My favourite park - Richmond

Editor Emily was born and brought up in London and the capital's parks top her list for a family outing, whatever the weather.

 Peter Pan

"Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are full of memories of both childhood and motherhood. Making a wish holding on to the snail under Peter Pan; watching the boats in the Round Pond; rowing on the Serpentine; having a cup of tea (and now surprisingly good pizza) in the cafe at the end of the Long Water; running up and down the steps of 'Golden Albert'. 

But at this time of year, happily in London but half wishing we were breathing in sea air or building a snowman, I want something less urban. Plus a trip to Hyde Park gets hijacked by Winter Wonderland which I can only stomach once a year. So we have - complete with two dogs - been making a daily trip to Richmond Park over the past few days.

At 2,500 acres, this enormous civic space is a fantastic, free facility. The middle aged men in lycra tend to pedal four-deep on the main roads at weekends but park in one of the car parks away from the cycle routes and you can happily stomp in relative peace even on the busiest of days.

  Pen Ponds Richmond Park

My favourite walk is the loop round the Pen Ponds.

1. Start in the Pen Ponds car park (officially the Spankers Hill Wood car park) and head away from the Ponds (and most other walkers) across the open heathland towards the Isabella Plantation.

2. Skirt round the Plantation if you have dogs (you can go in if you are dog-free) and take one of the tracks through the oak trees. Make sure you have your wellies on - it's got some great muddy puddles.

3. Come back on yourself at Peg's Pond (go through the disabled parking car park) and head across at about 2 o'clock back towards the Pen Ponds. There is a lightening-struck tree that is a good marker.

4. Leaving the ponds to your right make a diagonal track towards the top of the hill at the far side. Pass the smaller Leg o Mutton pond on your right and then a couple of hundred yards further and you are at one of the highest points in the park with glorious views in all directions.

5. You can head straight back through the two Pen Ponds to the car parks from here or I like to go over the path and turn right and walk up the avenue towards White Lodge and the Royal Ballet School. From here if you cross the road (no cars so don't worry) there are great woods filled with an excellent range of sticks for Eyeore house construction.

Either way, when you return to the car park you have definitely earned your bacon bap from the kiosk. At £4.50 they are expensive but, fried up before you on a frosty morning, nothing tastes more delicious.

The full walk is just under 4 miles but there are lots of easy opportunities to make it shorter if you have flagging legs."

Do let us know if you are out and about in town. Insta or tweet your photos and tag them #a&uwinterwalk We have a bundle of festive children's books to give away to our favourite festive snap.