It is hard to imagine that one of the world’s foremost capitals is anything more than buildings and roads, interspersed with shops, bars and stadia. But, London is teeming with beautiful green spaces where city dwellers can escape the urbanity and engage with nature. Whether it’s a full-blown picnic on a Saturday or a quick stroll on your lunch break, going to a park always makes you feel good. Simply the sight of extended patches of grass, interrupted only by splashes of colours from wildflowers, is enough to make you smile.
When the sun shines down on London, and let’s be honest – it doesn’t happen all that often, take advantage of it and head to one of London’s gorgeous green spaces. Here are a few of the best to get you started.
Offering up what is quite possibly the best view in the city, Primrose Hill is a magical place for a walk in the sunshine. Climb to the top of the hill and you’ll be treated with a panoramic vista of London – perfect for your Instagram. The park is situated just a few minutes from Chalk Farm tube station and has a couple of pubs nearby so that if the weather does turn you can take cover with a pint. It only takes 5 minutes to walk to the top of the hill and it is well worth the mild panting you might experience at the summit.
Perhaps London’s most popular park, Hyde Park is absolutely massive and ready to fulfil all your nature-related needs. If the weather holds out to take a hamper of goodies and sit by the side of the lake. Alternatively, grab a football, Frisbee or boomerang if you’re running low on friends and make yourself comfortable in one of the grassy areas. It is unlikely you will overheat in the British sunshine but should you start to feel uncomfortable, there is plenty of shade to be found under the numerous trees.
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Situated smack bang in the middle of Central London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields is perfect for a quick jaunt before carrying on with your day out in the capital. It isn’t the biggest park in the world but there is more than enough space to have a picnic or relax with friends without feeling cramped. If you want to play ball games though you might want to look elsewhere.
I don’t think anyone has ever gone to Hampstead Heath and not left thoroughly impressed by its size and beauty. With a variety of landscapes, including woods, hills, fields and a lake, this park has something for everyone. However, perhaps the best thing about Hampstead Heath is that it is so big you can spend a whole day there without seeing another human – a rare occurrence for zone 2 London! This is London’s nature at its finest.
The final green space on my list, Kew Gardens is the beauty queen of the London park scene. Its botanical gardens are said to hold the largest and most diverse living plant collection in the world. There are all kinds of beautiful areas within the park where you can lay down your blanket and tuck into a picnic. There are also some specifically designated picnic areas so you certainly won’t be short on options. If you’re not interested in al fresco dining, bring a ball and have a kick around before flopping on the grass and soaking up the sun.