Here’s our Top 5 favourite London Parks and Gardens:
1. Hyde Park
Hyde Park, one of London’s largest at 1.5 miles long and covering 350 acres, is one of the Royal Parks and home to an array of memorials and recreational facilities. The famous Speakers’ Corner lies on the north-east side of the park and is dedicated to where people are fully allowed to embrace freedom of speech by publically imparting (lawful) speeches and debate. The Serpentine Boating Lake is a popular spot for hiring boats out onto the lake, and the Serpentine Lido is open for public swimming during the Summer, as well as having Britain’s oldest swimming club. The Diana Memorial Fountain is also worth a visit whilst you’re in the park. The larger areas of flat ground means that Hyde Park is a popular site for sports, whilst its vast area and central London location has made it a top outdoor venue for hosting annual events, gigs, festivals and concerts.
BEST FOR: Recreational activities and long walks
WHERE IT IS: Hyde Park sits to the right of Kensington and above Knightsbridge. Nearest tubes are Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Queensway, Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate, depending on which side of the park you wish to enter or exit.
FUN FACT: Overlooking Hyde Park is the exclusive Number One Hyde Park apartment, the most expensive apartments in London and in the world at over £135 million.
2. Regents Park
BEST FOR: Visiting London Zoo or taking part in a sporting activity
WHERE IT IS: Its vast parkland is located in North London, to the left of Camden and above the West End. Baker Street, Euston and Regents Park tube stations are all within a couple of minutes walk from the park.
FUN FACT: The Open Air Theatre was one of only two theatres that remained open throughout the World War II.
3. Kensington Gardens
BEST FOR: Picnics among luscious scenery and swan-gazing
WHERE IT IS: Kensington Gardens adjoin Hyde Park on the left hand side and can be accessed easily from High Street Kensington tube. Check-in-London also feature some exceptional Kensington apartments near this park if you are looking for a short term London accommodation.
FUN FACT: If you’re wondering why it sits next to Hyde Park, it’s because it used to be Hyde Park. It was in 1728 that Queen Caroline, wife of George II, moulded the gardens to the structure that exists today.
4. Kew Gardens
250 years of garden history lies within its gates, and guests will not only lap up the sun (assuming it’s actually out) but also the landscapes, greenhouses, treetop sights, and woodland and rainforest experiences. This may be the only park on this list that has an entrance fee, but it’s also the only one that offers such a vast and impressive collection of plants from all over the world. As well as housing the famous royal Kew Palace, further attractions include Temperate House, the oldest surviving glasshouse in the world, and the Prince Charles Conservatory, which features global plants from ten different climatic zones. The Orangery serves up a proper British cooked meal, while smaller cafes dotted around provide smaller bites and refreshments.
BEST FOR: Exploring new, colourful sights and smells
WHERE IT IS: Again, another first - Kew Gardens is not in central London but located in south-West London in Kew, only a thirty minute tube ride from central London. From Kew Gardens tube station, the garden’s entrance is just a two minute walk.
FUN FACT: Kew Gardens houses the Coconut Palm, the tree that ‘grants all wishes’, which is planted in Hawaii whenever a child is born.
5. Kyoto Gardens
A park within a park! This small, quaint and beautiful traditional Japanese Garden is located within the 55 acres of Holland Park and was donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991. This pastoral hidden gem is certainly something to be admired, and creates the utmost tranquil setting for relaxing in and admiring its beautiful features. A focal cascading waterfall, ornate pond with koi carp, a stone washbasin and a display of Japanese plants, shrubs and rocks are just some of the wonders of this surreal little haven which guarantees a moments escapism. And people aren't the only visitors partial to these sights - Peacocks too roam these gardens!
BEST FOR: Unwinding and enjoying the peace with a good book
WHERE IT IS: Kyoto Gardens sit between High Street Kensington and Holland Park tube stations in the centre of Holland Park.
FUN FACT: The garden was designed for the Japan Festival in 1991 to commemorate the centenary of Japanese Society in Britain.
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