It’s very easy to forget about your body and your general self-care during the winter.
You hide under warm layers of wool and feed on nothing but warm stews and crispy roast potatoes. It’s also very easy to forget that you can actually go outside. But, now it’s getting a teeny tiny bit warmer (have you noticed?), it’s time to start considering a bit of gentle exercise in the glorious wonderland that is London. Here are our favourite wintery walks… and we’re even rewarding you with a nice pint at the end!
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 the most peaceful, idyllic walk you can go on this winter.
…and then stop off at The Flask.
The Flask in Highgate is a charming 17th Century pub, complete with a gorgeous open fireplace (featured above) for you to thaw your toes next to after your frosty walk. Any thrill seeking Londoners are also sure to make friends with The Flask’s resident ghosts that supposedly haunt the pub… OooOoOoOo.
Find The Flask at 77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU.
2. Stroll through Little Venice…
Officially declared (by me) as the most lovely place in the whole of London, this gorgeous section of Canal just north of Paddington is fondly referred to as ‘Little Venice.’ Little Venice looks a treat pretty much all year round, but is particularly beautiful in winter. Wander along the river bank examining the impressive house boats and taking in the lovely scenery.
*Snow not guaranteed*
…and then have a pint at The Warwick Castle.
You know what? Why not have a full on roast dinner… with all the trimmings? You’ve earned it, after all. This cosy, traditional pub, right in the heart of Little Venice, serves up a cracking Sunday roast, and we’re sure you’re going to need a way of getting your energy back after all that walking, amirite?!
Find The Warwick Castle at 6 Warwick Place, Maida Vale, W9 2PX.
3. Take a walk through Victoria Park…
If you really fancy going on a hike, then feel free to trek the entire 86.18 hectares of Victoria Park – just make sure you wrap up warm! If you don’t feel like going on quite so long an adventure then just stroll around the park grounds, taking in the crisp, city air and thinking about your hopes and dreams… or whatever it is that people think about on these walks.
…then stop off at People’s Park Tavern.
Inspired by the park itself, and created for the people (power to ya’), 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 then order from their extensive cocktail menu – we recommend the Apple of my Eye with gin, becherovka, apple honey and lemon juice. Deeeeeelicious!
Find People’s Park Tavern at 360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT.
4. Take a walk on Hampstead Heath…
As you can see above, this glorious winter walk comes complete with a truly striking view of the London skyline. This large, grassy public park is one of the highest points in London and has an abundance of wildlife and nature to fully immerse yourself in.
…then have a drink at The Garden Gate.
This 19th century gem of a pub boasts an idyllic beer garden that, granted, is perhaps not the best for this time of year… but it’s still pretty! With a secret stash of board games you can happily while away your afternoon with a bottle of red and a roast dinner.
Find The Garden Gate at 14 South End Road, Hampstead, NW3 2QE.
5. Take a walk to Hammersmith Bridge…
For a lovely riverside walk in West London, start your journey at Barnes Bridge and follow your way around the bend in the Thames until you reach Hammersmith Bridge.
…then have a drink at the Blue Anchor.
This West London riverside favourite offers the perfect spot to cosy up with a pint and watch the chilly Thames-side views from a picture-perfect (and warm) window seat.
Please note that the Blue Anchor will be closed until February 9th as they’re having a little spruce up!
Find Blue Anchor at 13 Lower Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9DJ.