In 25 carefully planned walks, Walks in the Country Near London reveals the myriad treasures that lie just beyond London's urban sprawl. From easy rambles through apple orchards and lush pastures in Kent to more exhilarating rambles along Sharpenhoe Clappers' chalk escarpments in Bedfordshire, there is a walk here for everyone. Full-colour photographs capture each area's refreshing rural charms, while clear mapping pinpoints everything from designated trails and stately homes to traditional pubs and cosy tea rooms. With characteristic humour, Christopher Somerville guides readers along hedged, grassy lanes, across open, airy farmland and through some of the finest historic homes, castles and churches that England has to offer. Along the way, he shares fascinating tales about the characters who trod these same paths throughout the centuries – from persecuted Catholic priests making their way to safe houses under the cover of night, to such celebrated figures as Anne Boleyn, John Bunyan, William Blake and Benjamin Disraeli. With a wealth of interesting anecdotes and intriguing information, this is the perfect guide for history buffs and casual walkers alike.