couple walking in nature reserve
couple walking in nature reserve

Nature Reserves & Country Parks Near London

 

Bored of your local park? Longing to explore further afield? The country parks and nature reserves that surround London have so much to offer. From wetlands home to rare native species, ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows - when you’re ready for a change of scenery, we’ve got you covered.

 

North

The idyllic Hertfordshire countryside is within easy reach of London to the north. Check out these charming country parks.

Panshanger Park

pathway through a meadow

Panshanger Park

A 400-hectare slice of English Heritage, Panshanger Park is home to a wide variety of native wildlife, from birds and butterflies to wildflowers and dragonflies. The variety of woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and reedbeds are a delight to explore, with stunning views and plenty of space for relaxing.

Distance from London by car: 28 miles

Aldenham Country Park

Aldenham country park

Aldenham Country Park

Just 12 miles from central London, Aldenham Country Park is a not-for-profit farming, food and education enterprise. Although the farm area of the park is closed at the moment, the country park is still open, with a picturesque reservoir and nature trail to walk around and plenty of open space for picnics amongst nature. 

Distance from London by car: 15 miles

South

If you live south of the river, there are some stunning countryside spots to make a beeline for!

Lullingstone Country Park

Lullingstone Country Park empty benches

Lullingstone Country Park

Ancient trees, stunning wildflower meadows, the River Darent, and miles of walking routes, Lullingstone Country Park is a green haven south of London. The car park and toilet facilities have now reopened, and the on-site café is now offering a takeaway service, meaning there’s no need to pack an entire picnic for a day trip to Lullingstone.

Distance from London by car: 25 miles

Norbury Park Nature Reserve

Norbury park

Norbury Park Nature Reserve

On the northern edge of Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Norbury Park ticks all the boxes when it comes to country parks; beautiful woodland, sweeping open grassland, a meandering river and grazing cattle. Spanning an impressive 531 hectares, there’s plenty to explore - and with multiple car parks to choose from, it’s perfect for a day trip from London.

Distance from London by car: 25 miles

East

For east Londoners, these natural beauty spots are perfect for a day trip with friends, family or the dog.

Belhus Woods Country Park

swans and ducklings

Belhus Woods Country Park

Spanning over 300 acres, Belhus Woods Country Park has something for everyone in East London. Explore ancient woodland, frolic through flower meadows and open grasslands, and admire the tranquil fishing and conservation lakes, with plenty of resident ducks, geese and swans to feed your sandwich crusts to.

Distance from London by car: 19 miles

Hainault Forest Country Park

Hainault Forest Country Park

Hainault Forest Country Park

One of the few remaining sections of the Forest of Essex, the ancient woodland within Hainault Forest Country Park was once a royal hunting forest. With a large lake, plenty of open grassland and plenty of nature trails, it’s a popular destination for lovers of the outdoors within the M25, and within easy reach for anyone living in East London.

Distance from London by car: 16 miles

West

If you don’t fancy venturing all the way out to the Chiltern Hills, you can still get your nature fix at these country parks west of London.

Colne Valley Regional Park

Colne Valley Regional Park

Colne Valley Regional Park

This vast expanse of waterways, wetlands and farmland is a haven for native British wildlife. Covering 43 square miles, there are plenty of different areas in Colne Valley Regional Park to explore, each one as picturesque as the next. The diverse landscape and wildlife gives visitors the impression that they’re deep in the countryside, when in fact it’s (almost) all located inside the M25!

Distance from London by car: 18 miles

Bedfont Lakes Country Park

Bedfont lakes reed bed

Bedfont Lakes Country Park

Lakes, wetlands, wildflower meadows and woodland await you at Bedfont Lakes Country Park, which is a nature conservation area thanks to its abundance of wildlife species which have made their homes here. With over 150 species of birds recorded in the park, it’s a popular spot for birdwatchers. The winding paths allow for hours of exploring, with plenty of spots to stop for a leisurely packed lunch.

Distance from London by car: 18 miles

In need of a car?

plugging in phone at the wheel of a zipcar

In need of a car?

Zipcar Roundtrip is the perfect car hire option for weekend breaks. Pick up your car from a dedicated bay, enjoy your weekend away, then return it to the same bay when you’re done. Easy!
 

Why Zipcar?

piggy bank jar with Pound symbol on the front

Save money

We pay for fuel, parking, Congestion Charge and insurance – so you get access to a car without all the hassle of owning one!

map icon

Rent a car locally

Zipcars live just around the corner. We've got the largest car sharing fleet in the UK (not that we're boasting) and you'll find us in cities across the UK. 

moving car icon

Drive on-demand

Whatever you need wheels for, we’ve got them. Rent cars and vans by the minute, hour or day when and where you need them.

trees icon

Live greener

We’re the perfect addition to buses, trains and bikes for those times when you just need a car. We've also got hundreds of electric cars in our fleet.