Escape the City: Explore 13 Best Forests Close To London!

Escape the City: Explore 13 Best Forests Close To London!

woodland walks near london
Local Forest Walks
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    The table above lists all the best forests close to London. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that walk.

    If you're looking to explore the natural side of London, be sure to check out the nearby forests! There are plenty of beautiful spots to take in throughout the region, and they offer a great escape from the bustle of the city. You'll be able to enjoy some peace while taking in stunning views, so be sure to add this activity to your list. You can spot the nesting skylarks at the Berwick Glades, go horse riding at Pages Wood, or take in the many trails at the huge Thames Chase forest.

    London Forest Walks FAQ's

    There are several woodlands within London which offer a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. One of the largest is Epping Forest, which is located in northeast London and spans more than 6,000 acres. There are also woodlands in Richmond Park, Hampstead Heath and Dulwich Park. These woodlands offer a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding.

    A few great places to hike in London are Epping Forest, Thames Chase and Folkes Lane Woodland. All three of these parks offer plenty of scenic trails that will take you through forests, meadows and hilltops. They're also all close to the city center, so you can easily get to them using public transportation.

    One of the best woodland walks to see the city skyline is Hampstead Heath, located just 4 miles from the city centre. The views from Parliament Hill are considered the best for views stretching across to The Shard and beyond. 

    13 Of The Best Forest Walks Near London

    In this blog post, we will be listing the many forest walks near London.

    There's nothing better than escaping the city and getting out amongst the trees for a peaceful walk in the forest! Have a look below at the forest walks available on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each walk, to be taken to the Forestry England pages for further information on the forest trails.

    Hampstead Heath

    If you're looking for a place to take a leisurely stroll close to the city centre, look no further than Hampstead Heath. This gorgeous park is located in north London and offers stunning views of the city skyline. But that's not all Hampstead Heath has to offer. The park is also home to an abundance of wildlife including squirrels, ducks, and many other bird species.

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    Ingrebourne Hill

    Ingrebourne Hill is the perfect place to stretch your legs and get some fresh air on your next trip to London. The forest offers 4 km of walking trails that connect to Hornchurch Country Park. And if you're looking for somewhere to stop and admire spectacular views whilst eating your lunch, there's plenty of space for a picnic overlooking the lake for you to enjoy!

    Berwick Glades

    Sitting just 13 miles from the city, the forest is a peaceful oasis where you can take a stroll and enjoy the fresh air. The area is home to a variety of wildlife with Skylarks known to nest in the glades and surrounding fields. In addition to its natural beauty, the forest is also rich in history. Ariel surveys show the Berwick Glades have been used for farming way back to the Bronze and Iron ages, potentially up to 4000 years ago!

    Bonnetts Wood

    This secluded wooded area at Bonnetts Wood is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace amongst nature. The woods are lush and green with plenty of walking paths winding through the trees, that are also used by many cyclists and horse riders.

    Cely Woods

    Named after the Cely family who bought the woods in the 15th Century, the wetlands at Cely Woods are full of wildlife that is enjoyed all year round. There is a network of paths you can take so you can make your walk as long or as short as you like but stop off at the wooden bridge to see if you can spot any wildlife in the stream below!

    forest walks near london

    Pages Wood

    Home to over 100,000 trees, Pages Wood is the perfect place to take a peaceful walk in nature. Shared by cyclists, horse riders, and walkers alike, the woods is the largest forest area in the Thames Chase. With picnic areas available, you can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the tranquillity of the trees and wildflowers.

    Harold Court Woods

    London is one of the world's great cities, and there is no shortage of things to see and do. However, sometimes it can be nice to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy some peace. Located around 17 miles away is Harold Court Woods. With 40,000 new trees planted recently, this tranquil wooded area is the perfect place to take a peaceful stroll, listen to the birds sing and appreciate the beauty of nature.

    Hainault Forest

    Located on the edge of the city, the Hainault Forest Country Park is situated in a large area of forest with miles of paths to explore. You can also see some of the wildlife that inhabits the park with over 1,000 different species being recorded there. The park was once part of a royal hunting ground but is now enjoyed throughout the year by nature lovers the country over.

    Epping Forest

    Epping Forest has many different walking trails to suit all levels of fitness, so everyone in your party will be able to find a trail that's right for them. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife located amongst the grasslands, ancient woodland, and lakes found here.

    best forests close to london

    Mardyke Woods

    Mardyke Woods is one of the oldest surviving woodlands in the South East of England area. The woods are home to a variety of birds and animals, and the walking trails are perfect for a stroll. With good views along the flood plain of the Mar Dyke, the woods are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.

    Thames Chase

    Thames Chase is a 24,000-acre forest in Essex, and is one of the largest areas of green space near London. It's also incredibly beautiful with walking and cycling trails, kid's play areas, and plenty of history to boot. But Thames Chase is more than just a pretty place to take a walk, it's also an important environmental site, which is home to many plants and animals and worth a visit.

    Tylers Wood

    Tylers Wood is located a short drive outside of London, and it's the perfect place to take a walk and take in some of the amazing views across the city this woodland offers. The wood is full of ancient trees, wildlife, and wildflowers making the forest a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

    Folkes Lane Woodland

    Folkes Lane Woodland is the perfect place to take a walk on your next trip to London. Close to the M25 motorway, the woodland is also home to a variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, and badgers. In addition, the woodland has several trails that are perfect for exploring on foot, and with a hilltop picnic spot offering spectacular views, the woodland offers the opportunity to get a good hike in as well!

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the woodland walks near London. To find out more about free things to do in the area, click on the buttons below:


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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry Commission (05/12/22) licensed under the Open Government License.