London may be known best as a thriving metropolis, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t also plenty of great spots for escaping the crowds and immersing yourself in the great outdoors this spring. From calming Royal Parks to lesser-known gardens where you can relax in peace and tranquillity, here’s our pick of the six most serene spaces in the city.
Barnsbury Wood Nature Reserve
London’s smallest nature reserve is just 0.35 hectares, and was once nothing more than the garden of the local vicarage. Having fallen into decay during the 1840s, nature started to take over and the nature reserve was born. Today it is a stunning hidden patch of woodland with a garden filled with wildlife, including everything from ladybirds to toads and bird species. The area is used by local schools to provide environmental education and show students the beauty of the natural world. Located in an affluent area, this is a stunning but largely unknown space where you can commune with nature in peace during your stay in London, safe in the knowledge you won’t be bothered by many fellow visitors.
This park was created in the 1800s and it covers over 50 acres. There’s a great mixture of terrain and landscapes to enjoy, and the area really comes alive at this time of year. There are plentiful playgrounds, and the remarkable Kyoto Garden, complete with its own waterfall, will really make you forget that you’re in London. We recommend a leisurely visit after dining at the best restaurants near Paddington Station.
This delightful space is one of London’s finest Royal Parks, and surrounds the equally impressive Kensington Palace. Once joined to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is a wonderful place to watch the world go by in the great outdoors, and can be reached with ease after enjoying The Chilworth London Paddington Spa. If you tire of exploring the park itself, there are lots of things you can enjoy during your visit, like a trip to the Serpentine Galleries which house some of the city’s best art. Alternatively, you can take a look at some of the Victorian-era monuments like the Albert Memorial, or if travelling with children, head for the Princess Diana Memorial Garden. With leafy avenues and wide-open spaces galore, there are few places as stunning for enjoying the great outdoors.
Red House Gardens
Once the garden of designer and public figure William Morris, these impressive gardens were commissioned in 1859 and represent a landscaping high point for the era. The venue will not only be of interest to those with an interest in art and history (Morris founded the Arts & Crafts movement) but also to those looking for a relaxing spot to while away a few hours this season.
No list of serene spots in London is complete without mentioning Kew Gardens, a botanical idyll which benefits from a lengthy trip to see all it has to offer. First founded in 1840, here you will find thousands of species of plant and plenty of wildlife, all of which call Kew Gardens home. Consider heading to The Chilworth London Paddington for afternoon tea after your visit to complete a fun-filled day.
One of the better-known Royal Parks, Regents Park has everything you could want from a Spring outdoor venue, including lakes (where you can hire a boat), and plenty of space to explore and see all the park has to offer.