We all know and love London’s bustling metropolis of shops, restaurants and attractions, but what many people overlook about the city is its fantastic collection of green open spaces. When I worked down in London, I was far too skint to enjoy any of the expensive attractions or shops, so most weekends I chilled out with my friends in one of London’s parks. And being a Yorkshire girl at heart, it certainly made me feel at home being surrounded by a bit of greenery!
London’s parks and gardens offer cheap and often free attractions and are a great way to escape the touristy crowds. Here are 4 of my favourite London outdoor spaces that many people often forget!
Spitalfields City Farm
Buxton Street, London E1 5AR
How many inner city farms have you visited? Not many I’m guessing! The Spitalfields Farm is a quirky and unique attraction just a sheep pellet’s throw away from The City. It was set up by volunteers in 1978 and has been run by them ever since. Home to Bayleaf the Donkey, Bramble the Goat, ponies, ferrets, geese, pigs, sheep and many other adorable characters, it’s a an ideal anti-commercial attraction the kids will love. And let’s face it – so will you!
The Store Yard, Inner Circle London NW1 4NR
Regents Park needs no introduction, but it’s made my list because tucked away inside the park are hidden gems that many visitors fail to find. In the heart of the inner circle lies Queen Mary’s Gardens, a gorgeous walled garden with more than 30,000 roses. I found the garden last summer and it was the most gorgeous display of roses I’ve ever seen! Roam a little further and you’ll find a quiet lake and sculpture park just waiting to be discovered. Of course Regents Park is also home to London Zoo as well as an open air theatre which hosts live productions in the summer months.
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, London, Surrey TW9 3AB
The Royal Botanic Kew Gardens is without a doubt the most diverse plot of greenery in London. It’s bursting with over 90 unique sights and attractions including Kew Palace, the smallest and most intimate of the royal palaces. Better still, it’s at no extra charge. You can spend an entire day getting lost amongst the lakes, ponds, structures and greenery in Kew Gardens and there are plenty of things to keep the kids occupied too. Throw in the onsite restaurants, shops and amenities and you’ve got yourself a top notch London day out!
Get Superbreak tickets to Kew Gardens and one night in a 3* London Hotel for just £53.40
Entrance off North End Way, NW3, North West London
From famous views to famous faces, Hampstead Heath is definitely a place to see and be seen. The West Heath is much quieter than the often celeb-scattered hills of the main park and is an inner city haven just 6km from Trafalgar Square. If you fancy getting active there is an athletics track, three swimming pools and a lido – perfect for sunny London days. Be sure to visit the gorgeous Italian Pergola and the Hill Garden with its many walkways and terraces. If you’ve got little ones in tow, go further west and you’ll find Golders Hill Park, which has a small and free park with birds, wallabies and deer.
What’s your favourite green open space in London? Are you planning an urban oasis break to London any time soon? Leave us a comment in the box below and let us know!