Branch out with these gorgeous forests in and around London.
If you stick around in your little bubble of the big city, chances are you might not experience nature to its fullest all that often. During the lockdown, it would have been nigh on impossible to visit the forests without breaking restrictions, but now that many measures have been lifted, it’s time you branch out. We suggest poking around on the outskirts of the city to experience the wonder of the green spaces that await you. Who knows? You might forget you’re in London altogether!
1. Epping Forest
A slightly-longer-than-usual trip along the Central line brings you to the edge of Epping Forest. A north-east London forest that spreads well into Essex, Epping Forest boasts approximately 1,700 acres of shrubbery. It makes up London’s largest open space and makes for the perfect spot to unwind and get away from the stress of the city. An abundance of lakes, rivers, cute little bridges and plenty of Instagram worthy spots live in this not so little gem.
Closest stations: Epping or Woodford
2. Highgate Wood
Between East Finchley and Highgate hides this gorgeous 28-hectare London forest—an ancient woodland nestled into the background of suburbia. Supporting a variety of wildlife habitats, you’ll see plenty of nature and little critters playfully contrasting the usual fast-paced life of a Londoner. Highgate Woods offers you a little escape to the countryside without ever having to leave the city. Plus, as Instagram will attest to, there’s plenty of cute dogs to swoon over!
Closest stations: Highgate or East Finchley
3. Queen’s Wood
Queen’s Wood is situated on Muswell Hill and is grouped with four other ancient woods that are thought to have descended from the original ‘Wildwood’, which covered almost the entirety of Britain over five thousand years ago. It’s now reduced to this humble yet gorgeous London forest. With some remarkable walking paths, we’re sure this little patch of earthy heaven will leaf you feeling refreshed.
Closest stations: Archway or Highgate
4. Petts Wood
Petts Wood is part of the London Outer Orbital Walk and travels through the village-esque Bromley suburb. So, if you feel like a trek through the forests but don’t want to stray too far from home, then this is the woodland for you.
Closest station: Petts Wood
5. Railway Fields Local Nature Reserve
Fancy a picnic? Then all aboard to Railway Fields reserve. A beautiful environment of wildlife and nature laid out on former railway land. Endorsed by Haringey Council, this north London space is in the heart of the local community. A little smaller in size than the other woodlands in this list but still boasting a wide variety of plant life, anyone with a green thumb is sure to love this reserve.
Closest station: Haringey Green Lanes
6. Wick Woodland
@secret.londonWick Woodland in Hackney, London 😍🌿 ##secretlondon ##london ##hiddenlondon ##explore ##londonlife ##secretlocation ##hiddengem ##londonwalks ##nature ##foryou♬ Falling – Trevor Daniel
This secret spot in Hackney is full of surprises. Hidden between Here East and Hackney Marshes, just off the canal, it’s easy to get lost in this place—but I promise you won’t mind.
Closest station: Hackney Wick
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