Escape to the country without having to leave London…

Living in and around London can be great, especially in the summertime. Come rain or shine, there is always something going on, from pop-up restaurants on top of disused car parks or al fresco films shown in parks across the city. Although sometimes we could do with a spot of peace and quiet and the chance to escape the city and all it’s bright lights and loud noises. But what can you do if you don’t have the time or money to jet away every weekend?

Well here’s some good news – you can get your own slice of tranquility without having the leave the capital. All you need to do is pack a nice picnic and grab your Oyster card and you’re set!

Near the water

Fancy a walk near some water? Well you are in luck as there are many places where you can go for a non-crowded stroll. You could go canal-side in Hackney and take in a great coffee whilst you wander down Vyner Street, taking in all the art in the many galleries along your way. If you continue down the canal you’ll come across many canal side pubs, which are perfect place to make a quick pit-stop.

If you fancy a more relaxed day out you could hop south of the river to Barnes and visit the London Wetland Centre. It’s an 105 acre nature reserve jam-packed with things to see and do. There are nature hides where you can practice your bird spotting and a fab observatory that gives a stunning panoramic view of the London skyline.

Hill walks

If you are after open space and hill walks then look no further than Horsenden Hill in Perivale. It’s a good 276ft of uphill climb, but once you have made it to the top you’ll be rewarded with amazing city views. You could also visit Paradise Fields, which is nearby. Here you will find a wetland that is home to swans, herons and goldfinches amongst other wildlife.

parliament hill

If Horsenden Hill doesn’t take your fancy you could head over to the famous Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath. If the stunning views don’t trap you for hours then you could take one of the many walks on the winding trails through the park. Definitely take a moment to visit the Pergola promenade and Hill Garden to escape the crowds and pollution at street level.

Woodland walks

Sometimes all you need is a short walk under the canopy of ancient oak trees to help clear your head. If that sounds like what you need, then take a walk around Epping Forest. It’s London’s largest open space with 2,400 hectares of forest that you can escape to.

If you find the vast amount of space in Epping Forest daunting, you could take a visit to Richmond Park instead. One of London’s most famous green spaces, the Royal Park is filled with wildflowers, ancient trees, Red and Fallow deer which roam freely around the park. Whilst you are there you can visit Pembroke Lodge which is situated at the highest point in the park. You can stop for a bite to eat and a cup of tea in their Georgian tea rooms, then take a look at the views across the Thames Valley.


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