The Most Popular Posts on London Hiker
I’ve been running this website since 2011 and I’ve posted up a fair bit of London walking information in that time. But which posts are the ‘greatest hits’? I dug around in my website statistics to find out.
1. Q&A: Hikes near to London with great views?
The most popular post EVER on London Hiker is a Q&A in which I answered a question about great views near to London.
This makes sense, it’s exactly what I’d want to know if I’d recently started hiking in London, too.
Actually I’ve posted a lot more about this since I published this short post!
If you’re interested in great viewpoints, you might like this more recent article, too, which provides a very different perspective from my own:
2. The best book for day walks from London
I’m a HUGE fan of the Time Out Book of Country Walks and I love to recommend the books for day hikes from London.
Many years on I still think they’re the best if you want REAL countryside walks from train stations around London (and some great country pubs and tea shops too).
Doing the walks in these books opened my eyes to some of the wonderful countryside surrounding London.
I’m glad people are still discovering them!
3. Looking for a Hiking Group that Gets out of London?
I still maintain this list of hiking clubs that do weekend trips out of London, plus a link to the excellent list maintained by Rambling Clubs of the many, many walking clubs that do organised day walks from the city.
This is still a popular topic and I often get asked about organised walks and clubs to join – I’m often directing folks to this page!
4. You can have London and the hills
One of the first posts I wrote and a manifesto of sorts!
I was passionate to reassure readers that living in London didn’t mean missing out on Britain’s gorgeous countryside, green spaces and natural wonders.
If you want a bit of inspiration and four suggestions of fantastic walking areas you can reach within 1 to 4 hours of London, check it out.
5. Q&A: Where are the steepest hills near London?
As a hill fan I loved answering this fab question and as you’ll see I found 10 ‘steepest’ hills accessible from London in a day walk, plus some other great ideas for wonderful viewpoints that weren’t necessarily steep hills but were still worth a mention.
As the London Hiker tagline says, “Satisfy your hill walking cravings!”
British Summer Time is here!
We are now in British Summer Time and to celebrate, the annual Walk Your Weekends 50% off flash sale is now OPEN!
If you didn’t know already, Walk Your Weekends is my ‘flagship’ package of weekend walking itineraries, describing exactly how to have amazing weekend hiking trips in the best of Britain’s countryside – by public transport from London!
Blink and you’ll miss it though: the 50% off annual FLASH sale ends on Tuesday 28th March @ 10pm!
As in previous years, for every sale I will donate £2 to the Adventure Learning Charity Wide Horizons – and here’s why:
I can clearly remember the day my son took his first steps outside.
We don’t have a garden (a maisonette with a small balcony was all could afford in South London).
So it happened on a trip away. Holding my hand, he tottered, wobblingly, across the soft grass in his new outdoor shoes.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about children and the outdoors.
I was lucky enough to grow up close to the Peak District and Pennine hills. We’d usually go out most weekends for a walk.
So it’s really sad to read that:
- over 35% of the child population of the UK has never been to the countryside;
- with 4 in 10 children living in poverty in London there is a real need for a low cost, safe, outdoor space for children to go. (source: Wide Horizons)
So that’s why I’ve decided to donate £2 for each sale of Walk Your Weekends during this British Summer Time promotion to Wide Horizons who give urban children their first taste of adventure in the countryside.
If you buy it today, you’ll not only be grabbing an incredible bargain – because this is a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ annual sale – but you’ll be helping a child have an adventure they’ll probably never forget.
And if you aren’t buying, I invite you to consider making your own donation directly to the Charity today –> Wide Horizons
Here’s what you need to know about today’s FLASH sale:
- Walk Your Weekends will be available to buy at 50% only until Tuesday 10pm
- That means you can get it all for £23.50 instead of the regular price £47
- I’m donating £2 from every purchase made during the sale to Wide Horizons, the Adventure Learning Charity who help deprived urban kids get their first taste of the outdoors.
- You get immediate access to all 14 walking guides covering walking trips in the Lake District, South Downs, Highlands, Edinburgh, Peak District, Brecon Beacons, Snowdon, Scafell Pike, and Yorkshire.
- Each guide consists of a detailed PDF plus video talk throughs of the route and photos – so it’s as if a friend is talking you through the key things you need to know before you head out!
- I’ll help you choose which weekend to do based on different criteria
- You can ask me any questions if you get stuck planning your walking trips – I’ll be happy to help you work out a solution to your specific requirements. Basically I can support you by email and answer any questions you have about it.
- It’s all explained in detail from LONDON and by public transport. So no car required for any of the weekends. I have never owned a car and I’ve been hiking all over the place.
- Each weekend has 2 or 3 day options explained.
- Each day’s walk has an alternative ‘bad weather’ walk or activities suggested, escape routes are described, and accommodation and food options explained
- BONUS! You get my 3 week Trail Walking for First Timers which will help you plan, organise and prepare for your first long distance trail walk in Britain – perfect for complete beginners who need a bit of motivation to finally do it this year (even if you’re a bit scared).
- BONUS! You get access to all future updates, revisions and bonus itineraries that are created in future
- BONUS! You get my ‘Walk Your Weekends like a pro’ series which includes video trainings and checklists covering all this: the gear you need to take on a hiking trip; staying safe in the hills; coping with the British weather; an introduction of the different types of maps you can get and pros and cons; my top lessons learned from 10 years of weekend walking; and public transport tips
- BONUS! You get The London Hiker 50, my ultimate ticklist for the best walking locations in and around London.
- And more BONUSES – click below to see all the details
- If after 2 weeks you think it’s not right for you I’ll refund you 100%
Thank you for your support – I’ll see you on the other side!
Here’s to long summer evenings and lifetime memories.
(Remember it CLOSES Tuesday at 10pm.)
Speak to you again soon,
6 Perfect Winter Walks in London’s Countryside
Penny Foot from the Central London Outdoor Group suggests 6 walks perfect for the colder months.
The clocks have gone back and the shorter days are with us again but don’t think of hibernating during the winter months. In and around Greater London are plenty of country walks of around 5 to 6 miles that are within Zone 6 or only just outside.
On these walks you can stop at warm pubs for lunch and a beer or cafes for tea and cakes and sometimes both are possible. If the weather suddenly turns bad, there are usually “bail out” options such as catching a bus to the nearest station.
Here are a few of my favourite short winter walks:
1. Banstead Downs, Oaks Park and Woodmansterne (6 miles)
This is a pleasant Autumn walk along Banstead Downs with 2 golf courses, a prison, Oaks Park, Woodmansterne village and a return to Banstead by field paths. The walk starts and finishes in Banstead station which is in zone 6.
You can have lunch in the cafe in Oaks Park or The Woodman pub in Woodmansterne.
2. Six Commons Walks (circular walk from Esher) (6 miles)
This walk includes Littleworth Common, Arbrook Common, Oxshott Heath, Esher Common, Fairmile Common, West End Common as well as Sandown Park Race Course and the Scilly Isles. Starts and finishes at Esher (just outside the Oyster zones, so you need a cheap day return)
You can have lunch in the Prince of Wales pub in West End.
3) Surrey Valleys and the Ladder of Salvation (6 miles)
A hilly circular walk from Caterham with a stop to visit the Norman church of St Peter and St Paul at Chaldon before continuing across Happy Valley, Coulsdon Common and around Kenley Aerodrome. The church contains the oldest known wall paintings in Britain, dating from the 12th century, portraying the tree of knowledge, the seven deadly sins and how souls must avoid them when climbing the Ladder of Salvation to reach heaven.
The walk starts at Caterham and finishes at Whyteleafe on the same line (both in Oyster zone 6)
You can stop for lunch at The Fox.
4) Dollis Valley Greenwalk (5 miles)
A linear walk from Totteridge & Whetstone tube to Hampstead Heath, mostly following the Dollis through parks and woods, including a nice view of the Mill Hill viaduct. The walk is either paved or else firm underfoot. There is no convenient pub for lunch but there is a café at the end.
The walk officially finishes at the Hampstead Heath Extension but you can easily continue to Golders Green station where you can stop at Cafe Persia for cakes and coffees plus Persian snacks and sandwiches if you are hungrier by then.
5) Lost Railways in North London walk (4.5 miles)
A walk from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace (AllyPally!) with two lost railways, overgrown platforms, disused stations, and abandoned Tunnels plus Highgate Woods.
It follows a green corridor on the course of old railway lines that once ran from Finsbury Park through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate, and Muswell Hill to AllyPally.
This is London’s longest Local Nature Reserve complete with bats, squirrels, wildflowers, butterflies, and even the occasional muntjac deer.
You can have a late lunch at AllyPally.
6) Bentley Priory and 2 commons walk (6.5 miles)
This walk takes in the wonderful birch woods of Harrow Weald and Stanmore Commons plus Bentley Priory, the 18th century mansion where the Battle of Britain was masterminded, and its deer park
You can have lunch at either The Case Is Altered or The Hare.
There is also the possibility of coffee and cakes at the end at one of the many coffee shops and cafes in Stanmore.
This winter the Central London Outdoor Group (CLOG) is doing a series of Lazy Tuesday walks including the above plus a several more.
CLOG is a friendly outdoor activity group (run for members by members) for people living in and around London, happy to welcome anyone who enjoys walking, cycling, exploring our countryside and other outdoor activities. Most of our current members are in their late 30s to 50s. We typically have four to eight events every week. Non-members can attend up to three events to try out the group before joining.
[Some images copyright CLOG/Penny Foot, used with permission]
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