Winter might not be the most temperate season for the great outdoors, but there’s something joyous about greeting the winter air during December and January in London. The festive cheer and dazzling lights put a spring in the step of London locals and guests at hotel rooms in Central London alike.
Whether you’re staying at the Park Avenue J Hotel London or staying with friends and family, you’re never far from a beautiful park or nature reserve in the English capital. From festive themed trails to unspoilt natural landscapes, Christmas walks are a British tradition that all visitors should try their hand at, no matter how hungover or stuffed with turkey they’re feeling. Below are some of the best park walks for this holiday season.
This 2500 acre park is located in deep West London among one of the most scenic boroughs in the city. Richmond’s history, abundance of woodland nature trails and grassy plains grazed on by deer make it a perfect Christmas outing. The views over the Thames from King Henry’s Mound alongside an abundance of traditional English pubs make Richmond Park a key player in the Christmas walk game.
Easily reachable from the Park Avenue Hyde Park, the crowning jewel of royal parks makes for prime winter walking. Drink in the views over the Serpentine Lake and make sure to book a ticket in advance for the London Christmas wishlist staple of Winter Wonderland. Here you’ll find a section of Hyde Park cordoned off for theme park rides, circus shows, ice rinks and festive markets.
If you find yourself venturing into East London’s Hackney district this festive season, the cherry on the (Christmas) cake will be a wonder through the warrenous Victoria Park. Christened the People’s Park by Queen Victoria herself, the canalside trails, vibrant playgrounds and all-round accessibility of Victoria Park make it a must for families itching to get the kids out of the house during the holidays.
For a walking trail a little less busy than Victoria Park, you can’t get any more serene than the series of wetlands between Hackney and Walthamstow. Cut across the Northeast London map is a stretch of green forest and reservoirs that make for excellent birdwatching. For a calming, open expanse in the middle of the urban stretch of Hackney and Tottenham, the marshes will be a particularly bracing breath of fresh air for London visitors this festive season.
Northwest London’s most glamorous borough, the rustic pastoral of Hampstead is a delight at all times of year but especially during the festive season when its white townhouses and quaint high streets set alight with Christmas decorations. If the chic bakeries and pubs weren’t enough, the ancient woodland and its historic swimming ponds of the titular heath are great walking territory. Make sure not to miss the spectacular views of the London skyline from Parliament Hill.
Not far from the Park Hotel restaurant and accommodation, Regent’s Park is a Paddington-bordering cornucopia of outdoor London delights. From the Regent’s Canal bounded trails to the beautiful flower beds of the English Gardens, Regent’s Park’s varied landscapes make for a wholesome winter wander. Of note are the views from Primrose Hill on the north side of the park, another view over the city skyline worthy of a Christmas card.