Did you know that London is so green that it falls under the United Nation’s definition of a forest? With over 3,000 parks, it’s not so hard to believe. Here is a list of some of the best parks in London for you to explore.
When people think of London, they think of the historic landmarks, shopping and entertainment. But you might be surprised to know that the capital has some impressive open spaces that will make you question where you are. From cherry blossoms and picnics amongst wildflowers to bike rides to stunning city views, here’s what London has to offer.
Looking for stunning views of London? Primrose Hill is an incredible green space located in the whimsical namesake village area, just north of Regent’s Park. The hilly park is surrounded by colourful townhouses, boutiques and gastropubs, making it an ideal place for a full day out. It’s also the home of the Shakespeare Tree, planted in 1864 to celebrate the tercentenary of the bard’s birth and replanted 100 years later. Surprisingly, the tree still stands today at the top of the hill, making for the perfect sunset-watching spot.
Local’s tip: We recommend you stop by Lemonia in Primrose Hill for authentic Greek food.
Location: Primrose Hill Rd, London NW1 4NR
Home to the famous Meridian and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich Royal Park, known to the locals as Greenwich Park, is located a short walk from the Greenwich DLR and overground station. A famous former hunting park, it is now part of the Greenwich World Heritage sites and the home of historical buildings like the Queen’s House and the stunning rose gardens. Panoramic views of the City and the Docklands await at the top of the park, offering sights that will make you want to come back. Enjoy the massive space with family or friends, or why not bring your date to watch the sunset?
Greenwich Park opening times: From 6am for pedestrians and 7am for cars. Closing times vary, please check the official website.
Location: London, SE10 8QY
St James Park
One of eight Royal Parks and centrally located in the heart of Westminster, St James Park is the ideal green space if you wish to take a stroll around central London or visit Buckingham Palace. Originally bought by Henry VIII to turn it into a deer park, the area is the home of The Mall – an important stretchy road that runs from Buckingham Palace and Whitehall – and the impressive setting of Royal pageants and events. Surrounded by St James Palace and Clarence House, it is a frequent tourist stop that can get crowded. The park also features a large lake that offers a sanctuary for ducks, swans, and pelicans.
Location: London, SW1H 9AP
Located right next to Buckingham Palace and nestled between Hyde Park and St James Park lies another Royal Park. Bought by King Charles II as a means to link the two existing parks, the vast green area offers its visitors a moment of tranquillity in central London. People watch from one of the benches or walk along the wide pathways in this triangle-shaped open space. The park is the setting for the Royal Gun Salutes, the Canada Memorial and the Diana Fountain. To get there, take the train to Green Park tube station.
Location: London, W1J 7NF
Perhaps the most famous Royal Park of them all, Hyde Park was once the hunting ground of Henry VIII. The largest park in central London with 142 hectares of gardens, sculptures, lakes and fountains, this is a lively space that attracts large groups of people every year. If you access the park from Marble Arch/Oxford Street, you’ll pass by Speaker’s Corner, a free speech platform where people come to debate on various topics. If you’re fortunate enough to visit London between November and January, stop by the celebrated Hyde Park Winter Wonderland for an evening filled with amusement park-like attractions, Christmas markets and spectacular shows.
Location: London, W1J 7JZ
Also known as the people’s park, it is one of the most visited ones, with nearly nine million people stopping by each year. Located in between South Hackney and Bow, the park is home to the popular summer festival “All Points East”, weekly local produce markets, the Chinese Pagoda and an impressive skatepark. The perfect inner city park, it is easy to lose yourselves walking between large open fields, tree-lined avenues and ponds.
Location: London E9 7DE
Holland Park is the setting of extensive woodlands, home to wildlife and wildflowers, waterfalls, a giant chess set, cricket and tennis grounds and an impressive bespoke wooden playground area for kids aged 5-14. But what it’s most famous for is the colourful Kyoto Garden. The beautiful garden oozes serenity and makes a great spot if you’re looking to avoid loud noises in the city.
Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the closest station to Holland Park is Holland Park station. The park is open all year round from 7:30 am and closes 30 minutes before dusk. But the best time to visit is during spring when the flowers are blooming.
Location: London, W8 6LU
Head to the borough of Haringey adjacent to Muswell Hill and Wood Green, and you’ll find Alexandra Palace, famous for its sports and entertainment events. Named after Alexandra of Denmark the tree-lined hill offers panoramic views of North London and beyond. Struck by a fire that burned the original palace to the ground, the park has seen a resurgence with the reconstruction of a second palace and the replanting of the earlier arboretum. The park has been declared a Local Natural Reserve, recognising its importance to wildlife and people. Visiting during winter? Grab your ice skates or rent a pair at the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink and enjoy a moment of fun!
Location: London, N22 7AY
Regent’s Park is located in northwest inner London, bordered by Marylebone and Abbey Road. The royal park is the perfect combination of green open spaces, tree-lined avenues, artificial lakes, rose gardens and playgrounds. It is also the home of the famous Open Air Theatre, an award-winning landmark which runs different productions every summer and the London Zoo – the world’s oldest scientific zoo.
London: London, NW1 4NU
When Charles I escaped an outbreak of the plague in London, he brought his court to Richmond Palace and turned the surrounding area into a deer hunting park. Richmond Park, the largest of the Royal Parks with over 2,500 acres, now holds protective status and is a national nature reserve for wildlife conservation. The wide open spaces and grasslands make it the perfect habitat for the deer herd that can be spotted during daily outings. Located south of the river, Richmond has seen very few changes over the years.
Location: Richmond, TW10 5HU