Haslemere Circular Walk, Surrey
Distance: 14 km
Time: 4 Hours, 15 Minutes
With views of the beautiful Blackdown in Sussex, this route is made up of National Trust woodland and heathland. Starting at Haslemere Railway Station, follow the road uphill towards Courts Hill Road and Valewood Farm House. From there, you’ll reach the Sussex Border Path and the Serpent Trail which has beautiful meadows and views of the South Downs. The waymarked route is easy to follow and finishes in Camelsdale before looping back to the station. The main route has some steep paths, so it’s best to wear proper walking boots, but if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, the views are some of the best on this list.
Where To Stop: The Red Lion
The Red Lion in Fernhurst is a lovely spot for a traditional pub lunch. A popular option with locals and dog-walkers, it’s best to make a booking to secure a table. The menu includes fresh mussels, sea bass and classic Sunday roasts.
Pluckley Circular, Kent
Distance: 11.7 km
Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
For a slightly shorter route, head to Kent to walk the Pluckley Circular route, made popular by the 90s TV show, The Darling Buds of May. With several pretty fields, orchards and pubs to explore, it makes for a relaxing walk. A great option during spring and summer when the apple blossoms are in bloom, start at Greensand Way and follow the signposts to Stour Valley. From there, you’ll pass Walnut Tree Farm and the village of Little Chart, before reaching the beautiful Hothfield Common Nature Reserve. Then, follow the country lanes via Benacre Wood to Pluckley Station where the route finishes.
Where To Stop: The Barrow House
Set to reopen in May, The Barrow House is a stylish countryside pub in Egerton. Dating back to the 16th century, it has modern interiors and an extensive menu with something for everyone. The spring menu features roast chicken with courgetti and pearl barley, beer-battered cod and chips, and asparagus and ricotta tart. If you’re looking to stay in the area, bookmark this pub which has several stylish rooms to choose from, too.
Ashdown Forest Walk, East Sussex
Distance: 3.2 km
Time: 1 Hour
For a short and gentle walk throughout beautiful woodland, Ashdown Forest is a great option for families and dogs. There a several walking routes to take, but for a day out, follow the Pooh Walk which begins at Gills Lap car park and follows a circular route around Wrens Warren Valley. There, country views can be appreciated year-round, though the pine trees in the forest look particularly majestic during the summer months. There are several dog-friendly country pubs in the area too, but The Hatch Inn is one of our favourites.
Where To Stop: The Hatch Inn
This pub was originally a row of three cottages which can be dated back to the 15th century. Today, The Hatch Inn serves contemporary dishes like deep dried cod and chips; seafood linguine with king prawns, mussels, cod and haddock; crispy Thai beef noodle salad; and duck breast with roasted new potatoes and braised red cabbage.
Richmond To Hampton Court, Surrey
Distance: 12.8 km
Time: 4 Hours
For a scenic walk that starts in London, follow this route from Richmond to Hampton Court. Starting at Richmond Station, head down Old Station Passage until you get to the leafy Richmond Green. Then, walk under Richmond Bridge towards Petersham Meadows and Ham House – a lovely 17th-century National Trust property which is worth a quick detour. Following the river, you’ll pass Teddington Lock and Kingston Bridge, before reaching the majestic Hampton Court.
Where To Stop: The Boaters Inn
Once you’ve reached Tedding Lock, about two thirds of the way into the route, stop off at The Boaters Inn which serves great fish and chips. Diners can enjoy a riverside meal, with options including chicken and ham hock pie, sea bass fillet with new potatoes, and butternut squash and sage pasta.
Chiddingstone To Penshurst Circular, Kent
Distance: 18 km
Time: 5 Hours
For a slightly longer and more challenging walk, Chiddingstone to Penshurst is a scenic route with plenty of places to stop off. The circular walk starts in Leigh, before continuing to Penhurst Station and Leigh Park Farm with a beautiful meadow. From there, head past the pond and continue to Wickhurst Farm and the historic Chiddingstone Castle which dates back to the 16th century. Explore Chiddingstone village, then follow the route to Salmans Manor and finally, Eden Valley.
Where To Stop: The Castlehurst
Due to reopen later this spring, The Castlehurst is housed in a historic Grade II-listed building. This traditional village inn has a lovely garden and serves delicious food made with locally sourced ingredients. For a hearty Sunday lunch, opt for the chicken and leek pie, or roast beef dinner with all the trimmings.
Distance: 6.5 km
Time: 2 Hours
Brook is a small Hamlet in Surrey which is well worth exploring for a lovely afternoon. The main draw here is the pub, but there are a few walking routes to choose from, too. The circular route starts at Bowlhead Green Road, before continuing through a nearby field and meadow. On the other side, you’ll reach Cosford Farm House and Bowlhead Green. At the end of the route, which only takes around two hours to reach, reward yourself with lunch at The Dog & Pheasant.
Where To Stop: The Dog & Pheasant
Ask for the daily special or enjoy one of the signature pies on the menu – we recommend the squash, spinach and vegan feta pie. The pub also has an extensive wine and beer list to choose from.
Yalding To Sutton Valence, Kent
Distance: 15.3 km
Time: 4 Hours, 30 Minutes
Think of this route, which is clearly marked for the most part, as a relaxed ramble through apple orchards and pretty countryside lanes. Passing four ancient churches and three pubs, there are plenty of sights to see along the way. Start at Yalding Station and head towards the nearby George Inn and Walnut Tree pub. Following the signposts, you’ll reach Buston Manor, Linton and a small woodland area with bluebells. When you reach Greensand Way, the path will lead you Harrietsham Station where the route ends.
Where To Stop: The Pepper Box Inn
One of the most stylish pubs on this list, The Pepper Box is a lovely spot at the end of this route. Ideal for a leisurely lunch after a long walk, diners can choose from tasty mains like baked cod fillet with steamed clams in garlic and white wine, Thai fish curry, beer-battered fish and chips, and beef lasagne. If you’re in the area on a Sunday, don’t miss the pub’s pork loin roast dinner.
Henley To Pangbourne, Oxfordshire
Distance: 19.2 km
Time: 5 Hours, 40 Minutes
For a country pub crawl, follow this rambling route through the Oxfordshire countryside. Starting and finishing by the River Thames, the route passes several woodland areas, ancient streets and pubs. Start at Henley Station and follow the river until you reach Deanfield Avenue. From there, continue to St. Nicholas’ Church and the Maltster’s Arms pub. About halfway through the route, stop off at The Unicorn pub for lunch, before continuing on to Bozedown Alpaca Farm – a great stop if you’ve got kids in tow.
Where To Stop: The Unicorn
The Unicorn serves stylish British dishes ideal for a special meal with friends and family. The menu includes grilled lobster with truffle fries, beer-battered fish and triple cooked chips, beef wellington with seasonal veg, plus five tasty Sunday lunch options, including brie and walnut stuffed Yorkshire puddings.
Petworth Park And Upperton Common, West Sussex
Distance: 9.2 km
Time: 3 Hours
This gentle walk passes an array of beautiful wildflowers in the West Sussex countryside. Starting in Tillington at the Horseguards Inn, head west along Cemetery Lane and follow the road towards the vineyards. From there, turn right and walk towards Upperton Common – a good place to stop for some of the best views. You’ll then pass a cluster of beech trees before reaching the National Trust’s Petworth House where you can spot fallow deer in the park.
Where To Stop: The Horse Guards Inn
With beautiful interiors and an equally attractive outdoor space, The Horse Guards Inn is a charming pub in Tillington. Guest can relax in the deck chairs in the garden or cosy up by the open log fires when the pub opens its indoor dining area in May. In terms of food, expect seasonal dishes like pan fried hake with Jersey Royals, local fish and shellfish stew, and veal fillet with wild mushrooms and spinach, potato and cauliflower gratin.
Seven Sisters And Birling Gap, East Sussex
Distance: 4.8 km
Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
If you want to head a little further afield, head to East Sussex for one of the most scenic walking routes in the UK – Seven Sisters and Birling Gap. There are a few routes to take, but for a relaxed 90-minute stroll, follow the path between Birling Gap and the Tiger Inn. The circular coastal route begins at the inn and continues to Belle Tout lighthouse and Friston Church. Follow the National Trust signposts to Baileys Hill, the second of the Seven Sisters, and Went Hill. Be careful not to get too close to the cliff edge, then walk down the steps by the beach at Birling Gap for one the best vantage points. On the way back, follow the signs which lead back to the pub.
Where To Stop: The Tiger Inn
This quintessentially British pub has an open fire, low-slung oak beams, real ales and hearty food. The menu includes pub favourites like fish and chips, meat pies, and slow-cooked ribs, alongside plenty of quality ales and beers.
Epping Forest Circular, Essex
Distance: 10.2 km
Time: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes
Once home to a royal hunting ground in Tudor times, Epping Forest straddles the border between London and Essex, with more than 6,000 acres of vast woodland and bursting with wildlife. There are several walking routes to follow, but one of the most scenic has to be the Oak Trail which starts at Theydon Bois underground station. From there, the signposted route is easy to follow and passes through beautiful surroundings, including fields, babblings brooks and a deer sanctuary. A great option whatever the weather, Epping Forest can be reached in just under an hour from central London.
Where To Stop: The George & Dragon
Located on Epping High Street, this stylish pub is popular with locals and it’s easy to see why – from the impressive interiors to the food, it’s worth visiting in May when it reopens. Diners can expect bistro style dishes including Devon crab and king prawn fishcakes; buttermilk chicken, Somerset brie and bacon pie; and tempura battered haloumi.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.