5 Great Weekend Hikes From London

Getting out of the city for a day or weekend can do wonders for your well being. Whether you tackle one of the UK’s three peaks, enjoy a day trip from London, or spend a weekend walking in Wales, there are plenty of options for all levels and abilities. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the often-overlooked natural beauty that the British Isles has to offer.

Box Hill

Within easy drive of London is Box Hill, made famous by the London Olympics and Ride100 as the hill to conquer. Set within National Trust grounds, there are plenty of trails around the woodland area, ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours. In clear weather, you can see 26 miles from Salomons Memorial, across the Weald and the South Downs. 

It’s all uphill from here… build leg strength at The Box with their CrossFit/Bootcamp style workouts.  

The Peak District

Whether you aim to tackle Scafell Pike or one of the other ‘peaks,’ there’s something for everyone in this national park. Follow the local or national trails, or attempt some of the Trans Pennine Way (a 215-mile trail coast to coast, from Southport to Hornsea). Explore the local archaeology, folklore, child-friendly routes or wildlife on a ranger-led walk.

Functional fitness is key to enjoyable hiking experiences, (that and appropriate clothing/snacks) – improve yours at Urban Athletes.

Epping Forest

Start from Theydon Bois tube station and enjoy the 6.6-mile circular route along the Oak Trail, taking in the Iron Age fort, local wildlife and beautiful fauna. Alternatively, you can forge your own way through the forest. It’s the perfect day trip out of London without leaving the tube map.

While you’re enjoying East London, help improve your core strength, as well as stay agile, strong and flexible with a CoreFit Pilates class- the perfect complement to your walk.

Ben Nevis

The tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis lets you experience all four seasons in one day. Although the path is well marked, it’s narrow in parts, and with a steep drop to one side, it’s best to keep your wits about you, especially in foggy weather. There’s an incredible sense of achievement upon reaching the highest point in the UK, although be prepared for it to be very cold once you reach the snow line.

Join a treadmill session at The Altitude Centre, crank up the incline and get walking to get your body ready for powering uphill with slightly less oxygen available.

Brecon Beacons

Offering gorgeous hikes, stunning waterfalls, endless wildlife and local culture, and just an hour from Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons are a wonderful weekend destination. With over 100 miles of trails to explore, stop off at the visitor centre to pick up a map or join a guided walk. Do not underestimate this beautiful national park—there’s a reason the British Army train here!

Get experience working out in the great outdoors at British Military Fitness. It might be worth picking the brains of your instructor for some survival tips!

Charlie is a runner and fitness blogger, writing her blog, The Runner Beans, journalist and soon-to-be Dietitian. As well as trying out all the awesome fitness classes London has to offer, she’s also aiming to run all the Marathon Majors before she’s 30. Find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin, and channeling her inner Casey Neistat on her new YouTube channel.