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I have been looking at weekend accommodations in London. For a family with children, this seems quite challenging.

At the same time I am seeing quite some nice bucolic options in Kent and Sussex. To be able to enjoy both London and the countryside, I am wondering what the closest bucolic area to the city ofLondon is and preferably even within the ceremonial county greater London .

Sidenote: Bucolic is a word I learned here.

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That's where I learned that word too! :) –  Mark Mayo Feb 4 '13 at 4:47
Perhaps you could describe what sort of bucolic destination you are after? Eg country-side cottage, farm hotel, camping cabins etc. London also covers a huge area, so has quite a lot of bucolic areas bordering it - maybe you'd prefer a certain side of the compass (eg South London)? –  Mark Mayo Feb 4 '13 at 4:50
I don't know if you like camping, but I have used this one canopyandstars.co.uk and I really really love it. it's cottage style accommodation. Some of them are quite close to London e.g Dorset. –  toy Feb 4 '13 at 9:26
..Dorset..close to London? 130-odd miles and 2.5 hrs :-) –  Rory Alsop Feb 4 '13 at 9:42
Also see Day trips from London –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 4 '13 at 16:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The most "bucolic" area very close to central London is Hampstead Heath, which gives a reasonable impression of being out in the countryside once you're away from the perimeter and is certainly big and varied enough for a decent walk. It has reasonably villagey areas with pubs around it near Hampstead Heath station and Highgate, another pub (the Spaniard's Inn) on a road passing through it and a stately home (Kenwood House).

But you can't stay in the middle of the Heath and I think you would be unlikely to find anywhere to stay that wasn't either on a main road in an urbanised area nearby, and/or very expensive. It's always been a day-trip destination. But it's worth a try.

You might also consider Richmond (Richmond Park and the river, trips to Hampton Court). But again I think you'll find accomodation in the most scenic bits sparse or expensive.

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London is pretty well-connected by trains to many destinations of-note in the UK, so it's hard to take a pick. However, if you want primarily a rural experience then you have a couple of options:

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While Oxford and Cambridge surely make for great day trips from London, I wouldn't call them rural or bucolic exactly... –  Jonik Feb 5 '13 at 23:01

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