When it comes to parks, Londoners and visitors to the capital are spoiled for choice.There are eight royal parks, as well as a variety of smaller green spaces and garden squares. In fact, some estimates put the amount of green space in London at just under 50 per cent – and while that figure might seem like a lot, take a careful look around the city and you’ll probably notice there’s a lot more open space than you originally thought.
So, whether you’re looking for a momentary escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital, a prime spot for a picnic or simply need a bit of fresh air, you won’t need to look far to find something that will suit.
But if you’re looking for somewhere really special, then you might want to consider a trip to Holland Park, a large outdoor space in West London. Here are some things you should know about this beautiful place:
Holland Park is located between Holland Park Place and Kensington High Street.
How to get there
Getting to the park is easy and there are a number of transportation options to choose from. The closest Tube station is Holland Park on the Central line (although that station will be closed for refurbishment until August 2016). Other nearby stations include Notting Hill and Shepherd’s Bush on the Central line, Kensington High Street on the Circle and District lines and Kensington Olympia, which offers mainline and Overground services.
What’s special about it? – Holland Park is the largest park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, spanning 54 acres.
It’s a great place for sport
The park includes facilities for tennis, football, golf, cricket and netball. Health walks are regularly scheduled in the park and it’s also a great place to go for a run.
The Kyoto Garden is a must
This beautiful garden was donated to the park by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991 to celebrate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain. The garden has a peaceful atmosphere, with a lovely pond full of koi carp, red Japanese maple trees, a bridge and stone lanterns. It has been described as a pocket of Japan in an English garden and there are even peacocks roaming the grounds.
It was originally called Cope Castle
The great house was created in 1605 for Sir Walter Cope.
The house was once a hub of literary and political activity
Under the 3rd Baron Holland during the 19th century, Holland House had many important visitors like Lord Byron, Thomas Macaulay, Benjamin Disraeli, Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott.
Holland House was mostly destroyed during WW2
Incendiary bombing in 1940 devastated the house, leaving it in fragmentary ruins. The remains of the house now serve as a backdrop to the Holland Park Theatre.
There’s an Ecology Centre
The centre runs events and educational workshops throughout the year for schools. There’s also a wildlife club and a variety of holiday activities.
The park has its own opera
Opera Holland Park offers performances throughout the summer. The shows are staged under a temporary canopy, meaning unpredictable weather isn’t an issue.
It’s Absolutely Fabulous
In the television programme Absolutely Fabulous, main character Edina Monsoon’s house is located in Holland Park.
There’s lots of great shopping nearby
Once you’ve had your fill of nature, why not do a bit of retail therapy? There are a number of popular shopping districts in the area around Holland Park, including Kensington High Street, Notting Hill, Portobello Market, Westbourne Grove and Shepherd’s Bush.
Opening times – The park is open daily from 7:30 am until 30 minutes before dusk.
Local bars and restaurants
If you’re feeling hungry or want to relax with a refreshing drink, then there are plenty of great choices near Holland Park. One popular option is The Roof Gardens in Kensington. Situated on the top of an old department store, this unique outdoor space offers a combination of bar, restaurant and members only club. Plus, the beautiful gardens provide a welcome retreat from the city below – and there are flamingoes.
It’s the new home of the Design Museum
The Design Museum, which is currently situated in east London will be closing its current site and relocating to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Holland Park – the new museum will open on November 24th.
What else is nearby?
Once you’re done exploring Holland Park, there are a number of other popular attractions in the local area for you to visit. For example, Kensington Palace is a Historic Royal Palace and also the official London residence for members of the royal family today – including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Other popular attractions include Kensington Gardens, the Albert Memorial, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum and Park Grand London Kensington is nearby hotel.