Best Family-Friendly Walks Within One Hour's Drive Of London

Family walks
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There are so many wonderful places to explore on the outskirts of London, including family-friendly trails and National Trust woodland - so why not hike up a hill or into a valley, spot wildlife or follow a walking route with your family?

No matter which area, park or trail you decide upon, make sure to take the time to enjoy the wonderful views of the English countryside. Walking is a great way to reconnect with nature, and to spend some quality time with your family - and so, we have gathered a list of the best walks to do with your family - choosing trails that are within a one hour drive from Central London.


Ashridge and Ivinghoe Beacon

This is a great circular walk that passes through lots of beautiful British countryside. The view from the Ivinghoe Beacon is a particular highlight, and the 9-mile walk includes a three-mile stretch on The Ridgeway trail, a mile on the Icknield Way Trail and a wander along the Ashridge Estate.

Address: Tring Station, Station Road, HP23 5QR

How long is the drive? 1 hour - or 38 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? Yes

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? Yes

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? The visitors centre, toilets and cafe at the Ashridge Estate Visitors Centre are currently closed due to COVID-19

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? The walk has lots of paths and trails, no special footwear needed

Could young kids or elderly manage the walk? There are lots of crisscrossing footpaths so that the walk can be made shorter if needed.

Parking? Parking available at Tring Station

Outdoor amenities: Currently closed in line with government guidelines, the Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre is perfect for taking a break and some time to rest.

Epping Forest

Explore the beauty of this ancient forest by following the 6-mile circular hike, starting and finishing at Theydon Bois underground station. The path is marked with green waymarkers and passes by a deer park and the amazing Iron Age fort, Ambresbury Banks, where Boudica fought against the Romans.

Address: Theydon Bois, Coppice Row, CM16 7EU

How long is the drive? 50 minutes - or 20 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? No

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? Bikes will cope with the forest floor, but probably not a scooter

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? No

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? The walk follows a set path with no special footwear needed.

Could young children/the elderly manage the walk? The 6.6 miles through the forest does not follow a paved path, and so there are uneven surfaces that may not suit the elderly/very young walkers.

Parking? Parking available at Theydon Bois station

Saunderton via the West Wycombe Circular

An easy stroll through the beautiful countryside of the Chilterns, this is a great choice for family walks. Heading south-east to Bradenham, you can then choose to take a longer or shorter path so that the walk is 10 km or 16 km in total. The path includes Naphill Common, Flagmore Wood, Hughenden Manor and the West Wycombe Caves. Follow the path on the OS Landranger Map no. 165, or the OS Explorer Map no. 172.

Address: Saunderton Station, HP14 4LJ

How long is the drive? 1 hour - or 36 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? Yes

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? Yes

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? No

What's the terrain like/what footwear is needed? The walk follows a path, no special footwear needed.

Could young children/the elderly manage the walk? The shorter version of the walk would be suitable for both

Parking? Free car parking at Saunderton Station

Outdoor amenities: Post lockdown, there are lots of amenities and places to stop along the route, including Hughenden Manor, the Dashwood Mausoleum and the West Wycombe Caves - where there are typically lots of cafes for a spot of lunch.

Chorleywood and Chess Valley

The Chess Valley in the Chiltern Hills is perfect for family walks, as it follows rural paths through the area, covering 9.6 km. The final mile is along residential roads from the station, but otherwise, this lovely walk is very picturesque with great views of the beautiful valleys and countryside of the Chiltern Hills.

Address: Chorleywood Station, 24 Chorelywood Bottom, Rickmansworth, WD3 5JR

How long is the drive? 49 minutes - or 27 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? Yes

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters?  Yes

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? No

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? The walk follows a path, no special footwear needed.

Could young kids/the elderly manage the walk? Yes

Parking? Pay and Display at Chorleywood Station

Cliveden Green Walking Trail

This short walk takes around 1 hour to complete, and the 3.7 km path through the Cliveden Estate offers amazing views that overlook the River Thames. Explore the Berkshire countryside on this National Trust trail and wander this family-friendly terrain that is only accessible by foot.

Address: Woodland car park, Marlow, SL6 0HJ

How long is the drive? 55 minutes - or 29 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? Yes

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? Yes

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? Yes - in the Woodland Lounge - though these are currently closed in line with government guidelines

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? This short walk follows a path across easy terrain; no special footwear needed

Could young kids/the elderly manage the walk? Yes

Parking?  Car parking available at the Woodland Car Park at the Cliveden Estate

Amenities: The Cliveden Estate and Gardens are typically open, however, they are currently closed in line with government regulations.

Woldingham and the North Downs, Surrey

This is a challenging walk that goes along the North Downs in Surrey, passing through a completely rural landscape with plenty of stunning scenery. The 8.6 km walk includes Woldingham School, Godstone Vineyards, sections of the North Downs Way trail and the Great Church Wood nature reserve.

Address: Woldingham Station, Caterham, CR3 7LQ

How long is the drive? 55 minutes - or 18 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? No - there are lots of up and downs, as well as some challenging terrain.

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? No

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? No

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? This walk has lots of up and downs, sturdy footwear recommended

Could young kids/the elderly manage the walk? No

Parking?  Car parking available at Woldingham Station

Egham to Runnymede Circular Walk in Surrey

One of the best walks for history buffs, the 6 km circular walk takes you through ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows and wetlands at the Runnymede nature reserve - the home of the Magna Carta. This National Trust route has lots of special, rare and endangered wildlife - which has made it an area of Special Scientific Interest.

Address: Egham Railway Station, Station Road, Egham TW20 9LB

How long is the drive? 43 minutes - or 22 miles - from central London

Is it buggy friendly? No - there are several stiles and gates along the way

Can I take my dog? Yes

Are there paths suitable for bikes and/or scooters? No

Are there toilet facilities/baby changing? Yes - though these are currently closed in line with government guidelines

What's the terrain like / what footwear is needed? This walk covers different terrains and surfaces, sturdy footwear recommended

Could young kids/the elderly manage the walk? No

Parking?  National Trust car park available

Amenities: Magna Carta memorial, JFK memorial and a Magna Carta tearoom with picnic tables (cafe currently closed)

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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