5 London Hiking Spots to Escape the City
Written by: Josh Worrall
The Sun is shining, and the birds are singing, but the thrum of pneumatic drills, emergency sirens and the roar of jets overhead drown out the sounds of summer. Sunny days are not meant to be spent in the city, so we have compiled our 5 favourite hiking spots that are just a short drive/train away from London.
New Forest National Park
If you love wildlife, the New Forest National Park is a haven for all sorts of critters – at nearby Bolderwood Sanctuary, you can find deer, pigs and ponies and even reptiles. Couple this with the unique blend of open heathlands and ancient woodlands and the New Forest makes for a great day out.
Being recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for over 50 years, the Chiltern Hills feature some of the most quintessentially attractive landscapes in the UK. This history-rich area is perfect for the budding historian or the avid hiker. And the vast stretches of countryside feature Iron Age forts, medieval churches, Bronze Age barrows and field systems. So stretch your legs and get the camera packed for a visit.
Another AONB, the Cotswolds offers something for everyone, from hilly hikes to easy family strolls - pick and choose what you want. However, if you wish to avoid the tyranny of choice and are ready to take on a challenge, the Cotswold Way National Trail is a 102-mile route which showcases the real beauty of the British outdoors.
Box Hill is the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday with the family. You can hop across the stepping stones crossing the River mole, visit Box Hill fort or pay your respects at Major Labilliere’s grave, a memorial to Leopold Solomons (the man credited with purchasing and thus protecting Box Hill). Just a short drive from the city centre you won’t hear the kids shouting “are we there yet?” too much!
South Downs National Park
Whether you’re walking the dog to burn off that cheeky pork pie you didn’t eat or trekking the 100 mile South Downs Way, you’ll be accompanied by mesmerising views of the rolling lush green fields of Hampshire or the magnificent chalk cliffs of the Sussex coast. The variety of terrain means the South Downs is a perfect day out for all ages.