London is such a big city, full of green areas and parks, it would be easy to get lost!
Despite having so many to choose from, I have a few favourites I love to visit all the time.
1. Greenwich Park
This park is extremely beautiful, situated on top of a hill from which you have an amazing view of the city. Being one of the largest parks in London, it provides a lot of space for picnics and such. If you walk up to the top of the hill, you can visit the Royal Observatory and have a peek at the famous meridian line! If you feel like walking a bit more, and go further up after the Observatory, and you will find a lovely flower garden, usually crowded by friendly squirrels.
Near the park’s entrance, at the bottom of the hill, you can also visit the Queen’s House, a former royal residence with an astounding architecture.
It is truly an amazing place to visit!
2. Holland Park
Located in Kensington, this park is one of the most gorgeous places in London. Its size isn’t very impressive, but its woodsy looks and quietness increases its appeal right away. There are different parts of the park, each different from the other. The two notable ones are: the Dutch Garden, full of carefully placed flowers, all year round (usually tulips, narcissus and roses), and home to a lovely cafeteria and restaurant where you can locate some breath-taking frescoes; and the Kyoto Garden, which depicts a unique, Japanese-style landscape that’s perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation, when not crowded by tourists. It also displays tranquil waterfalls and a pond full of koi carp.
Another thing which usually sparks a great interest in this park, is the fact that you’ll be able to catch sight of a few peacocks roaming free, who usually provide a full show of their colourful feathers.
This is a must-see!
3. Richmond Park
Although not situated in London, this park is definitely worth visiting! You can easily reach it by taking the London tube and then a short ride by bus.
This park is immense and offers so much to see. You can rent a bike or even a horse to visit the park, which is considered a top UK site for ancient trees and for supporting a wide range of rare species.
Richmond Park is mainly famous for being home to over 500 deer (it was originally a deer-hunting park), which can be easily seen when strolling around. Just remember to keep a safe distance!
You can also visit the Isabella Plantation, a beautiful woodland garden set within a Victorian plantation which was planted in the 1830’s.
It might take a few hours to visit the whole park, but its beauty and wilderness will definitely make you fall in love!
4. Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a quite large and ancient heath located in north London, in one of its highest points. This Heath is incredibly big and offers several parks within its perimeter. It also has a multitude of ponds and lakes (over 30), which during summer time are used as pools to cool down when it gets too hot (yes, it does get hot in London). Hampstead is also home to a broad number of rare species of animals and plants, as it offers lots of different habitats for the wildlife.
If you’re looking for something different, the Heath provides various sport activities too (tennis, rugby, football etc.), as well as a few spots to relax, such as the beautiful Hill Garden and La Pergola, or the Lido Café.
Last but not least, don’t forget to reach the summit of Parliament Hill for its viewpoint, the highest point in London at 98 metres high. You’ll get the best possible view of the London skyline!
5. Victoria Park
Located in East London, this park is perfect if you wish to walk along tranquil canals and enjoy some quiet time. It can get quite crowded during weekends, but you’ll always be able to find a spot for yourself. It is after all the largest and most-visited park in Tower Hamlets.
It has a large pond where you can rent a boat, and two cafes if you wish to grab a bite or a cold drink during a hot day.
One of the park’s most interesting attractions is the beautiful Chinese Pagoda, located in the centre of Victoria Park, which was originally built after the Chinese Exhibit in 1842, and was then rebuilt in 2010.
Recently Victoria Park has become famous for hosting a summer music festival every year – ‘All Points East’.
Definitely worth checking out!!
Other parks worth mentioning:
St. James’s Park