of the trail hikers are treated to views from Box Hill after a lung-busting climb.

Box Hill London day hikes

If the thought of exploring hills and forests has you ‘leaf’ing the comfort of your sofa, check the route instructions from the folks at Explore Surrey or check out more things to see and do around Box Hill via my guide.

London winter day hikes ightham mote

For Historic House Hikers – Sevenoaks London Day Hike

For some strange reason, Sevenoaks is not featured too often in London guides. Despite being only a short distance from London and featuring Kent’s only deer park (think Richmond Park, but quieter), two expansive historic National Trust houses, not to mention an adorable high street with multiple lunch stops, it never attracts the same level of attention.

This is all the more benefit for hikers that venture on this route, as you can roam the deer park in search of its four-legged locals, admire the unusual architecture of Knole House and Ightham Mote, or count the number of oast houses (those houses with white caps on the pointy roofs that only seem to exist in Kent) you spot along the trail.

Knole park deer london day hikes sevenoaks

One of the benefits of hiking around Sevenoaks is the sheer number of footpaths in the area. Check some of my recommendations for extending hikes around this area, or follow through to the handy Saturday Walkers Club for route directions.

Tagged , , , , ,

If You Do One Thing In London, Visit London’s Nunhead Cemetery

Nunhead-Cemetery_Entrance1

London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries are famous for their ornate mausoleums, famous inhabitants and their sheer size. Recently I visited one of the least visited of the Magnificent Seven, Nunhead Cemetery, to see for myself what made these cemeteries so appealing for visitors to London, and found a place that had almost entirely been reclaimed by nature.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Guest Post: Richmond Park Walk with WorldHikingVlog

We have our first guest blogger (or should that be vlogger?) over on AmorExplore – please welcome Sam from WorldHikingVlog! Sam is a London-based adventurer, who travels around the world in search of new and exciting destinations to explore on two legs. This week, he brings us his explorations of one of London’s more wild pockets – Richmond Park. Over to you Sam!

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

The A to Z Guide of Adventurous Activities in London

Whether you’re a country bumpkin at heart, or you’re a simply feeling a little jaded with city life, there comes a time when every Londoner looks beyond the M25 for a little adventure. If you have neither the funds nor the time to jet off however, there are a load of adventurous activities in London on your doorstep that are waiting to be discovered. Take a look at my A-Z guide below! Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

London Walks: Chilham to Charing

IMG-20180519-WA0005

This is hands-down one of the prettiest London day hikes I’ve organised. Quaint Tudor villages, historic churches, forests and castles combine with a gentle ambling pace that offers a slice of quintessential English countryside.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Hidden London: A Tour Around Highgate Station’s Wilderness Walkabout

Ever wandered past an abandoned underground station, and wondered what it would be like inside? Or seen a station you didn’t recognise in a film, and wondered where they shot it? With Hidden London, you need not wonder anymore. Each year, this group organises select dates where urban explorers can wander and learn about the history of some of London’s abandoned underground stations and historical buildings.

This year marked the opening of a new tour, around the old abandoned Highgate station. Once a vital stop on the Great Northern Road and later tipped to be an important commuter interchange station, a series of unfortunate events led to it being abandoned and reclaimed by nature. But now, Hidden London are letting people view this urban wilderness for the first time in years.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

London Hikes Inspiration

As any outdoor-loving Londoner knows, it can be hard to escape into the outdoors from the city, particularly when you’re reliant on public transport.

So when I found a website with loads of day hikes, all within easy reach of a London train station, I knew I had to share the joy.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS SOCIETY 10K RUN HYDE PARK REVIEW

 

starting_line

A couple of months ago in the last fading rays of summer light, I made a resolution to maintain my summer cardio fitness levels year-round. No more excuses of evenings getting dark too soon, or Christmas festivities getting in the way, this year I was going to make sure I stayed at peak, all-round fitness 365 days a year. And in that spirit, I signed up for the Osteoporosis Society’s 10k run around Hyde Park on Saturday. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

OUTDOOR BOULDERING AT THE CASTLE CLIMBING CENTRE, LONDON

20160809_151148

Anniversaries aren’t usually spent covered in chalk and sweating up a boulder, but with sunny skies such a rare occurrence in London these days, you take every opportunity you get to enjoy the outdoors. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Getting a Green Thumb with The Conservation Volunteers

Lavender Pond TCV

One of the perks of my job is that once a year I get to take a day off work for volunteering. This time I was particularly lucky to take the opportunity to volunteer at the Lavender Pond Nature Park with The Conservation Volunteers.

I used to live quite close to this area, and for years I would gaze with intrigue into its gates, wondering what lay behind the old pumphouse and how to access those bridges on the pond. So when the opportunity to finally quell my curiosity arose, I pulled on my boots, tied up the hair and pulled on a pair of garden gloves, ready to get stuck in. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,