London Blog

Country living in the city

If you’ve just moved to London and you’re missing the rolling country hills or you’re just tired of the concrete urban sprawl then don’t fret! Here we have listed a variety of activities that will make you feel right back amongst the lush green English pastures.

A Sunday pub lunch: There maybe hundreds of pubs in London but choose wisely and you could easily think you’re relaxing in the garden of an idyllic country pub. Although far too many to list here, if you fancy a proper English hoppy brew and some classic but classy pub grub, then you won’t go far wrong with our top three – the Albion in Islington (, the Grazing Goat in Marylebone ( and the Phene in Chelsea (

A walk in the park: Take a trip to Hampstead Heath or Richmond Park and you could easily be hundreds of miles from the city smog. Richmond Park covers nearly 2500 acres and has over 600 free roaming deer. Hampstead Heath occupies one of the highest spots in London and if you want to remember how close you are to the City, Parliament Heath on the South East side has uninterrupted views over London.

An afternoon’s shooting: So there may not be too many pheasants roaming around London, but you can spend an afternoon brushing up on your skills at the West London Shooting School ( The school offers a variety of courses, covering all aspects of shooting, from an hour’s rifle instruction to a 100 bird sporting clay course.
A round of golf: There are a number of golf courses located around London, the most central being the aptly named Central London Golf Centre ( located in Wandsworth. However, if you want to perfect your swing even closer to home, visit one of the urban golf courses across London (

A dip in an outdoor lake: On those rare but beautiful hot summer days in the capital take a trip to an outdoor lido to cool down. There are many across London, but the most natural has to be the Hampstead Pond for mixed bathing and swimming.

A morning trot: You don’t need to pack up the Land Rover and travel for miles outside the capital to go horse riding. There are many stables in and around London that offer escorted rides and lessons. Even Hyde Park itself has a stable offering various types of lessons and escorted hacks around the park (

A visit to a country house: Walking around the grounds of Hampton Court Palace or Kenwood House in Hampstead and you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere near the Scottish boarders rather than a stones throw from the centre of London. Others include Eltham Palace in Greenwich, Ham House in Richmond or the Red House in Bexleyheath to name a few.

A spot of local fishing: Okay so you may not wish to take your catch home for tea but if you like lazing away the afternoon by the waterside then there a number of places in the capital where you can do just that. Clapham Common Pond offers free fishing to its lakes stocked with Carp, roach, bream and tench. Another great spot is the stretch of the Thames between Ham and Petersham Meadow.

A trip to the farmer’s market: With all the hype regarding locally produced grub, farmers markets have been gaining a surge in popularity over recent years and they are now popping up all over the capital. Find your nearest at (

A row down the river: Whether you’re in training for the Oxford / Cambridge boat race or simply want to recite poetry to your loved one on the river, the Thames offers endless opportunities to get out on the water. Our favourite spot is in Richmond where you can hire a rowing boat for a couple of hours or perhaps join a cruise down to Hampton Court Palace.

March 19, 2012 rentonomy Moving to the Capital