Winter is generally a time for hiding under warm layers of wool and feeding on nothing but mulled wine and soup. It’s also very easy to forget that you can still go outside. So perhaps it’s time to start considering a bit of gentle exercise? Here are our favourite winter walks – and we’re even rewarding you with a nice pint at the end, because you deserve it.
1. Go for a walk in Highgate Cemetery…
Although it may seem a little macabre, Highgate Cemetery is one of England’s greatest treasures and really does have some of the finest funerary architecture in the world. There is a strange beauty in the twisting vines and overgrown leaves covering the ancient tomb stones. Highgate Cemetery is definitely one of the most peaceful, idyllic winter walks in the city. Read more about it here.
…and then stop off at The Flask.
The Flask in Highgate is a charming 17th Century pub, complete with a gorgeous open fireplace to thaw your toes next to after a frosty walk. Any thrill seeking Londoners will be interested to know that ghosts are rumoured to haunt the haunt. Find it at 77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU.
2. Stroll through Little Venice…
One of the loveliest places in all of London, this gorgeous section of the canal path, just north of Paddington, is fondly referred to as ‘Little Venice.’ The area looks a treat pretty much all year round, but it’s particularly beautiful in the winter. Wander along the river bank examining the impressive house boats, and take in the gorgeous scenery on your winter walks.
…and then have a pint at The Warwick Castle.
You know what, why not stay a while and have a heckin’ huge roast dinner? You’ve earned it, after all. This cosy, traditional pub, right in the heart of Little Venice, serves up some cracking fodder. Find it at 6 Warwick Place, Maida Vale, W9 2PX.
3. Take a walk through Victoria Park…
Victoria Park boasts a massive 86.18 hectares, all of which are yours to explore. But if you don’t feel like going on quite so long a trek, just stroll around the park grounds and breathe in the crisp, wintery air. Brghhh, you can feel the sweet end-of-year chill just by looking at that photo, can’t you?
…then stop off at People’s Park Tavern.
Inspired by the park itself, this grown up hipster paradise is a village pub and brewery serving up hearty pub classics and a fantastic beer selection. If beer’s not your thing, you can order from their extensive cocktail menu – we recommend the Apple of my Eye with gin, becherovka, apple honey and lemon juice. Find it at 360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT.
(See more of Hackney’s best pubs.)
4. Take a walk on Hampstead Heath…
This large, grassy public park is one of the highest points in London and boasts an abundance of wildlife and nature. And, if you find the right spot, you’ll discover a truly striking view of the London skyline.
…then have a drink at The Holly Bush.
Possibly London’s most Instagrammed pub (aside from The Churchill Arms, of course), The Holly Bush is a gorgeous 18th-century pub with a cosy fireplace and lots of delicious, warming food. Endings to winter walks don’t get much better. Find it at 22 Hollymount, Hampstead, NW3 6SG.
5. Stroll along The Parkland Walk…
The Parkland Walk follows the course of the old railway line that ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. The four and a half mile walk provides perfect tranquility for stressed out Londoners, without having to leave the city (God forbid). The best way to do, if you ask us, it is to hop on a train to Highgate station and then follow the route towards Finsbury Park on your winter walks.
…then have a drink at The Faltering Fullback
This Finsbury Park pub may have come from Ireland, but it’s clearly had a gap year on the way, given the Thai-heavy menu. No need to fear full moon parties and “finding yourself”, though, because the TV shows Gaelic football and there’s Guinness on tap. The pub also happens to be green as a shamrock, with a leafy exterior and a picturesque beer garden to boot. Find it at 19 Perth Road, Stroud Green, N4 3HB.
Also published on Medium.