Top 20 Parks in London
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of central London, so sometimes it’s nice to step away and enjoy the scenery. Take a break from the city and check out one of the many stunning parks with family or friends then get back to sightseeing on an Original Tour bus.
From Royal Parks to outdoor Lido’s, there are tons of open spaces to explore in London. So, without further ado, here’s our top 20 London parks!
1. Hyde Park
Right in the centre of London lies Hyde Park. Explore the Rose Gardens, marvel at the memorial fountain or go for a paddle on the boating lake. Enjoy some outdoor sports or get lost in the greenery and marvel at the wonders that Hyde Park has to offer.
Nearest rail stations: Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner
2. St James’s Park
St James’s Park is a great place to slow down after you’ve hit the tourist hotspots at Westminster. Once you’ve passed parliament, caught a glimpse of Downing Street and strolled through Horse Guards Parade, admire the pelicans from a deck chair in St James’s Park before heading to Buckingham Palace.
Nearest rail stations: St James’ Park, Charing Cross, Westminster
3. Kensington Gardens
Tucked away in a corner of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is home to Kensington Palace, the Elfin Oak and a number of gardens and statues. The kids will love the Diana Memorial Playground and searching for the Peter Pan statue. Why not head to Kensington Gardens and enjoy a day out with the family?
Nearest rail stations: Lancaster Gate, Bayswater, High Street Kensington
4. Richmond Park
On the outskirts of the city centre is London’s largest park. Richmond Park spans across almost 2,500 acres and and is home to a National Nature Reserve, golf course and cycling paths. Be sure to check out the Isabella Plantation woodland area and the Georgian Mansion, Pembroke Lodge, for spectacular views over the thames.
Nearest rail station: Richmond
5. Holland Park
Holland Park hosts Japanese Kyoto Garden and is home to elegant peacocks. There is a giant outdoor chess set where you can try out your skills and plenty of sports facilities to enjoy. Holland Park is a perfect place for a peaceful walk in the middle of central London.
Nearest rail stations: Holland Park, Kensington High Street, Notting Hill Gate
6. Hampstead Heath
Get away from bustling city life and head for the hills. For stunning views of London, go to Parliament Hill viewpoint in Hampstead Heath. While you’re there, try an open water swim in one of the three outdoor bathing ponds, walk the dogs or fly a kite in the fields of Hampstead Heath.
Nearest rail stations: Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak
7. Victoria Park
Enjoy an afternoon in the sun with friends, family and a picnic in Victoria Park. This green space is a great place to play, sunbathe and exercise while you take in the beautiful scenery. Explore the gardens and seek out the boating lake or Chinese Pagoda and enjoy the great outdoors.
Nearest rail stations: Hackney Wick, Cambridge Heath
8. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
At Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, there is something for all ages. Explore the calming meadows, fields and gardens and enjoy a snack in one of the many cafes. Or, if you’re up for an adventure, you can grab a trail guide, take the kids to the playgrounds or take on the 178m Arcelormittal Orbit - if you’re feeling up to the challenge!
Nearest rail stations: Stratford, Hackney Wick
9. Hampton Court Gardens
Get lost in the world’s oldest puzzle maze and and see the record breaking grape vine at Hampton Court Gardens. Hampton Court Palace, home of Henry VIII, has some beautiful landscape gardens and a great fountain to admire. Take the kids to the Magic Garden to encounter mythical creatures, battlements and get lost is historical stories.
Nearest rail station: Hampton Court
10. Clapham Common
Clapham Common provides an oasis of peace so you can escape from city life. You will find paddling pools, cafes, sports facilities and a bandstand for open air theatre. If you head to Clapham Common of a Saturday don’t miss Venn Street Market for local produce and tasty lunches.
Nearest rail stations: Clapham Common, Clapham South
11. Crystal Palace Park
Crystal Palace Park was home to a grand palace full of exhibitions until it burnt down in 1936. Walk along the original Italian Terraces, venture down into the old subway or go way back to jurassic times and see giant dinosaurs around the park. There is tons of greenery, a museum, boating lake and skate park to fill your day with fun.
Nearest rail stations: Crystal Palace, Penge West
12. Regent’s Park
Marvel at London in full bloom at Regent’s Park. Visit Queen Mary’s Garden to see some traditional English roses and stroll between the memorials and statues. From May to September, make the most of the open air theatre in the inner circle of the park where there are a variety of theatre, film and comedy productions.
Nearest rail stations: Baker Street, Great Portland Street, Regent’s Park
13. Greenwich Park
At Greenwich Park there is a mix of historic buildings and wide open space to explore. Walk through the deer park and have your breath taken away by the grandeur of the National Maritime Museum, Old Royal Naval College and the Royal Observatory. When you’re done, relax and refill at the Pavilion Cafe.
Nearest rail stations: Greenwich, Blackheath
14. Kenwood House Gardens
When you venture to Hampstead Heath, don’t miss the chance to visit Kenwood House Gardens. The gardens are free to enter and you are welcome to walk dogs in the parkland and fly kites. There are picnic sites, cafes and beer gardens and if you have the chance, take a walk around Kenwood House.
Nearest rail stations: Gospel Oak, Hampstead Heath
15. Dulwich Park
At Dulwich Park you will find a boating lake, dog walking area and playground for the kids. You can also hire bikes for a cycle around the park or make use of the sports facilities. While you’re there, take a walk around the dry, winter and vegetable gardens or grab a bite to eat at the cafe.
Nearest rail stations: West Dulwich, North Dulwich
16. Kew Gardens
Walk through the treetops and take in the views of the garden and beyond at Kew Gardens. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Palm House with it’s rainforest climate and the Princess of Wales Conservatory, full of plants from different climates. Don’t forget your taste of the outdoors as you wander between over 14,000 trees in the arboretum.
Nearest rail stations: Kew Gardens, Kew Bridge
17. London Fields
From May to September, dip your toes in the heated outdoor swimming pool in London Fields. There is also an outdoor gym, children’s play area and a BBQ area which is perfect for the summer. If you visit London Fields on a Saturday, stop by at Broadway Market for street food, art and local produce.
Nearest rail station: London Fields
18. Green Park
Adjacent to Buckingham Palace is the royal park, Green Park. Enter park through Canada Gate, the grand entrance, and admire the Canada Memorial water feature and the Wellington Arch, leading to Hyde Park. If you’re in London for a special occasion, you might even hear the royal gun salutes being set off in the park.
Nearest rail stations: Green Park, Hyde Park Corner
19. Painshill Park
Outside of the city centre, Painshill Park boasts landscape gardens, a crystal grotto and traditional water wheel. You do have to pay for entry but the scenery is magnificent and you won’t be disappointed by the gothic buildings and expansive Chinese bridge. Painshill Park truly is a tranquil paradise outside of central London.
Nearest rail station: Cobham & Stoke d’Abernon
20. Battersea Park
There is so much for the kids to experience in Battersea Park including the only Go Ape in central London, Battersea Children’s Zoo, crazy golf and a playground. Or, if you don’t want to swing through the trees and would prefer a quiet walk, head to the Old English Garden for some peace and tranquility.
Nearest rail stations: Battersea Park
Once you’ve got your fix of London’s parks and you’re ready to continue sightseeing, hop on an Original Tour bus and enjoy panoramic views of London.