10 Best Woodland Walks Near London

Children woodland walk

Bored of being stuck in the house? Fancy getting a bit of fresh air and hearing the crunch of leaves as you walk? How about heading out on one of the 10 best woodland walks near London?

No matter what season you explore the outdoors, there’s always some beautiful about nature to discover.

Why Are Walks Good For You?

Escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and immersing oneself in the tranquil beauty of nature is a joy that families often cherish. The UK offers a plethora of stunning woodland walks that provide the perfect opportunity for families to connect with nature.

It’s a great way to get some exercise which is easy and free. While also providing the opportunity to explore your local area, stop for some wildlife spotting and enjoy good old quality time with the family. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike. These 10 woodland walks near London are sure to captivate your senses and create unforgettable family memories.

fallow deer at epping forest

1. Epping Forest, Essex

Located on the outskirts of London, Epping Forest boasts ancient woodlands, picturesque lakes, and diverse wildlife.

The nature trails here are perfect for families seeking a day of exploration. The “Tree Trail” is especially popular with kids, as it provides a chance to learn about the different tree species that call the forest home.

Fun fact! Epping Forest is home to over 55,000 ancient trees! Which is more than any other woodland/forest in the country!

Shape Location Get directions

Epping Forest, Forest Gate Theydon Bois, Epping, CM16 7LA

dog carrying stick in the woods

2. Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk

If you’re looking for lush green acres of woodlands with trees that tower over you…with a twist. Rendlesham Forest is for you.

Did you know it’s famous for its unexplained light sighting in 1980 which has been dubbed a UFO sighting? If you love the spooky and mysterious, this is a must-visit!

This dense forest offers spectacular views of its surroundings but also has a UFO trail that you can embark on if you love a bit of the supernatural!

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view of box hill on a sunny day

3. Box Hill, Surrey

Less than an hour’s drive from London, Box Hill offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

The circular walk is family-friendly and takes you through woodlands filled with wildflowers and butterflies! There’s also a bee orchid and rolling hills – perfect for long or short walks!

Did you know that it’s also a National Trust site in Surrey and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest? So, you know you’ll be treated to stunning views and beautiful woodland walks.

A visit to the Natural Play Trail is also a must for children, as it encourages imaginative play in a natural setting!

Shape Location Get directions

The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7LB

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family walking in black park

4. Black Park Country Park

Nestled in Buckinghamshire, Black Park is a haven for families looking to spend quality time outdoors.

There are over 500 acres of woodland, heathland and open to explore here! The woodlands here are crisscrossed with numerous trails, and the “Gruffalo Trail” is particularly popular among young children.

The adventure doesn’t stop there though, because you can reach new heights with Go Ape! Feel the adrenaline rush as you swing from treetops or spot a critter you wouldn’t normally spot in the city.

Shape Location Get directions

Black Park Country Park, Black Park Road, Wexham, SL3 6DS

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oak tree and orange leaves

5. High Elms Country Park

Situated in Bromley, High Elms Country Park offers a serene escape for families. With over 250 acres of countryside to explore, you’ll never get bored.

The woodland walks wind through peaceful meadows and shady groves! Making it an ideal location for picnics and wildlife spotting! Look out for the old stable block, now a visitor centre, which often hosts educational family events.

Shape Location Get directions

Shire Ln, Orpington BR6 7JH

bluebells in micheldever wood

6. Micheldever Wood, Winchester

Fancy wandering through ancient woods? You’ll find that here and more… Discover various trees from conifer and beech wood to carpets of bluebells!

Not only that, but if you’re lucky enough you might even spot the Muntjac deer in and among the wildflowers!

If you’re ready for an adventure, then we suggest heading out on one of the 2 walking trails. You can also bring your dogs and enjoy a picnic!

Shape Location Get directions

SO24 9UB, Winchester

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boats on the river

7. Hatfield Forest, Takeley

Stepping into Hatfield Forest feels like entering a time capsule. Managed by the National Trust, this ancient forest is perfect for families seeking an authentic woodland experience. This magical forest is home to over 3,500 wildlife species and ancient trees that are over 1,000 years old! There are even some of the rarest insects, lichens and fungi here!

With wild deer and cattle grazing, kids can engage with nature in its purest form while enjoying walks through sun-dappled glades.

Shape Location Get directions

Estate Office, Takeley, CM22 6NE

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people walking through ruslip woods

8. Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve

Comprising of four woods – Ruislip, Copse, Mad Bess, and Bayhurst Woods. This reserve is a family-friendly paradise!

It’s known to be the largest area of woodland in London, spanning 775 acres! It’s also an ancient semi-natural woodland and some parts are said to be a remnant of Wildwood that existed over 8,000 years ago. Talk about ancient… 

The magical woodlands are home to a variety of flora and fauna, and the circular marked trail is easy to follow too! With a variety of wildlife and mature trees like oak trees and beech trees, it makes it one of the best woodland walks near London!

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alpaca on a farm

9. Hainault Forest Country Park

Families seeking both adventure and tranquillity will find Hainault Forest to be a perfect destination!

The ancient woodlands, an ancient collection of trees and diverse wildlife offer endless exploration opportunities. While the picnic spots make it an ideal spot for a day out.

Not to mention there’s an outdoor adventure play area where you can climb and slide in a woodland adventure. Then head to Foxburrows Farm to meet alpacas, donkeys, ferrets and even peacocks!

Shape Location Get directions

Hainault Forest Country Park, IG7 4QN

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windsor great park

10. Windsor Great Park

A bit farther afield but well worth the trip… The Windsor Estate holds one of the largest collections of ancient oak trees in northern Europe!

The Windsor Forest area offers a magnificent blend of woodlands, lakes, and formal gardens. It’s literally a natural paradise!

Families can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the scenic Long Walk or explore the vibrant flora and fauna around Virginia Water. You can spot so much wildlife here, from frogs and toads to the great crested newt and even bats! Not forgetting birds like the red kites, Dartford warblers and ducks.

Shape Location Get directions

The Crown Estate Windsor, Great Park, SL4 2HT

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In a world often dominated by screens and schedules, venturing into nature with your family can be a truly rejuvenating experience. So, we hope these 10 woodland walks near London offer a chance to disconnect and rediscover the beauty of the outdoors.

Whether you’re exploring ancient forests, spotting wildlife, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll. These walks promise memories that will last a lifetime.

Looking for more outdoor adventures? Explore Manchester with some family-friendly walks, plan for your next sunflower farm trip, or visit a National Trust site near you!

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