While London's concrete streets might having you feeling a world away from the grassy fields of the countryside, we're actually not as far from fresh air as you think. Hop aboard any number of underground lines and you'll be whisked off to pastures green, from historic parklands and conservation zones to twee towns on the county borders. Read on to discover 10 country escapes you can reach by tube.
Chiswick House and Gardens - Turnham Green
The former abode of Georgian trendsetter Lord Burlington, Chiswick House and Gardens is a stunning 18th-century manor surrounded by pretty parklands. The perfect place for a country escape from London, this darling destination is waiting for you at the end of the District and Piccadilly lines with tours, art exhibitions and loads of green space to hang out in. And to round off a relaxing afternoon? Head over to No 197 Chiswick Fire Station for sustainably-sourced bites in a bright and airy setting.
London Wetlands Centre - Hammersmith
Looking to find a slice of the countryside by tube? Just a short bus ride from Hammersmith, the London Wetlands Centre is a gorgeous green space championing conservation and sustainability. Whether you're interested in biodiversity and urban wildlife or just looking for charming walking spots, this Barnes beaut can offer it all. Parked right next to the centre (and the bus stop back to Hammersmith) you'll find The Red Lion waiting to warm you up or cool you down with cosy grub and cold pints.
Epping Forest - Loughton
If you're looking for a quick country break near London, Epping Forest offers some much-needed respite from the big smoke. Sat on the Essex border, the 34,000 hectare woodland can be accessed via the Central line, and offers plenty of events and activities to get involved with, both among the trees and in the surrounding towns and villages. And for your post-walk pint? The Gardeners Arms in Loughton promises a warm welcome and some exceptional views from their hilltop terrace.
Richmond Park - Richmond
Favoured by kings, prime ministers and the capital's yummy mummy contingent, Richmond Park is one of the prettiest places you can reach on the underground. Get the District line all the way down to this gorgeous south west enclave for the chance to see Tudor hunting lodges, Victorian woodland plantations and whole load of deer, then finish your fun London day out with alfresco drinks and gourmet sandwiches at The Lass O’Richmond Hill.
The Chilterns - Amersham
One of the best places for a weekend break near London, The Chilterns are a picturesque area of English countryside at the end of the Metropolitan line. Whether you're staying around Amersham tube station or venturing further afield, the region offers a wealth of staycation activities, including family days out, gorgeous walks and plenty of rural pubs to try. Our pick? The Red Lion in nearby Chenies, which offers a fabulous spot for Sunday roasts and local beers.
Woodberry Wetlands - Manor House
One of the coolest places on the London tube line, Woodberry Wetlands is a nature reserve just a short walk from Manor House underground station. An ideal location for a day trip, the idyllic area mixes the best aspects of urban and rural, with a stunning reservoir for you to picnic by and views over the city. And no worries if you forgot to pack a lunch, because The Naturalist is close by to bring you light bites, brunches, cocktails and beers.
Trent Country Park - Oakwood
Fancy an English countryside getaway without leaving the confines of the city? Trent Country Park is the 450,000-year old tract of land sorting you out with wildlife walks, picture-friendly fields and raucous parties throughout the summer, courtesy of Vida Alta. Whether you're looking for a chilled day of rambling around an old North London residence or you're heading over for house music and Ibiza vibes, this pretty spot at the end of the Piccadilly line can provide.
Morden Hall Park - Morden
Is there a better weekend break near London than a trip down to sunny Surrey? While not quite in the next county, Morden sits at the end of the Northern line, and is home to its own selection of hidden gems. Morden Hall, for instance, is a sprawling piece of National Trust parkland that's home to wildlife, walking trails and a whole load of wholesome activities - duck-spotting anyone? When the time comes for refreshments, their on-site cafe, The Potting Shed, will have you sipping coffee and slurping ice creams in a quaint riverside setting.
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew - Kew Gardens
A secret garden in London by no means, Kew is one of the city's most notable green spaces. More than just a pretty face, this lush hotspot is a world-leader in scientific discoveries and plant conservation, alongside being a very popular tourist trap. Clamber aboard the District line and explore the grounds and greenhouses of this iconic destination before retiring to local haunt, The Coach & Horses, for seasonal eats and the best bloody mary south of the river.
Walthamstow Marshes - Clapton
While not on a tube line, per se, we're happy to stay above ground if it means getting out to this idyllic East London escape. Get off the train at Clapton and you're within walking distance of the stunning Walthamstow Marshes, a green expanse in the heart of the Lee Valley mixing fields, marshland and a nature reserve into one scenic weekend walking spot. Idle around the ponds and trails before heading over to The Princess of Wales for Sunday roasts and craft brews in the pub's canalside beer garden.
If you're looking for more fun days out in London, check out our guide to all things outdoors.