In 2021, walking appears to be enjoying a renaissance. After months of being stuck indoors, it seems that we’ve all developed a newfound love for taking a walk in the great outdoors. Granted, a boredom-induced stroll around the neighborhood park may have been the only social activity accessible to us in the first few months of the year.
10 Best Walking Places
Of course, there are plenty of great walking places around London, but now that we’re permitted to leave the city limits, you may want to go a bit farther out. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, these rural hikes near London are the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle. It’s also a good idea to stop by one of these fantastic pub gardens if you become a bit thirsty.
Goring Gap and the Thames Path– Best Walking Place
While the 184-mile Thames Trail may not be the most exciting, it’s certainly not dull. Goring, a picturesque town in Oxfordshire, lies in which the Thames Valley meets the Berkshire Downs & the tree-covered Chilterns in a small swath of land.
Using acorn symbols as waymarks, the road follows the river’s arc southward, passing through meadows and woodlands teeming with wildflowers & the Hartslock Nature Reserve, home to red kites and a rare orchid species are surreal walking place. The Swan (Shooters Hill, RG8 7DU) in Pangbourne, a lovely 17th-century inn, offers gastro-grub these days as a post-walk bar. Settle down for a meal at one of the riverbank tables, or stay warm by the open fireplaces.
Epping Forest Oak’s Trail, Walking Place:
Discover an old forest just outside of town. Epping Forest’s northern reaches are marked by green-labeled poles along Essex’s Oak Trail, which crosses the M25 and leads to gnarled beech trees with enormous crowns.
At an Iron Age earthwork, you’ll see where Boudicca supposedly fought the Romans. It’s a delightful diversion. Queen Victoria in Theydon Green (Coppice Row, CM16 7ES) looks like a typical country tavern and serves Hertfordshire brewer McMullen ales as a post-walk refreshment in this walking place.
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Box Hill, Walking Place:
Enjoy the spectacular views from this well-known tourist destination, then go to Juniper Top & Bottom to avoid the throng. While the route starts at the peak of Box Hill, which has 272 steps, you must first over the River Mole’s 17 stepping stones.
At Juniper Bottom, the endorphins are clearly pumping, which may be why the area has been dubbed “Happy Valley”. There are a few options for post-walk pubs, such as the massive Tree on Box Hill, which has an inviting menu and a large beer garden, or the nearby Denbies Winery, where you can have a glass of Juniper Hill.
The Kentish Coast, Walking Place:
Take a stroll along the Kentish coast, which includes the three ancient seaside areas of Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate, as well as numerous more attractive and less populous coves. There are parkades at the beach level as well as the tops of the chalk cliffs along the Thanet Coastal Path. Along the way, you’ll see lots of rock pools and fossil-hunting caverns that were formerly used by smugglers.
There are also a number of coastal eateries sprinkled along the route. If you’re thirsty after your stroll, stop at Xylo, a brewery and taproom with stunning views of Margate Sands, for a pint of Kentish Kölsch, the flagship beer.
Chess Valley, Walking Place:
Until recently, Chess Valley, in the Chiltern Hills, was renowned for its abundance of watercress because of a chalk stream that flowed through the valley. Following the river, you’ll see undulating meadows, woodlands covered with delicate yellow celandines, and the chocolate-box towns of Latimer & Chenies (which has had several cameos in Midsomer Murders).
The George & Dragon, a historic mentoring inn on the High Street with a fireplace, good ales, and enormous burgers, is a great place to relax after a long walk.
Sussex’s Devils Dyke, Walking Place:
View from Devil’s Dyke may be the best in the South East if you join the sail and hang gliders. In order to really enjoy this breathtaking section of the scenic 109-mile South Downs Way, you will have to go up three high hills to get there!
The Wildflour, a caravan café serving handmade cake and afternoon tea at Saddlescombe Farm, is owned by the National Trust. Locals refer to The Rising Sun in Upper Beeding as “The Riser” for its friendly service, good beers, generous meals, and outside seating.
Marlow, Walking Place:
In addition to its industrial surroundings, the Thames has some beautiful green spaces and waterways. The charming Georgian hamlet of Marlow in Buckinghamshire is well-represented in this circular route, which encompasses a wide swath of lovely countryside.
The river meanders through lovely meadows, forested hills, and overhanging trees, passing several ancient taverns and medieval manor residences in the process. The Hand & Flowers, Tom Kerridge’s post-walk pub, is the only two-Michelin-star establishment in the United Kingdom. Drinks like the aged negroni and the duck morbidly obese old-fashioned (which may seem strange but is very delicious) can be found at the bar.
A South Downs Ridge and Seaford Head, Best Walking Places:
One option for those who have previously taken in all of the Seven Sisters Cliffs (see below) is this lengthy but beautiful alternative. After winding over Seaford Head and taking in views of the Seven Sisters’ rippled white cliffs, the path mostly follows the South Downs Way.
Refuel at the 14th-century bar The George Inn in Alfriston, a former smuggling hotspot. There are usually 10 genuine ales on tap at The Wellington, including Long Man’s award-winning malty bitter from the South Downs.
Hertfordshire’s Ashridge Estate, Walking Place:
A circular walk around Ashridge’s enormous estate takes in more than just bluebells, including England’s oldest pathway at Ridgeway, the ancient Chiltern beechwoods, and the Grade II-listed Bridgewater Monument – all within a few miles of each other.
After a long day of walking: The Valiant Trooper, located inside the Aldbury Valley, is a typical English rural pub with a beer garden, traditional cuisine, and a wide range of beers and ciders.
The Seven Sister and Eastern Down, Best Walking Places:
Hilltop views, woods, a flowing river, a shingle beach, and an exhilarating cliff trek are all part of this South Downs Way circle. After passing through Jevington, the origin of the banoffee pie, the route continues on to Alfriston, where it ends.
Plenty of locations to lay your head are available here. Sit back and relax in front of a crackling fire at Wingrove Mansion, a beautiful B&B with a fantastic restaurant and doubles starting at £100 per night Taking on the breathtaking Seven Sisters on the following day will be a real challenge. Birling Gap is a great place to look for fossils before tackling the dreaded Beachy Head at the very end.
After the stroll, go to Bottle Grove, a beer store with a taproom and a great range of local craft brews from Cloak & Dagger and Brighton Bier, among others.