Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the busy city of London, there are some beautiful green spaces and parks that you can escape to. Getting out and going for a walk is the perfect way to take a break from everything that’s going on and see what London has to offer. Here I bring you a selection of the most beautiful parks in London. There is something to suit every personality, from history lovers to activity enthusiasts.
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Sarina Shah.
1. Holland Park
Address: Ilchester Place, Kensington, W8 6LU
Closest Stations: Holland Park Station, High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate
Opening Hours: 7.30 am to 30 minutes before dusk
Kicking off this list of the most beautiful parks in London is Holland Park in Kensington. With its expansive gardens and arched doorways that light up with a gold reflection as the sun sets and rises, it looks similar to Spain’s Cathedral de Sevilla.
Notably, the most famous attraction within Holland Park is the Kyoto Garden, which was created in 1992 to celebrate the Japan Festival in London. The garden was a gift from the city of Kyoto to celebrate the strong relationship between Japan and the UK. It has traditional Japanese features, such as a waterfall and pebble stones. Occasionally you can even see beautiful peacocks roaming around the garden. There is also the more recent addition of the Fukushima Gardens which are home to a variety of flowers and plants. It’s the perfect place for a photo opportunity.
There is something to suit every personality as the park also has netball, tennis, and football courts, as well as pitches to practice golf or cricket. It’s also home to a lovely play area for young children, an open-air theatre and an ecology centre which usually runs tours and activities. There is a café within the park as well if you’d like to grab something quick to eat. But I would say it is the perfect place to bring and set up a picnic!
2. Golders Hill Park
Address: Golders Hill Park, North End Way, NW3 7HE
Closest Stations: Golders Green
Opening Hours: 7.30 am to dusk
Located within Hampstead Heath, Golders Hill Park is the perfect family park with lots to do for all ages. The park is home to a zoo, with all sorts of animals from emus to deer. It also has an accompanying butterfly house. In addition to this, there is a large kid’s play area and café, with an amazing ice cream stall, which makes it perfect for summer days. However, it’s also a great place to grab a coffee during the colder months, as you stroll around and explore the park.
The hidden gem of Golders Hill Park is the Hill Garden and Pergola. A gorgeous landscaped garden, it was previously the private garden of a now demolished manor house. The pergola is stunning and offers views across the whole of West Heath, as well as a variety of different pathways to explore. It is also known to be a famous place for many couples to take their wedding and engagement photos, so I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good photo spot! It is quite hard to find, so remember to keep looking at maps and perhaps try and follow people if they are heading in.
3. Kensington Gardens
Address: Postcode to use on mobile devices is W2 2UH – this covers a wide area
Closest Stations: Lancaster Gate & Queensway, Bayswater, High Street Kensington
Opening Hours: 6 am – closing times vary throughout the year
Adjoined to the well-known Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens are not explored as often but offer so much to discover. You can access parts of the beautiful Kensington Palace, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, by pre-booking. But if you are looking for something free to do, there is the Diana Memorial Playground, in honour of the late princess. It’s the perfect place to take the kids for a day out.
You’ll also find the Grade II listed Italian Gardens, full of beautiful terraces, flower beds, and fountains. Overlooking the Gardens is the Gardens Café, where you can grab a coffee to go or sit on the terrace and enjoy the beautiful view. There are various breakfast options such as a poached egg with smashed avocado on dough or a range of French pastries.
This is one of the most beautiful parks in London for those of you interested in literature and history. The park inspired the work of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. You can find a statue of Peter Pan in the park, which is in fact a ‘Talking Statue’. It speaks back to you when you hold your camera up to it!
4. Kew Gardens (requires pre-booking)
Address: Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
Closest Stations: Kew Gardens Station
Opening Hours: 10 am – closing times vary throughout the year
A UNESCO World Heritage Site home to the world’s most diverse collection of living plants, Kew Gardens is the best form of escapism. It requires pre-booking and tickets cost £10 for adults, but it is a perfect day out for all age groups. And especially for those of you who are plant lovers!
Expect to see beautiful glasshouses in abundance. These are lit up at Christmas for Christmas at Kew, a well-known event that takes place at the gardens annually. You’ll also find the Princess of Wales Conservatory here, where you can experience a range of different climates, and the beautiful Waterlily House which has lots of huge lily pads.
Be sure not to miss the Treetop Walkway, which boasts amazing views across the Gardens. There are several cafés to stop and have a break in throughout your day at Kew, and keep your eye out as they regularly host different themed events and exhibitions throughout the year!
5. The Regent’s Park
Address: Postcode to use on mobile devices is NW1 4NR, this covers a wide area
Closest Stations: Camden Town, Baker Street, Regent’s Park
Opening Hours: 5 am – 9:30 pm during the summer, winter it closes slightly earlier depending on the month
We have another Royal Park on this list of the most beautiful parks in London! And at just over 395 acres, there is so much to explore in The Regent’s Park. Inside the park, you’ll find the well-known Primrose Hill, which boasts some of the best views in London. It’s the perfect place to head on a date with a picnic in the summer or blankets and hot chocolate in the winter! Another delight in the summer is the boating lake, where you can find pedalos and rowing boats, which range in cost between £5.50 – £9. This is a lovely way to spend the afternoon or early evening.
In addition to this, the park also boasts various sports facilities, which have been recently upgraded. You’ll find pitches for all kinds of sports here including rugby and netball. There are a number of cafés and restaurants throughout the park too, as well as an open-air theatre that runs shows every summer.
A great day out could be a picnic brunch at Primrose Hill in the morning, followed by a walk through the sculpted gardens to the boating lake and an hour on the boats, sitting for a late lunch at the Boathouse Cafe and ending the day at the open-air theatre!
6. Richmond Park
Address: Postcode to use on mobile devices is TW10 5HS, this covers a wide area
Closest Stations: Richmond
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours (apart from during the deer cull in November and February when the park shuts at 8 pm). However, vehicle gates shut at dusk.
One of the most beautiful parks in London, Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks. If you want to feel like you’re not in London, and lost in the countryside instead, this is the perfect place to go. Definitely make sure you add it to your 3 day London itinerary! Richmond Park is a great place to head with bikes as well. You can follow the Tamsin Trail which runs for 7 miles along the outside of the park.
It is also home to the Isabella Plantation, a beautiful flower display that changes all year round with the seasons. Most visited in the summer months, you can see bright pink flowers spanning across the 40-acre garden. You’ll definitely be able to spot deer here as well, as there are over 600 roaming around the park.
If you are looking for a bite to eat or a hot drink to go, the Hollyhock Café is a magical spot hidden away in Richmond’s terrace gardens. And everything on the menu is either vegetarian or vegan!
7. Hyde Park
Address: Postcode to use on mobile devices is W2 2UH, this covers a wide area
Closest Stations: Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge
Opening Hours: 5 am to midnight
Right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of London is Hyde Park, famous for its annual Winter Wonderland. People travel from all over the UK for this event as it’s one of the best things to do in London at Christmas. It’s also very well known for boating on the Serpentine. This is £12 per adult for the hour and is definitely a must-do if you visit.
While there may not be as many facilities or activities to do here in comparison to some of the other parks, Hyde Park is just a great place for a stroll, whether it be with your friends, family or partner. I would recommend setting out a picnic and sitting here, watching the world pass by.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, especially in the hotter months, Serpentine Bar and Kitchen has a terrace which overlooks The Serpentine and is a lovely place to sit and relax.
8. Chiswick House & Gardens
Address: 25 Sutherland Rd, Chiswick, London W4 2QR
Closest Stations: Chiswick
Opening Hours: 7 am to dusk
A real hidden gem, Chiswick House and Gardens are another of the most beautiful parks in London. If you love architecture and history, this is a great place to explore, as the house is an example of 18th-century architecture with an Italian influence. You can download an audio guide for free before visiting, which you can play on your phone. It tells you all about the history and development of the House and Gardens.
It’s also a wedding venue and it’s easy to see why! There are lots of spots for photo opportunities around the site. Markets and exhibitions events are also hosted regularly in the Gardens, and lots of series and movies are filmed here, so I recommend following them on Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with what’s going on.
9. Greenwich Park
Address: Postcode to use on mobile devices is SE10 8QY, this covers a wide area
Closest Stations: North Greenwich
Opening Hours: 6 am – closing times vary throughout the year
If you are looking for some of the best views over London, Greenwich Park is the park for you. With vast views across the Canary Wharf skyline, this is the perfect place to admire London in all its beauty. I would recommend walking up to the park from Cutty Sark station, as it’s a lovely area to explore, with lots of great restaurants.
Greenwich Park is also famously home to the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line (or GMT line!). Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its angle east or west from this line, which is very unique and definitely another reason to visit. You can step either side of the line and be in either East or West time!
There are also various places to grab something to eat including the Pavilion Café at the top of the hill by the Royal Observatory. Recently refurbished, it serves delicious stone-baked pizzas. There’s also the White House Café which serves amazing coffee and an array of pastries, croissants and sweet treats.
So there you have it: the 9 most beautiful parks in London. Which of these do you want to visit most after reading this? Please let me know in the comments below!
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