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winter walks

6 great walks in south west London and Surrey

6 great walks in south west London and Surrey

Discover some top spots on your doorsteps to explore for a bracing winter wander

We have so many areas of natural beauty for a picturesque stroll. So wrap up warm, prep the kids, dogs (and a flask!) and head out on an adventure around some of our favourite winter walks in south-west London and Surrey

1 

A WANDER AROUND THE COMMONS

Take a wintertime walk across 1,140 acres of glorious open green space through Wimbledon & Putney Commons and Putney Heath. There’s a huge range of habitats across this terrain, supporting all kinds of wildlife. There’s several ponds too, perfect places for atmospheric photos. There’s woodland, and you can pass by the windmill, the common’s famous landmark.

www.wpcc.org.uk

Winter walks Wimbledon walks and Putney Commons (Courtesy of WPCC)
Wimbledon and Putney Commons (Courtesy of WPCC)

2 

A PLACE OF TREES

Winkworth Arboretum has over 1,000 species of trees and shrub to meander through. Choose your route through more than 100 acres, stopping off for wholesomely bucolic photo opportunities at the beautiful boathouse with views across the lake, or on one of the arboretum’s towering hills. Crack open a flask of hot chocolate as you absorb frosty views of the Surrey Hills on one of the most stunning winter walks.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Winkworth Arboretum (c) National Trust
Winkworth Arboretum (c) National Trust

3 

PARK LIFE

Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks, at a sizeable 2,500 acres, and there is an abundance of picturesque winter walks to be enjoyed throughout the winter. Our favourite spots include the Isabella Plantation, where you can amble around the ponds and spots such as the Heather Garden. Another prime walk is up to the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound. Extend your stroll by exiting the park at Richmond Gate and venturing along Richmond Hill for incredible views over the river.

www.royalparks.org.uk

A wintry Richmond Park (c) Gareth Lofthouse

4 

STEP BACK IN HISTORY

The fascinating Wandle Trail mostly follows the Wandle River, and runs for about 12.5 miles from East Croydon Station to the Thames Path in Wandsworth. There are two main starting points for this winter walk: Wandle Park (12 mile walk) or Carshalton Ponds (9 miles). Around Merton Abbey Mills, there are the remains of the old priory, and there is a waterwheel on the river. Both William Morris and Liberty made use of the site, which was ideal for textile printing. Head through Morden Hall Park, featuring old snuff mills. You can also pass though Beddington Park, which is home to Carew Manor (now a school) – Henry VIII was once a visitor to the manor.

www.merton.gov.uk

Winter walks Morden Hall Park, (c) National Trust, Andrew Butler
Morden Hall Park, (c) National Trust, Andrew Butler

5 

AN EASY RIVERSIDE TRAIL & A PALACE

Starting at Kingston Bridge, on the north bank, take the riverside path towards Hampton Court – this flat walk will provide an easy family wander watching life along the water. As you pass Raven’s Ait, duck through the path on your right (Surbiton Passage) to Home Park, pass the pond and head towards the Long Water where you will be greeted with a fabulous view of Hampton Court Palace. The Long Water was created in 1660 by King Charles II, complete with its double row of lime trees, as a wedding present to his bride-to-be, Catherine of Braganza. Stroll back through Home Park to the exit to Hampton Wick, passing the 17th century ice house. Try more great walks in and around Kingston and Richmond.

www.hrp.org.uk

Main image, pictured top Home Park, (c) Andrew Butler, Hampton Court Palace

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6 

WOODLAND WALK WITH VIEWS

Take one of the routes at Leith Hill, exploring the countryside which inspired Charles Darwin. There are a range of walks to suit all, stretching through woods and heathland, with fabulous views all around. From Leith Hill Tower, you can see across 14 counties on a clear day. Georgian Leith Hill Place was the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Winter walks
Leith Hill Tower (c) National Trust John Miller