Summer means different things; for some, it’s festivals and glitter, and for others, it’s BBQs and beaches. But we can all agree that the warmer months are really about one pastime: drinking outside. And in London, there’s a million ways to get mildly hammered and savagely sunburnt at the same time, with rooftop bars, beer gardens and parks here for alfresco antics. If a sloshed summer has left you feeling a wee bit broken, then it's time to put on a pair of sturdy shoes and start marching. Calling everyone who needs a brisk stroll and some beautiful scenery, we’ve rounded up 5 of London’s Best Winter Walks (and the nicest pubs to finish at, obviously).
A banging roast: Highgate to Hampstead Heath
Finish at: The Holly Bush
Hampstead Village isn’t just good for deciding which mansion you’re living in once you finally find that caring, thoughtful, and good looking sugar daddy - it’s also got one of London’s cutest pubs. Tucked up a steep little lane, The Holly Bush is a tiny boozer, with oak beams, rickety chairs and a Sunday roasts which comes with Yorkshire puds big enough to wear as a hat. Work for your tatties by catching the tube to Highgate and heading to Hampstead Heath via Hampstead Lane. If you’re feeling really wholesome, stop off at stately home Kenwood, which should give you some interiors inspo for that North London mansion.
Countryside vibes: Richmond Park
Finish at: The Old Ship
As the largest of London’s Royal Parks, Richmond Park is perfect for pretending you’re rollicking around in the countryside and not spending 50% of your wages to share a three-bed in East London. Start at Mortlake and walk down Sheen Lane until you reach the park, and then from there, it’s up to you how far you go with plenty of paths to follow. If you’re up for it, the Tasmin Trail goes around the entire perimeter and is just under 7.5 miles, though we suggest cutting it short when you get to Sawyer’s Hill and aiming for The Old Ship, a Grade II listed pub which whips up a huge plate of fish and chips and has an outdoor courtyard.
For a bit of history: Greenwich Park
Finish at: The Cutty Sark
Can you honestly call yourself a Londoner if you’ve never been to Greenwich park? It’s got everything you need for this city’s starter pack, from gorgeous views back across the capital through to the selfie-perfect Greenwich Mean Time line. For a slightly different route, begin at Blackheath and tackle the park from the back, stopping at The Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, and Old Royal Naval College - the latter providing backdrops for Pirates of the Caribbean and Les Miserables. Reward yourself at The Cutty Sark; named after the famous ship, the spot is as old world-y with wooden floorboards, pencil drawings on the walls and sash windows.
A secret side of London: Hackney Wick to Angel
Finish at: Arepa & Co, Barge House, or The Narrow Boat
Along with scenic parks, London’s canal network is a beautiful backdrop for stretching your legs. One of the coolest parts is from Hackney Wick to Angel. Starting at the Hackney Wick overground, turn left down Hepscott Road and then left again along Rothbury Road, walking until you reach the steps just before the bridge. From here, you’ll meander Hertford Union Canal, past Victoria Park, taking a right at Stoneway Walk, from which point, it’s one path to Angel. It’s around four miles, though there’s an abundance of foodie spots to stop at, including Arepa & Co Haggerston (try one of their corn pancakes topped with pulled pork); Barge House (breakfasts served in an entire loaf of bread), or The Narrow Boat (hello, cheese fondue).
London’s best sights: along the Thames
Finish at: Swan, The Old Thameside Inn, Draft House & The Horniman at Hays
While most people associate walking with rolling green hills and leafy forests, London has got a beautiful ace up its sleeve. Sure, you will have to brave street performers, the ambles of lost tourists and aggressive neon-clad joggers, but along the Thames and Southbank is worth it. The length of walk is entirely up to you; our suggestion is to head over to Rotherhithe and march westwards until your feet can no longer carry you. There’s tonnes of stops along the way, with classic pubs such as The Old Thameside Inn, Draft House, The Horniman at Hays and Swan at Shakespeare's Globe all supplying pub grub and real ales.
For more winter inspiration, check out our guide here.