9 Places In And Around London To Get Back To Nature

Morgan Cormack Morgan Cormack


Pick fresh strawberries, cycle through the woods, and breathe in that fresh country air with our guide to rural activities near London.

1. Stanhill Farm, Dartford

[Stanhill Farm]
This traditional British fruit and veg farm has all the quintessential features. We’re talking about their cute farm shop, which you can also access online because, you know, modern. Or if you’re up for a day out, go along to one of their seasonal Pick Your Own‘s where you can collect up baskets of sweetcorn, strawberries and other fruity delights.

Stanhill Farm, Birchwood Road, Wilmington, Dartford, Kent, DA2 7HD

2. Hewitt’s Farm, Orpington

[Alan Connor]
Literally all your guilty country pleasures in one place: a car boot sale, farm shop and a Pick Your Own that opens every year fresh with all the strawberries you could possibly want to accompany your fresh cream or summer Pimm’s. Check their Facebook for regular updates on their ever-changing schedule of events.

Hewitts Farm, Court Road, A224, Orpington, Kent, BR6 9BX

3. Crockford Bridge, Surrey

[Crockford Bridge]
Less than an hour’s drive from London, this farm is the closest one to the capital. Perfect for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle but wait for it … they have a gelateria. As in an authentic Italian ice cream parlour with 24 different flavours and if that wasn’t enough to get you to slip your wellies on, they also have a garden centre, coffee shops and even a hot spring.

New Haw Road, Addlestone, Nr. Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2BU

4. Lee Valley Riding Centre


Just 20 minutes from the centre of London lies this horse haven. Perfect for the inner equestrian in all of us, Lee Valley offers ‘Have A Go’ lessons, lots of children’s activities, a 12 week training course and stables … in case you need somewhere to keep your pony, of course.

Lee Valley Riding Centre, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL

5. Brogdale Collections, Kent

[Brogdale Collections]
Home of the national fruit collection, these collections are well worth seeing on a sunlit afternoon. Go on a guided tour of the grounds, walk around the orchards and nibble on fresh apples or pop along to one of their many fruity events throughout the year. Psst! The next one happens to be an entire fair dedicated to strawberries, how berry special.

Brogdale Collections, Brogdale Farm, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8XZ

6. Highclere Castle

Hold the freakin’ phone because this castle was the shooting location of none other than Downton Abbey. Just like you’d expect from any high profile castle, this one is only open for around 65 days a year. Check their events calendar to see when you can walk around these regal grounds and pretend you’re a Lady or a Lord.

Highclere Castle, Newbury RG20 9RN

7. Swinley Bike Hub

Pretend you’re an extra in some low-budget action movie and learn how to navigate your way over mountains and steep hills on this mountain bike trail. There’s coaching, a shop for all your clothing and biking needs and of course, lots of trails to fill your day with. We’re talking 24km of Swinley Forest to explore so get your helmets and knee pads on.

Swinley Bike Hub, The Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7QW

8. Fishing London

Who said you can’t fish right here in the capital? Embark on the perfect introduction to your fishing career and learn everything from common species to the best bait and of course, how to catch a big one for your fish supper. With branches to the east and west of London and all licences, bait and permits included, you may as well slip on your fisherman hat and get fishing!

East of London branch: Tylers Common Fishery, Nags Head Lane, Brentwood, Essex RM14 1TS
West of London branch: Milton Pools Farm Great Milton Oxford, Oxfordshire OX44 7JE

9. Clay Pigeon Shooting

[Steve Weaver]
Bop around in your Barbour jackets, tweed and wellies and pretend you’re in an episode of Made in Chelsea with some good ole clay pigeon shooting. Surprisingly, there’s loads of places around London that offer this experience and don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before, full tuition is always available.

Check out all the different experiences available here.

Other pretty things you wouldn’t believe are in London:

10 Floral Gardens So Stunning You’ll Forget You’re In London
The Best Outdoor Swimming Pools In London By Location
Is This London’s Prettiest Alfresco Brunch Spot?

Wellness & Nature