London is the greenest world’s capital. In fact, here you can find the largest amount of parks and gardens: The green areas of London are almost 400. From Royal Parks to public gardens, the city offers a wide range of possibilities to spend your free time and flee from the urban life. Let’s see the most beautiful green oasis of the English capital.
London’s parks are ones of the most beautiful and pleasant in the world. There is plenty to do there: having picnics on the grass, strolling on the steams’ banks, horse riding, doing outdoor sports, swimming, discovering the beauty of the botanic gardens. During summer, these outstanding green areas become the perfect spot for all those who want to spend an unexpected relaxing day in the heart of London. We could not help ourselves from telling you about the magic of these places. If you are planning to live a unique green experience, you cannot miss those 10 parks.
1. Hyde Park: London’s largest green lung
Hyde Park is London’s most famous park. Its meadows and its gardens are a delight located in the capital’s centre. Hyde Park’s green area covers 142 hectares and hosts about 4.000 trees, infinite meadows, a lake and many ornamental flower compositions.
Perfect spot to: Go for a bike ride, thanks to the bike-sharing service all around the city. In this park it is even possible to swim. Where? In the Serpentine Lake, one of the many Lidos of London.
Must-see: Kensington Gardens. Thanks to their astonishing beauty, they are London’s most important royal gardens. Perfectly maintained, elegant and refined, a visit to the former Kensington Palace’s private gardens is unmissable.
The green idea: In London there are many eco-friendly structures, such as the Draycott Hotel. It is a luxurious residence where you can enjoy peace, tranquility and delicious food; in one of its many awe-inspiring and theatrically themed suites, you can spend unforgettable nights. Draycott hotel is the perfect spot to explore the beauties of London: A magical experience in the capital’s heart.
2. St. James’s Park: An oasis for families… and birds!
Doubtless, St. James’s Park is one of London’s most beautiful parks. It is located in the City of Westminster, just a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace. It is the oldest of the Royal Parks and it covers 23 hectares. Inside it hosts a lake with two islands: Duck Island and West Island. The bridge over the lake rests on the axis joining the Foreign Office and Buckingham Palace: It allows you to see the perfect lining of the trees and the fountains between the two buildings.
The nearest underground stations are St. James’s Park, Victoria and Westminster. The Park stays open from 5am to midnight. Here you can find further information.
Perfect spot to: Spend time with your family. Here children up to 7 years old can find the ideal place to play, to swing or to climb. But all the family can enjoy the Park’s meadow: in summer nobody can resist the urge to lay down and have a picnic!
Must-see: The Park is also an animal reserve. Bird-watchers from everywhere can find the perfect landscape to admire mostly ducks and pelicans.
The green idea: Nearby there are many vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, where you can enjoy a delicious dinner after spending the day in St. James’s Park.
3. Bushy Park: London’s second Royal Park
The historical Bushy Park is the capital’s second biggest Royal Park. Here you can find many varieties of plants, secular trees, woods, ponds, streams and wild animals.
Perfect spot to: Horse ride. Among all the other parks, Bushy Park is the ideal place when it comes to horse riding.
Must-see: Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s favourite residence. Once you are in the Park, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most beautiful palaces.
The green idea: In this park you can bike along the paths following the streams, to explore the thriving vegetation and the wild life.
4. Regent’s Park: Rose-scented park
Regent’s Park offers a wondrous variety of rose gardens. Being surrounded by their perfume is a truly unique sensorial experience. The Park spreads over 166 hectares and was projected by architect John Nash in 1811. Near the astounding gardens there is a navigable lake.
Perfect spot to: Do any sport. Here all the sport-lovers can find London’s biggest open-air sports area. You can play football, softball, rugby and cricket and the children can play freely. Nature-lovers can spot many species of water birds.
Must-see: The Open Air Theatre is one of the hidden gems of Regent’s Park. A magical experience, on stage from May to September.
The green idea: To live a relaxing and totally green experience, we suggest the tour of the lake by rowboat. Best thing for the lake’s (and your) health.
5. Richmond Park: Largest and wildest Royal Park
Richmond Park, situated in the pretty neighbourhood of Richmond-Upon-Thames, is the capital’s biggest Royal Park. It expands over an area of 955 hectares: endless meadows, countless trees and unspoilt nature.
Perfect spot to: Enjoy peace and tranquility. You can also stroll along the River Thames and spend a refreshing day watching the local fauna.
Must-see: Nearby the park, you can find the Museum of Richmond, a History Museum, from the Middle Age to our time.
The green idea: A biking tour of London, along the cycle paths of the River Thames and Richmond Park. Then you can stop to admire the 630 Red and Fallow deer roaming freely since 1637 and have a picnic surrounded by nature.
6. Holland Park: London’s most romantic park
Probably, Holland Park is one of the parks with the most flourishing and colourful nature of London. The Park is open every day and offers many possibilities to have the nicest visit. Nearby, there are areas to play football, golf and netball.
Perfect spot to: Climb; children and adults who love adventure and sports will find their ideal place.
Must-see: Zen Garden. In addition to the English Gardens, the Park offers this marvelous gem. A tiny waterfall pours into the carp pond, surrounded by Japanese-style statues and tools. Entering in this Paradise, you will feel the peace and tranquility of a true Zen garden. Unmissable!
The green idea: The Northern half of the park offers a wood crossed by numerous paths. Strolling around these ways is the perfect excuse to free your mind and escape from the urban life.
7. Royal Botanic Gardens: Kings of the botanic gardens
In London, you can find also the world’s biggest botanic garden. The Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew Gardens are a UNESCO Humanity Heritage Site. In fact, for more than 300 years they have been dedicated to cultivations of any kind of plants. This fascinating place hosts an arboretum with about 14.000 trees. An impressive amount, which reminds us of all the benefits of walking through the trees.
Perfect spot to: Stroll through the trees, but also on trees. An incredible experience 18m above the ground.
Must-see: You have to explore the astounding exotic rain forest inside the Palm House. And at The Hive you can learn about and observe bees’ extraordinary life.
The green idea: If you are thinking about a restorative dinner with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options, you must go to Qverde, a Mediterranean restaurant not far from the park.
8. Hampstead Heath: Sport and nature’s park
Hampstead Heath is one of the most beloved parks of London. It spreads over an area of 320 hectares where grow woods and green meadows. In the heath there is an open air bathhouse, a zoo, an athletics track, various children structures and many artificial bathing ponds. The Park is open 24/7.
Perfect spot to: Nature lovers can discover many natural beauties in the vast woodlands inside the park. Thanks to its equipped areas, the Park is perfect also for sports lovers.
Must-see: Parliament Hill. You cannot miss one of the most spectaculars views of London’s skyline.
The green idea: London is full of Urban Walking. If you love Nordic Walking, near Hampstead Heath there are many paths that you can try. Benefits not only for the legs, but for the entire body.
9. Crystal Palace Park: London’s “Prehistoric” Park
Crystal Palace Park is a large park located South of London. Inside, there is the big glass dome installed for the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1854. The Park hosts also some incredible real-size models of dinosaurs. They were made during the Victorian Age and placed among the trees.
Crystal Palace Park hosts also a beautiful farm, a children playground, an intriguing labyrinth and a big concert hall. The lovely pond inside the park is the ideal house of many varieties of birds.
Perfect spot to: Do sports. Sports lovers can find a nationally relevant sport centre and the many open air areas are perfect to go jogging.
Must-see: The Crystal Palace Museum, located in the middle of the park, tells the story of the Crystal Palace and the dinosaurs.
The green idea: The Welcome Home is the Ecobnb made specifically for those who want to stay in London surrounded by peace and tranquility. Biological and vegetarian food, clean air and ecological products make The Welcome Home the perfect place for a romantic getaway.
10. Victoria Park: East End’s most beautiful park
Victoria Park is London’s first public park. Maybe it is less known than the centre’s parks, but it is an oasis of peace and natural beauty very much appreciated by Londoners. Familiarly called “Vicky Park”, it is situated near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Inside Vicky Park you can find many areas dedicated to sports.
During summer the park hosts some of London’s most important events, such as Lovebox and Field Day Music Festival. The Park is open from 6am until sunset.
Perfect spot to: Relax and admire the beautiful streams and creeks that cross the park. Tennis lovers can also find many courts.
Must-see: In summer the Park hosts many open air concerts. Children must visit the One O’clock Club, a fence with goats and deer.
The green idea: To make the most of the day, our suggestion is to do one of the many sport activities offered by the park. Summer is the best time to take care of our bodies.
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Cover photo: Regent’s Park, via Flickr