When it comes to visiting and exploring London, plenty of people talk about how great things like the London Eye and Tower Bridge can be. However sometimes, after hours of running around from one location to another, all you want to do is relax in some stunning scenery.
Though London is a pretty urban city in some ways, it’s also packed full of beautiful green spaces to discover. If you’re lucky enough to visit when the weather’s nice, you can enjoy a picnic surrounded by flowers and listen to the birds sing nearby.
What’s more, unlike most of the things you can do in London, visiting a park is totally free, unless you feel like buying an ice cream cone while you’re there. Here are some of our top parks to visit.
1. Hampstead Heath
One of the most exciting places to visit in London for park lovers, Hampstead Heath has a wonderful unmanicured presence compared to some of the more manicured parks around the capital city. If you’re looking for some glimpses of the true nature in London, you can find deer and parakeets in Hampstead Heath from time to time.
This is also a wonderful place to visit if you’re travelling with your dog, or if you just want to take a dip to cool off. There are swimming ponds available where you can submerge your toes – but the water can be quite cold.
2. Regent’s Park
For a more pristine view of what’s available in London, check out Regent’s park. The location covers around 410 acres in total across Northwest London. It’s packed full of great attractions to discover, such as the ZSL London Zoo, and the open-air theatre, where you can usually catch a show if you plan in advance.
There are a variety of food and musical festivals to check out in Regent’s Park, as well as rowing boat hire, rose gardens, bandstands, and ice cream stands too. You can also check out the Japanese Garden Island in the park, which is a stunning break from the British-ness of the location, with a framed lake and overhanging willow trees to enjoy.
3. Crystal Palace Park
The Crystal Palace was once a beautiful building, but it unfortunately burned down back in 1936. Fortunately, the grounds on which the building stood are still there. Located in Southeast London, Crystal Park is home to some great sights, including five massive dinosaurs located around a lake. These statues used to belong to an old theme park.
The park also has a wonderful Victorian subway with listed vaulted walkways to check out, if you’re looking for a taste of some London history. There are limited times available to check this location out though – as it only opens three times per year.
4. Greenwich Park
Standing as the oldest enclosed Royal Park to this day, Greenwich Park is an amazing grassland and an urban sanctuary where over 70 species of bird come to sing and relax. The location comes with a child-friendly boating lake, as well as six tennis courts, and the Meridian Line for Greenwich too.
This park also happens to be home to the royal observatory, which offers views of the night sky in all its glory. The views from the top of the hill across to canary wharf are also worth checking out if you don’t mind a bit of a hike.
Make sure you take a look at the Queen Elizabeth Oak when you visit. Although it doesn’t look like much today, it’s been in the park since the twelfth century.