Best summer walks in south west London and Surrey
Best summer walks in south west London and Surrey
Samina Bhatti reveals the best summertime walks in sw London and Surrey, from riverside ambles to countryside trails
We love south west London and Surrey for their open green spaces, parks and places to enjoy outdoors. Heading out for a walk in SW London is a perfect weekend activity. There are lots of leisure activities along the walks in SW London to enjoy from wading in rivers, picnics, cycling tow paths and riverside walks. In the larger open spaces of Surrey there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy. Adventure through woodlands, hills, fantastic views and stepping stones, with of course the odd pub along the way. If you’re looking for a walk in winter in lockdown, then head to our guide here.
Walks in SW London and Surrey
Richmond station to Ham House
Take a walk from Richmond station to the historic Ham House taking in the sights along the way. Starting at the station, make your way along the twisting Thames. Venture towards Richmond Green, which comes to life in the summer months with cricket games and ice cream vans. Head to the river and follow it towards Twickenham. The path is relatively flat with wide open green spaces straight out of a bucolic countryside scene. Cross the river on the ferry and finish up in York House gardens dating back to 17th century.
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Stepping stone walk, Box Hill
For something more active and invigorating, opt for a light hike, taking on Box Hill. With its stepping stones walk, which comprises of a scenic meandering walk along the River Mole. The Stepping Stones are part of the iconic Surrey countryside and an idyllic spot to sit down by the river with a picnic and watch the world go by. Along the way, you’ll also take in views of the rolling Surrey Hills which will be full of enthusiastic cyclists making the most of the good weather.
Painshill Park, Cobham
Spend a day at Painshill for a glimpse into the 18th century and enjoy the landscape as it stretches out in front of you. The historic Grade 1 listed gardens were created between 1738 and 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton who was inspired by Renaissance art and his trips across Europe. Visitors can wander around the lake and discover surprising gems and follies such as Grotto Island, the Gothic temple and the amphitheatre. Once you’ve finished the trail, treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Hamilton’s Tea Room or a hearty lunch and enjoy the views of the park.
Leith Hill woodland walk, Surrey
For a leisurely stroll, take in the views on offer on the Leith Hill woodland walk and soak up panoramic views from the Leith Hill tower on a clear day or at sunset. The woodlands have been a popular picnic spot since the 19th century so grab your hamper and a blanket and enjoy the area that surrounds composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ former childhood home.
RHS Wisley, Surrey
Immerse yourself in the verdant greenery of summer at the RHS Gardens in Wisley. During the warmer months, the gardens come to life. You can wander through the Mediterranean Terraces which explode with life in the warmer sunny weather, and explore the magnificent trees of the Pinetum. There are a number of eateries in the gardens so you can stop off for a coffee and cake or a light afternoon tea to enjoy after this Surrey walk.
Walk Hampton Court to Teddington Lock
Explore some of the best parts of the Thames on this walk in Surrey from Hampton Court to Teddington Lock. You’ll start off at Hampton Court Palace where you’ll catch glimpses of the Royal Park and the impressive Tudor mansion. From here, you’ll stroll pass Thames Ditton Island, and the Grade II listed St Raphael Church peeking at you from across the water. Cross Kingston Bridge and grab a drink and a bite to eat at the riverside pubs and restaurants. Continue your walk past Canbury Gardens and walk on to Teddington Weir and Lock.
Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon
This is one of the most serene walks in SW London if you want to escape the hustle of Wimbledon. Head off the beaten track and discover the tranquil gardens of Cannizaro Park. Located just south of Wimbledon Common, this beautiful park is Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and is full of floral wonders during springtime. Spot the historic statues as you stroll through the fairy tale-like paths strewn in pretty red and pink petals. On your trails, you’ll also find a large pond and a hidden rose garden. Take a picnic or finish you walk with an elegant lunch at the Hotel du Vin. Visit in May-June to see the impressive Rhododendrons in full flower.
Just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Battersea Power Station is an urban oasis. Known for its fantastic riverside location, park cafe hot spots and great routes for runners. The summer months sees the park coming to life with picnicers and families out and about, enjoying the sunshine. On this walk in SW London, you’ll also come across the Pump House Gallery which hosts contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. There’s an impressive Chinese Pagoda which looks out over the river, and the children’s zoo.
Morden Hall Park walk to Merton Abbey Mills
Join the Wandle Trail from Morden Hall Park and head to arts hub and historic mill, Merton Abbey. The historic centre puts on arts events and family activities during the summer. Your next stop along one of our favourite walks in SW London is the National Trust-owned Morden Hall. It was originally built in the mid-18th century and evolved to become a hub for industry. Surrounding the park are green spaces, a pretty rose garden, and myriad bridges. Along the meandering trail you’ll also pass the wetlands and Deen City Farm.
Tolworth Court Farm Fields, Kingston
For a quiet walk away from it all, visit the ancient grounds of Tolworth Court Farm. It’s a 43.3 hectare local nature reserve and goes as far back as the 11th century where it was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. You’ll find winding paths, hidden tree walks and sweeping fields. If you’re looking for a place to eat then the café in the Court Farm Garden Centre will satisfy your taste buds. It’s close to the reserve and you can enjoy a tea or coffee with a piece of cake in a relaxing setting. Relax and enjoy the views of plants and flowers on sale outside. The café also hosts exhibitions from local artists.