View from Combe Hill looking over the Buckinghamshire countryside.

Coombe Hill, Buckinghamshire

Chiltern Hills AONB

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With over 3 million acres of countryside to explore in South East England, it's the perfect place to escape the four walls and enjoy some great open spaces, fresh air and exercise. Discover the National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, country parks, nature reserves, glorious gardens, waymarked walks of the South East.... there's no better place to fall in love with the great outdoors.

South East England is home to two National Parks covering over 2,193km2 between them. New Forest National Park in Hampshire, famous for its colourful heather, and ponies that wander through the villages and across its large open expanses and forest trails, and South Downs National Park which stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne, through the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex, and is the newest National Park in the UK. One of the many iconic images of the South, is the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head which is part of the South Downs, along with the famous Devils Dyke, Blackdown and ancient forests of Kingsley Vale, all providing some of the best countryside in the UK. Don't miss the chance to visit both parks when you are here in South East England, they have very different landscapes and experiences to enjoy.

The Countryside Code

We encourage you to explore the countryside at every opportunity, it is so good for your well-being and mental health. However, whilst you are out and about remember to follow the Countryside Code - RESPECT - PROTECT - ENJOY. This countryside code contains advice for the public and landowners, making it easier for visitors to help respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors

Beautiful Places Near Me

There are an amazing nine Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in South East England. These have been recognised for their exceptional landscape, character, and natural beauty, and are prized enough to be protected for all to enjoy. Whether you choose to hunt for dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Wight, follow in the path of Olympians in the Surrey Hills or be charmed by the space and beauty of Chichester Harbour, these areas offer the chance to explore the beautiful English countryside easily. Reaching into every county in the South East it doesn't matter where you stay or visit, it is easy to head out and explore these stunning rural areas with the Kent Downs, Surrey Hills, North Wessex Downs and Chiltern Hills providing the easiest access to countryside near London.

  • The Cotswolds, Oxfordshire
  • North Wessex Downs AONB, Berkshire
  • Chiltern Hills AONB, Buckinghamshire
  • High Weald AONB, Sussex
  • Kent Downs AONB
  • Surrey Hills AONB
  • Chichester Harbour AONB, Sussex
  • Dorset AONB
  • Isle of Wight AONB

Half the Isle of Wight is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it an ideal escape to the country.  A varied terrain includes dramatic coastlines with heritage status, nature reserves, woodlands, chalk hills and stunning views that'll test the memory of any smartphone camera.

There are approximately 50 chalk carved figures in the UK countryside, the most famous is the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire, which is located 25 miles outside of Oxford and is believed to date back to the bronze age. It can be found in the aptly named Vale of the White Horse and can be seen for miles dancing over the Ridgeway hills. Head to Eastbourne and walk to the bottom or top of the Long Man of Wilmington, a giant etched out in slopes of Windover Hill.

Don't miss the ever changing seasons that bring yearly change to the countryside, from carpets of white snowdrops in winter (January - February) the stunning bluebells walks that follow (April - May) or the rich colours of Autumm that signal the end of summer.

Best Views Near Me

  • Don't miss the chance to take in the stunning views of Newlands Corner, Box Hill, Devils Punchbowl and Leith Hill in the Surrey Hills.
  • Take a wander up St Catherines Hill, on the outskirts of Winchester for breath-taking views over the city. 
  • Make some time when visiting Brighton to head out to Devils Dyke, just 5 miles north-west of of the city, with its deep V-shaped valley and selection of walking trails on offer. 
  • Head to Cissbury Ring, near Worthing, the largest hill fort in Sussex dating back some 5,000 years and offering stunning views over Brighton and beyond from its ramparts. 
  • Explore Beachy Head and some of the best views of the Seven Sisters near Eastbourne, with its dramatic scenery and amazing views, the highest chalk cliff in the South East. 
  • Head to Butser Hill the highest point in Hampshire, part of the world's newest International Dark Sky Reserve - a stargazing delight.  Dont miss the chance to visit Butser Ancient Farm whilst you are here, an archaeology site where you can step back in time. 
  • Wander through the beautiful archway of trees and head up to the Halnakar Windmill to enjoy views over Sussex, Goodwood and the South Coast beyond.
  • Explore the ancient forest of Kingley Vale, full of twisted branches and an air of mystery. Head to the top and enjoy stunning views over West Sussex countryside.
  • Visit Hengistbury Head to the south of Christchurch Harbour, a wind sweep headland offering beautiful views over Isle of Wight, New Forest and Purbecks.

The Test Valley runs from the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty right down to the New Forest National Park in the south, with walkers and cyclists being able to enjoy parts of the 44 mile Test Way, nestling between Winchester, Salisbury and the New Forest.  

Most of the world's chalk streams are found here in the southeast of England. The crystal-clear water provides a unique habit for wildlife, and is one of most biodiverse types of rivers in the UK, they provide a beautiful place to walk and lookout for wildlife. The rivers wander through some of the most beautiful British countryside with tranquil water meadows and rolling chalk hills. The River Test, Itchen and Meon are the three main chalk rivers in Hampshire.

You may not know that the South East is also home to two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves at Brighton and the Isle of Wight - there are only 7 sites in the UK. These Biospheres bring together rural, marine and urban environments, to take care of these special places for both nature and people. 

Our extensive list below will help you find a host of ideas and countryside near me to visit when next in South East England. 

Number of results:

Number of results: 229

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Reculver Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Herne Bay

    Reculver's shingle beach is a haven for those looking for a peaceful hideaway in the rural setting of the Reculver Country Park, where people come to relax and admire the stunning Kent coastline.

  2. Hove Lawns Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Hove

    Hove seafront begins at Hove Lawns and stretches right along to Hove Lagoon, near Portslade. There is a stunning walk along the seafront, especially just as the sun rises or sets, from the West Pier onwards.

  3. Leechpool Woods

    Type

    Type:

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Horsham

    Leechpool is an ancient woodland covering 53 acres and includes Oak, Ash, Hazel, Hawthorn, Holly, Blackthorn, Sweet Chestnut and Scots Pine.

  4. Ryde Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Ryde

    The beaches at Ryde lie on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight and offer miles and miles of sandy shores.

  5. Marwell Zoo

    Type

    Type:

    Animal Collection / Zoo

    Winchester

    Embrace your wild side at Marwell Zoo! Home to hundreds of endangered and exotic species in 140 acres of beautiful parkland, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy and admire. From Amur tigers to brilliant birds, Marwell offers you the chance…

  6. South of England Rare Breeds Centre

    Type

    Type:

    Farm

    Woodchurch

    Large collection of rare farm breeds on a working farm with children's play activities. Home to the 'Tamworth Two'. Woodland walks.

  7. Seagrove Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Seaview

    Seagrove Bay sits between Seaview beach and Priory Bay on the north east coast and boasts some of the largest and most imposing seaside properties on the Isle of Wight. When the tide is out Seagrove Bay has a large expanse of golden sands, making…

  8. Kilkenny Lane Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Carterton

    Set within 50 acres Kilkenny Lane Country Park is an ideal location for playing, walking, jogging, or simply relaxing with a picnic. There are 2.5km of paths (suitable for wheelchair access) and bridleways, as well as an adventure play area

  9. Louisa Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Broadstairs

    A small popular tucked away bay that is great for rock pooling with a promenade café

  10. High Beeches Woodland and Water Garden

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Haywards Heath

    High Beeches Woodland and Water Garden is a beautiful, tranquil and historic garden of some 27 acres. It was begun more than 100 years ago and is full of rare and important plants and trees.

  11. Bodiam Castle

    Type

    Type:

    Castle / Fort

    Bodiam, Robertsbridge

    Archetypal 14th century moated castle with ruined interior - a glimpse of medieval splendour.

  12. Watlington Hill

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Trail / Watching

    Watlington

    Discover an Oxfordshire dreamscape as you walk to the top of Watlington Hill, where you will find breathtaking views and fine wildlife all year round.

  13. River Hamble Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Southampton

    River Hamble Country Park is a place to play, picnic, relax and explore. Have a ramble around our ancient woodland and enjoy seasonal changes - from bluebells in spring to fantastic autumn colours.

  14. Westbrook Bay

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Margate

    This is a great family beach with a sandy bay with a small section of sand at high tide.

  15. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Romsey

    Discover the beauty and inspiration at the Gardens, woodlands walks and breath-taking views.

  16. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Horndean

    With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal place to explore, keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

  17. Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Type:

    Wildlife Centres & Nature Reserves

    SANDOWN

    From pocket sized primates to powerful predators, the residents of Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, will charm and amaze you!

  18. Brogdale Collections

    Type

    Type:

    Garden

    Faversham

    The National Fruit Collection has over 3000 varieties of fruit trees including apples, pears, quince, plums and cherries. The orchards are a living history and heritage of fruit waiting to be discovered.

    Brogdale Collections hosts a wide selection…

  19. South Downs National Park

    Type

    Type:

    National Park


    The South Downs, now a newly designated National Park are easily accessible from Worthing.  The South Downs Way runs from Winchester to Eastbourne and can be accessed at several points around Worthing or Adur.

    Discovery ticket:

    The new…

  20. Avon Beach

    Type

    Type:

    Beach

    Christchurch

    Lined with colourful beach huts Avon Beach is a great beach to visit whatever the time of the year. Located in the coastal town of Mudeford, just east of Mudeford Quay, this Dorset beach provides great views of the Needles Lighthouse and the Isle of…