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London Countryway

Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, Thurrock, Windsor & Maidenhead

346 km / 215 miles
The London Countryway is an orbital walking trail around London. The route never actually enters Greater London but runs through the countryside of neighbouring counties. The surroundings are hugely varied, ranging from dead flat fens to rugged chalk hills, rich in cultural and heritage interest and an outstanding showcase for London's protected green belt. The trail is easily walked as a series of day walks from London using public transport.

The route includes:
Three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Chilterns, Kent Downs, Surrey Hills)
Two National Nature Reserves (Broxbourne Woods, Chobham Common)
Two Community Forests (Thames Chase, Watling Chase)
A Regional Park (Lee Valley)
Two contrasting stretches of the river Thames (Maidenhead and Tilbury)
Three historic canals (Basingstoke Canal, Lee Navigation, Wey Navigation) and the New River
Windsor Great Park and Castle
The National Trust village of West Wycombe
Roman Verulamium
Epping Forest
...and numerous other lesser known but fascinating green spaces, nature reserves and heritage sites.

It was originally devised in the late 1970s by LDWA and Ramblers volunteer Keith Chesterton, who published a guidebook in 1979. The second and so far most recent edition of this appeared in 1981 and is long out of print, so the Countryway is something of a lost London orbital route, predating the London Loop by almost two decades. In 2014, Des de Moor. also a Ramblers volunteer and a keen walker based in the London area, produced an updated and complete guide to the route, the first published for well over 30 years. This is published online (not in book form) on the London Underfoot website below. It largely follows the route as described in the 1981 guidebook, with many of the paths much improved since that book was published. The new version makes occasional diversions, sometimes out of necessity but more to explore paths and access that are new or have been improved in the intervening years.

Remarkably, even with the passage of time and the development of numerous other walking routes in the south-east, large sections of the Countryway are distinct from other promoted routes, so making it still a worthwhile challenge in its own right.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Average Gradients
Start and Finish: TQ646745 - Gravesend Ferry Terminal, Kent View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1977
Web Sites: London Underfoot - London Country Way [blog] Backpack Artist - London Countryway [blog] A walker's journal - The London Countryway [blog]

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook London Countryway Route Description  (Keith Chesterton  - 1977 )
Guidebook Guide to the London Countryway  (Constable and Robinson (an imprint of Little, Brown)  - 1981 )
Guidebook Windsor Great Park : the walker's guide  (Stanfords  - 2007 )


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

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National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 165, 166, 167, 175, 176, 177, 178, 186, 187, 188
OS Landranger Active 165, 166, 167, 175, 176, 177, 178, 186, 187, 188
OS Explorer 145, 146, 147, 148, 160, 162, 163, 172, 174, 175, 181, 182
OS Explorer Active 145, 146, 147, 148, 160, 162, 163, 172, 174, 175, 181, 182

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Group Accommodation
1 km
89 km
Hostel Accommodation
4 km
97 km
Walkers are Welcome
4 km
206 km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
277 km

Click to show 2 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


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Route Profile:

345.9 km (214.9 miles)
5,282 m (17,329 ft) ascent
248 m (814 ft)  maximum height

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