Winter walks: see the capital in a new light with our London walks guide for the colder months

Battle the winter blues with some fresh air. Picture – supplied.Battle the winter blues with some fresh air. Picture – supplied.
Battle the winter blues with some fresh air. Picture – supplied.
Urban living doesn’t mean we can’t find enough wild spots and wildlife to allow us escape into nature right here on our doorstep.

It’s hard to leave the cosy duvet on a winter’s morning, but we’ve got some great suggestions for enjoying the outdoors during the winter months in and around London.

City life still offers some amazing opportunities for winter walks and outdoor fun in the capital – with the chance to find a new perspective on familiar landscapes.

Top city spots

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens: These neighbouring Royal Parks in the heart of London offer lovely winter walks. Explore the Serpentine Lake, visit the memorial fountain for Diana, Princess of Wales, and take in the changing colours of the season.

Regent's Park: Another beautiful green space within central London, its wide-open spaces, ornamental gardens and the boating lake make it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, and a crisp frosty morning transforms it into a picture postcard from the past.

Richmond Park: The largest Royal Park in the city is a great spot for winter walks and you can always find a moment of peace among its 2,500 acres. Located to the southwest of London, it’s an oasis of ancient woodlands and grasslands, with the chance to spot the resident herds of deer.

Hampstead Heath: This ancient heathland offers a taste of the countryside less than four miles from the city centre. Enjoy winter walks at the capital’s highest point with sweeping views of London from Parliament Hill or stroll alongside the serene Hampstead Ponds.

Epping Forest: Located on the outskirts of London and easily accessible via the Central Line, this 8,000-acre enchanted wood boasts numerous trails. If you’re keen to spot some wildlife, its important mix of habitats - including ancient semi-natural woodland, old grassland plains, heathlands and wetlands - mean you’re guaranteed something special, from newts and lizards when it’s warmer to fallow deer and buzzards in winter. The Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach is a great place to start and be sure to check out Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge.

Greenwich Park: This former hunting park is steeped in history (there’s been a settlement on this site since Roman times) and offers excellent views of the River Thames and the iconic Royal Observatory.

Got a car? Try these gems

From scenic countryside to coastal areas, here are some suggestions for enjoying the outdoors during the winter months a little further afield:

Box Hill: This spot in the Surrey Hills offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are various walking trails that allow you to explore the area, and the viewpoint at the top provides a breathtaking panorama.

Wendover Woods: Located in the Chiltern Hills, Wendover Woods offers a variety of walking trails through ancient woodlands. The area is particularly beautiful during the winter months with the chance to spot rare birds and deer.

Ashdown Forest: This beautiful area in East Sussex was the setting for AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. Some amazing heathland and woodlands make it the heart of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Seven Sisters Country Park: Along the Sussex coast you’ll find the chalk cliffs, meadows, and pebble beaches that make up the Seven Sisters Country Park. The cliffs, dubbed the Seven Sisters, are particularly striking in the winter light.

Stay safe out there

Before venturing out for winter walks and outdoor activities near London, be sure to dress warmly and check the weather conditions.

Confirm the opening hours and availability of outdoor attractions and events, especially during the winter season, and make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone if you’re heading off the beaten track.

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