There’s nothing that beats a walk in a British garden on a crisp summer’s day. Slip away from the skyscrapers and make your way to a green oasis in the heart of the metropolis, whether you’re exploring the grounds of a historical landmark or bird watching in an ecological marvel, our guide to London gardens and parks are sure to get you feeling relaxed and revitalised!
Experience the eloquence of the past at Hampton Court Palace’s manicured grounds, where the former home of King Henry VIII continues to amaze visitors. See the trailing Great Vine vineyard dating back to 1769, meet the animal wildlife in the Home Park and get lost in the stunning Palace Maze, hidden away from prying eyes by 7 foot high yew trees.
This lush botanical garden has one of the widest range of plant species in the world and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning 121 hectares, it’s full of breathtaking glasshouses, gardens and even galleries. Visitors have been allowed to explore these opulent gardens since 1840 and an art installation named The Hive has recently been added.
Head to East London and slip past the shadow of Cutty Sark to Greenwich Park, a sprawling hillside park that offers a gorgeous view over the Thames. Bring a picnic basket and a blanket to lay out on their grassy plain and then scale the hill to the Royal Observatory and Fan Museum at the top for a cultural detour.
Venture out to the upscale Chelsea district and discover one of London’s secret gardens, where over 5000 species are nurtured and studied. The tranquil grounds are a slower change of pace from the bustle of Central London and also offer specialised horticultural events and openings, which require an advanced booking.
While London is an incredibly metropolitan city, there’s still a few places to take in the greenery and meet some wildlife. This sanctuary in the heart of the urban capital is located just ten minutes away from Hammersmith and is full of an incredible range of birds, butterflies, otters and more animal species. With over 105 acres spanning meadows, lakes and gardens, there’s also a number of dedicated adventure zones to help educate people about the diverse ecology of the park.
Pay a visit to Kate and William at Kensington Palace, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as some vibrant gardens. Inspired by Hampton Court Palace’s own grounds, the Sunken Gardens are the horticultural highlight of the palace and its bright florals and fountains have dazzled visitors for nearly a hundred years.