London has more to offer its visitors than posh shopping and cultural monuments – it’s also home to gorgeous, sprawling parks. After all, there is nothing like enjoying a bit of nature where you least expect it.
Whether you’re looking for well-deserved respite from the buzzing city, a breath of fresh air, or a space for exercise, parks in London have beautiful gardens full of summer flowers, multiple sports activities, lakes for boating, and the opportunity to drink and dine during the day.
Check out our list of the best-of-the-best parks in London and what you can expect to enjoy during a visit to each.
The first and most obvious choice when visiting London is Hyde Park as it boasts the title of the largest park in London, covering 142 hectares in the city. The infamous location (just a stone’s throw from the Chilworth hotel!) was opened to the public during the 17th century. Since then, it has become one of the city’s most popular parks.
It’s easy to see why!
There are plenty of activities in the park, allowing visitors and locals alike to sunbathe, skate, cycle and boat on Serpentine lake. As such, many Londoners use the park to get their daily exercise into their busy lives, as do travellers trying to stay fit while away from home. Either way, it’s a great place to immerse yourself into the daily lives of brits. Keep in mind that during the summer the park is always busy with a range of events, concerts and even the occasional protest. Its popularity can be seen in the number of hotels near Paddington, surrounding Hyde Park.
In 1689 a gentleman called William III of England purchased a part of Hyde Park with an estate called Nottingham House. This became – and is still – known as the Kensington Gardens. Given it’s close proximity to Hyde Park, you shouldn’t miss out on this green space. Two bird’s, one stone, as they say.
Visitors will be delighted to find a Princess Diana memorial and a Peter Pan statue. Of course, parks in London are used to spend time with family and friends so bring a Frisbee, go for a jog or pack a picnic. Whatever you deicde to do, this is the perfect place to enjoy the fleeting summer weather by lounging around.
Summer only comes once a year!
The Kensington Gardens are relatively close to the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. If you fancy a walk, make it a day trip!
Regents Park, along with Hyde Park, are probably the two most popular outdoor spots to visit in London. The former is the largest area in the city dedicated to sports and Londoners and visitors alike can enjoy activities such as tennis, rugby, football and many more.
Created in 1828, the park boasts over 400 types of roses, a vast array of birds and the London Zoo. As such, you are sure to run into many families enjoying animals and nature. If this isn’t your cup of tea, head over to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum to visit Emma Watson or Kylie Minogue. These iconic British stars and many more will be there waiting for you, whenever you decide to pop in.
Before Green Park became a national treasure, lepers from St. James hospital were put to rest there. Then, in the 16th century, it became hunting grounds for Henry VIII. In the next couple of decades, the area was subject to duels and served as a resting place for thieves and bandits. That being said, it’s an area that’s assumed plenty of identities!
Green Park is still a refuge, but from city life in London, not for thieves and bandits.
If you’re on the lookout for acres of grassland and mature trees, this is the park for you. It’s a simple and a rather peaceful place – especially seeing as it has fewer tourists due to the limited attractions in the area. Of course, it is still in close proximity to both Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus.
St James Park
The beautiful St. James Park is another outdoor location that should not be missed.
Charles II occupied the land in the 17th century and redesigned the park mimicking the French royal parks. Traces of this can still be seen today. The green area offers a great view and is perfectly positioned near Buckingham Palace. Although it is not the most famous Park in London, it is one of the best preserved in the city. It’s the type of park you go to read a good book in the sunshine or lounge by the lake with a loved one.
In terms of its position, St. James Park is within walking distance to Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Palace. This makes it a perfect base for a day of sightseeing.
Victoria Park is one of the greatest (and oldest) public parks in the city. It’s been voted the nation’s most popular park and it has won a Green Flag and a Green Heritage Award – an impressive five years in a row, no less! The park offers its guests the chance to rent a boat, join sporting clubs and cycling classes, fish in the lake, visit the war memorial, bowl with pals, or take the kids to the children play areas.
Its varied activities are what make this space such an immense attraction – there’s always something to do, no matter when you visit.
Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park
The Isabella Plantation is set in the beautiful Richmond Park. Visitors start showing up around April when the flowers begin to bloom, with rhododendrons and azaleas blooming wildly in the early summer days. After a day trip to Richmond Park spent swooning over the flowers and exploring the grounds, you’ll no doubt be ready to put your head down at the Chilworth Hotel. You’ll have deserved it!
The recent restorations of Battersea Park have made this park a must-see in London. Our top picks within the park? The fountains and the zoo. Of course, there is also a marvellous Old English garden that is not to be missed while in the city.
Moreover, you’ll find the Pump House located on the lakeside of Battersea Park, a beautiful gallery where you will be able to see Henry Moore pieces. If you’re interested in art and culture, Battersea Park is the best option for you.
Pack a little picnic to enjoy in the sunshine because in London, you never know how long it will last!