A family hikes along a forest trail, adults and children with backpacks, surrounded by greenery in daylight.

Hikes Near London

Updated on 23rd May, 2024

Are you a city dweller longing to escape the hustle and bustle of London? Take a day trip to one of the many coastal paths or forest trails just a short train ride from London. Discover our top picks for hikes near London, all easily accessible by public transport so you can spend the day exploring the scenic landscapes of Southern England and return to the city in the evening.

Best Coastal Walks Near London

Mud path leading towards a coastal view with white chalk cliffs, blue ocean, greenery, and a house with red chimneys under a partly cloudy sky.

Seven Sisters Cliff

Head on a day trip from central London to the iconic Seven Sisters Cliffs in East Sussex. Start by catching a train from London Victoria station to Brighton, typically an hour-long journey. From there, board the train to Seaford, which takes around 30 minutes. Once you arrive, a short walk leads you to the cliffs, easily spotted by their white facade, topped with rolling green grass, and panoramic views of the English Channel. While the entire Seven Sisters Cliff spans 21km to Eastbourne, you can opt for shorter hikes stopping off at various towns along the way. The hike is suitable for beginners but can get steep in some sections, so make sure to bring snacks and water for the journey. You can stop at local towns for a lunch break along the route. Catch the bus at the end of your hike back to Seaford before getting the train back to London.

Imposing white chalk cliffs rise starkly against a blue sky above a pebble beach and a band of green vegetation.

The White Cliffs of Dover

Just over an hour from London by train, the White Cliffs of Dover make for an ideal day trip for those seeking a break from city life. These iconic cliffs are one of the most notable destinations in the UK and symbolise the beauty of the English coast. Hop on a direct train from London St. Pancras station to Dover Priory, a journey lasting less than 1 hour and 30 minutes. Upon arrival take a short walk to find 16 kilometres of winding white cliffs and sea views, on clear days you might even catch a glimpse of France. For a more leisurely hike, consider taking one of the shorter walks and stopping at key spots along the route, such as the lighthouse which takes just 50 minutes, or the Fan Bay Deep Shelter, offering tours of the underground shelter built during WWII.

Remember to pack the essentials like sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water to fuel your outdoor adventure. After exploring the cliffs, unwind in Dover with a seaside picnic or visit one of the many restaurants before returning to London.

Best Forest Hikes Near London

A serene autumn forest with a carpet of fallen golden-brown leaves, surrounded by tall green trees.

Epping Forest

For a woodland escape, take a day trip to Epping Forest in Essex, an enchanting forest area just a stone’s throw from London. Catch the train from Liverpool Street station to Chingford, which takes an average of 30 minutes. Upon arrival, you’ll find yourself in the enchanted Epping Forest which connects London and Essex. You can choose from various hikes to explore, ranging from leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes, such as the 24km Epping Forest Centenary Walk. Discover ancient woodlands, picturesque ponds, and diverse wildlife along the way. After your hike, take the opportunity to explore attractions in the local area, quaint villages, and local restaurants. With its proximity to London, Epping Forest offers a perfect escape for nature lovers craving fresh air and outdoor adventure.

A tranquil nature scene with gorse bushes in bloom, grassy path leading towards rolling hills, under a cloudy sky.

Ashdown Forest

Visit Ashdown Forest, a stunning natural forest located in East Sussex and in easy reach of London. You can take a train from London Bridge station to East Grinstead, which takes less than 2 hours. From there, you’ll need to take a short bus to the heart of Ashdown Forest, but we promise it’s worth the travel. As you explore the forest’s winding trails, you’ll discover an enchanting conservation area, with vast woodlands, heathlands, and natural beauty. Opt for the Ashburn Forest Extended Walk, a picturesque circular route spanning 14km of fields and forests. Or choose one of the many shorter trails on offer. After your hike, stop by the village of Forest Row, where you can browse local shops or refuel at one of the charming eateries.

Mountain Hikes Near London

A panoramic view of a lush valley with scattered groups of people sitting on a grassy hillside, overlooking a town amidst greenery under a cloudy sky.

Box Hill

For hikes with more challenging terrain, take a trip to the area of Surrey Hills and explore Box Hill, an ideal destination for avid hikers. Head off from London Waterloo to Box Hill & Westhumble station, which takes just over an hour. On arrival, you’ll find yourself in an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty, rich in wildlife, stunning views, and local villages to explore. The Box Hill hike is 224m high and offers a range of challenging hiking routes and a 13km circular route with steep climbs, but you can also choose a shorter route to accommodate varying fitness levels. The area boasts scenic trails with views over the surrounding countryside and the River Mole, making it the perfect activity for a summer day out in the English countryside.

A serene valley with lush green meadows, a row of trees in the foreground, and quaint houses nestled in the distance under a clear sky.

The Chiltern Hills

Also an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, the area of Chiltern offers an escape to the traditional English countryside. The area is packed with wildflowers, forests, and cute villages in which to spend time. Begin by catching a train from London Marylebone station to one of the 20 stations in the Chilterns, and you can be in the countryside in under an hour. We recommend the Chess Valley Walk, a 16km walk through the Chilterns, starting in Rickmansworth and ending in Chesham, which is easily accessible by train. The route gains up to 435m of elevation, so be sure to pack plenty of snacks and water for your hike as there are no facilities on the route. Once you’ve completed your hike, visit one of the cosy restaurants in Chesham before heading back to London.

Remember to pack your favourite Nature Valley snacks, perfect for fueling outdoor adventures. So go on, embrace the beauty of nature, and make lasting memories on these stunning hikes near London

At Nature Valley we’re always inspired by nature and we want you to be too…safely! Always check with relevant health and safety sources before venturing out.