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10 Hidden Gems only an hour away from London

Updated: Jan 2

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track locations only an hour away from London!

London is regarded as one of the best cities in the entire world, let alone the UK! However, with that comes the mass tourists which visit the famous landmarks such as Big Ben and The London Eye.

If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life, then why not take yourself to some of these hidden gems which are only an hour away from London?

Here are 10 of the best hidden gems located only an hour away from London, perfect for a short weekend trip away out of the city!

1) Virginia Water Lake and Cascade, Surrey

This hidden gem is a lovely place to visit, with plenty of things to admire such as the beautiful bridges, statues, lake, garden as well as the cool waterfall most people miss! The full loop around the lake is a good 14km walk and it's fairly flat so the majority of walkers should fine this walk easy enough to complete.

Image of Virginia Water Lake and Waterfall
Photo by @stef__lewis via Instagram

2) Epping Forest, Essex

One of our favourite forests to walk around when in and around London is Epping Forest, which is just in between London and Essex. You can walk from Manor Park to Waltham Abbey and be in the forest for majority of the journey. You can even hire a boat for a cool boating experience!

Make sure you bring seeds or sweetcorn for the birds, not bread!

Image of Epping Forest in Essex
Photo by @tom1tc via Instagram

3) St. Ann's Hill, Surrey

St Ann's Hill is a great place to go for a walk with friends, family and even the dog(s)! You'll be rewarded with amazing landscape views of Surrey, and you'll even get a good view of Heathrow Airport. It's quite easy to get lost, however there are route markers to help you along the way.

Image of St Ann's Hill
Photo by @leafxmalone via Instagram

4) Therfield Heath, Hertfordshire

Therfield Health is absolutely gorgeous especially on a clear summers day. It's a very versatile place, and has greenfields, tree lines, woods and small hills, perfect for a day out near London! If you're into trail running or are looking to spice up your normal running routine, then give this place a try!

Image of Therfield Heath
Photo taken by @tuffers26 via Instagram

5) The Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire

If you're looking for a full-day hike, then look no further then The Chiltern Hills. You'll be able to do a 20km hike at this hidden gem, with an elevation of around 400m which is pretty decent for a hill! As one of England's most heavily wooded areas, The Chiltern Hills AONB is an essential habitat for a range of insects, birds and mammals.

Image of The Chiltern Hills
Photo taken by @laura_anderton_on_the_go via Instagram

6) Devil's Dyke, Surrey

The Devil's Dyke is a beautiful location and is great for walks especially with the family and fluffy companions! There are different paths to follow, depending on the duration and difficulty you're after, but even the most difficult walk isn't too challenging (a couple hours long and a little steep). But once you're at the top the views are absolutely stunning!

Image of Devil's Dyke
Photo by @thisissussex via Instagram

7) Leith Hill, Surrey

Welcome to Leith Hill; the highest point in the Surrey Hills and the second highest point in the South East of England at a whopping 294 meters. You'll be presented with beautiful views across the South as well as plenty of countryside and woodland to explore. Just watch out for those cyclists!

Image of Leith Hill
Photo by @vazie1664 via Instagram

8) Abinger Hammer, Surrey

Abinger Hammer is a cute little village located in the South of Surrey between Dorking and Guildford, and is the perfect place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of London life! It's a small village that features a green which has a small stream running through it, as well as a classic pub and village shop.

Image of Abinger Hammer
Photo by @daveconnolly1979 via Instagram

9) Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Houghton Mill is a stunning mill set in beautiful surroundings and definitely one to visit for the day. There is plenty to see and we recommend going on a day when the mill is running so you get a full flavour of its use and history! There's also a lake nearby, in which if you're a fan of paddle boarding, kayaking or fancy a boat trip, why not hire one out?

Image of Houghton Mill
Photo by @chrisnicknackynoo via Instagram

10) Box Hill, Surrey

Box Hill is a great place to hike for those wanting to give themselves a bit of a challenge. It has a variety of different trails which can be chosen according to your stamina from steep uphill to sharp downhill, as well as tough to moderate. However at the end you'll be rewarded with extraordinary panoramic views!

Image of Box Hill in Surrey
Photo by @leonardo_trotti via Instagram

There you have it! These are 10 of our favourite hidden gems located only an hour away from London, perfect for your next adventure! Whether you plan to do a road trip in and around London or are visiting for the summer, you should definitely check out some of these hidden gems.

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