Beautiful Country Walks Near London for All the Family

Spending time with the family can be difficult but exercising together is even harder. So, why not mix things up with a lovely walk in the country during your next stay in the big city? There are plenty of charming and fun walks in the area that suit kids and adults alike, and if you’re all proficient on two wheels, you could even hire some bikes!

Here are some of the best country walks within an hour of London:

Thames Path
This is a great walk to do if you have little ones in tow, or are inexperienced when it comes to countryside rambling. It starts at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich, before heading west through the city and out as far west as Kemble in Gloucestershire. 

There are few other long-distance trails that follow a river for almost all its length in this way, so the Thames Path is unique. It’s mainly a flat trail too so you shouldn’t have any problems if you need to push a pram or buggy. The whole route is 184 miles but you can just do any section that appeals to you. There are fifteen sections in total, from 9 – 15 miles in length. 

As you stroll through the countryside that inspired Kenneth Grahame to write The Wind in the Willows, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London. 

We highly recommend the Wallingford to Oxford stretch. Why not pack a picnic or call into one of the family-friendly pubs en-route? Depending on the section you choose, you could pass through plenty of picture postcard villages in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire too.
Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular 
If your family are active and relatively fit, this could be the perfect walk for you. It takes around five hours to ramble through the Buckinghamshire countryside on this trail.  

Family members of all ages will enjoy exploring the West Wycombe Caves (man-made chalk and flint caverns) and the path goes into the National Trust’s Flagmore Wood and swings by Hughenden Manor, a red brick Victorian mansion.
The Oak Trail in Epping Forest
We love this trail and we think you will too! It’s a 6.6-mile circular walk that starts and finishes from the Theydon Bois underground station, which is served by the Central line. 

To start with, you’ll be walking along the street for half a mile but then you’ll be the ancient Epping Forest. It has beautiful native trees and more than a hundred lakes and ponds (you won’t be seeing them all on your walk, but you’ll certainly see a few). 
The route goes past Ambresbury Banks, an iron age fort and a deer park, which will no doubt delight the children in your family. It should take you around 2 ½ hours to complete. 
Ashridge Estate in Birkhamstead
Whether you’re wanting to walk for half an hour or several hours, Ashridge Estate offers lots of different walks, suitable for all. 
There’s the Old Copse and Thunderdell Wood walk which is a circular route, perfect for wildlife lovers. It’s 3 miles long and should take you no more than 90 minutes to complete. Why not reward yourself with a slice of homemade cake in the café on your return?

Alternatively, opt for the shorter Duncombe Terrace walk, which is an easy walk suitable for prams and buggies. There are deer to spot, countless butterflies and beautiful bluebells. Your children will enjoy looking for badger tracks, walking over the wooden bridge and a replica of a Victorian shooting lodge. There are some incredible views on this 2-mile walk, so be sure to bring your camera.

The Ashridge Estate is stunning whatever time of year you visit, and you should have a great time. 

We hope you feel inspired to get out and about. Whichever country walk you pick, you’ll probably find you want to make a repeat visit next time you’re in London. 
We recommend

Walking around Cannon Hill Park: Birmingham’s best day out.
Walking to Arthur’s Seat

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