Sometimes you forget the importance of being surrounded by nature. Other times, you refresh your work email for the 100th time while being squished into a busy tube carriage at rush hour, only to realise it would be nice to breathe in air that doesn’t smell of pollution and almond milk, hipster farts. We want you to get your friends together, whack on those hunters and gallop through country fields like the forest fairies you are. Here are six-country walks you can go on in and near London, along with the pubs to have a bevy in while you’re there.
1. The Walk: Hampstead Heath / London
The Pub: The Flask
Listen, we get it. You want to dive into nature, but you also don’t want to have to leave zone 2. Hampstead Heath is the perfect compromise. Stretched over 320 hectares of land, this walk is perfect for city-dwellers. You can even go for a dip in the ponds if you’re feeling brave. After your stroll, head on over to The Flask for a well-deserved pint.
“Frolic through nature and have your pants charmed off by quintessentially English towns”
2. The Walk: Pluckley Circular / Kent
The Pub: The Swan Inn
Sit yourself down on a train from Charing Cross and 1 hour and 15 minutes later you’ll be in Kent’s beautiful countryside. This walk is roughly 11.7 km long, and you’ll be walking through gorgeous grounds and old estates. How proper. Finish off the day by tucking into lunch with a riverside view at The Swan Inn.
3. The Walk: Tring Circular / Hertfordshire
The Pub: The Greyhound Inn
Not only will you get to frolic through nature on this walk, you’ll also have your pants charmed off by two quintessentially English towns. Start your walk in Tring and finish off in the beautiful Berkhamsted. This walk can range anywhere from 9-20 km depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. Oh, and you’ll even get to check out a castle while you’re there. We’d recommend getting a bite to eat at the lovely Greyhound Inn.
4. The Walk: Berwick to Eastbourne / Sussex
The Pub: The Eight Bells
Start at Berwick station, an hour and a half outside of London Victoria. You’ll walk through Wilmington, Folkington, Jevington and finish off at Eastbourne station. While you’re on your merry way, you’ll come by The Long Man of Wilmington. This will make for an amusing pun or two. Once you hit Jevington mosey on over to The Eight Bells for a flakey pastry pie even Paul Hollywood would gush over. Are you the only veggie in a group of carnivores? Fear not, there’s a veggie burger on the menu.
“tuck into a flakey pastry pie even Paul Hollywood would gush over”
5. The Walk: Chesham to Great Missenden / Buckinghamshire
The Pub: The Cock & Rabbit Inn
This one is a real beauty, and you can get the tube there. Hop on the Metropolitan Line at Baker Street for 51 minutes and you’ll arrive smack bang in the middle of Chesham. The trail will take you through some sensual scenic routes. Yes, we said sensual. If you feel like checking out some swans and pretending to be in Pride & Prejudice, pay Great Missenden Abbey a visit. We assume you will get hungry earlier rather than later, so stop by The Cock & Rabbit Inn around three-quarters of the way through your journey.
6. The Walk: Alton Circular / Hampshire
The Pub: Selborne Arms
This part of the countryside was a muse to both Jane Austen and Gilbert White. A short 1-hour 10-minute journey from London Waterloo, this route takes you on a round trip starting and finishing at Alton station. You can even visit good old Jane’s house. We are aware this is our third Jane Austen reference, but can you really blame us? Before you leave Alton, be sure to go smother some red wine gravy all over an order of locally sourced sausages at the Selborne Arms.
Take me there…
If these tales of adventure have inspired you to get your wellies on, and zip up your best Michelin-man-puffer jacket, download Nomad and invite your friends to explore the great outdoors.