For such a huge city, London has its fair share of amazing open spaces and green areas. On a summer’s day, these parts of the capital are actually some of the most popular attractions around, with hundreds of people taking the chance to sit outside in the warm British evening.
And the best part? You don’t have to pay a penny for this privilege as many of London’s top parks are completely free – what a bargain.
So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the 7 best parks in London.
1. Hyde Park
Right in the heart of west London, Hyde Park has to be one of the most popular open spaces in the entire city.
When the sun is shining in the capital, you won’t find a better place to be; the setting is beautiful and the atmosphere is brilliant. There’s also many great monuments here, from Speakers’ Corner to the mighty Achilles. And that’s not even mentioning the Serpentine which you can sail upon and even swim in when it’s warmer.
Getting there: Take the Piccadilly Line from Earl’s Court to Knightsbridge; you are basically on the doorstep of the park.
2. Kensington Gardens
Another amazing Royal Park, and the home of the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens is a fine example of a well-maintained open space in the city.
The palace itself does cost £17.50 to enter, but the gardens are free of charge. Popular attractions here include the Peter Pan Statue and the Diana Memorial Playground.
Getting there: As the gardens are actually joined to Hyde Park, to get here you simply need to follow the same steps as above. When you get to the park, walk east until you arrive at the palace’s grounds.
3. Richmond Park
For natural beauty, few parks in London can rival Richmond Park. A National Nature Reserve and the largest Site of Special Scientific Interest in the capital, this European Special Area of Conservation is home to large herds of fallow and red deer.
On a quiet stroll through the grounds, it is not uncommon to see these fascinating beasts up close as they canter through the foliage.
To get here, take the District Line all the way to Wimbledon from Earl’s Court. Once here, board the South West Train to Norbiton. The park is around 5 minutes’ walk away.
4. Hampstead Heath
Up in North London, you’ll find the gloriously leafy Hampstead Heath. This unruly expanse of trees exudes a different kind of charm to its well-preened siblings in the centre of the city.
With great views of London and a much wilder feel to it, this is a park where you can really get lost in order to temporarily separate yourself from the city.
Getting there: Take the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square from Earl’s Court. Here, change to the Northern Line and head to Kentish Town. From the station, you can take the 214 bus all the way to the park.
5. St James’s Park
Right next to Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade and Westminster, St James’s Park stands right in the heart of the capital.
Its location next to these brilliant attractions is one of the biggest reasons to visit the park, but it is also the setting for the Trooping the Colour, which takes place every year.
Getting here: Take the District Line from Earl’s Court straight to St James’s Park. The park is a two-minute walk from here.
6. Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park is home to a number of top attractions, making it one of the most popular open spaces in the city.
As well as London Zoo, there’s the open air theatre, Primrose Hill and Queen Mary’s Garden, a beautiful place where you will find some 12,000 roses. With over 400 different varieties of the flower here, it really is a sensory delight to stroll through the gardens during the summer months.
Getting there: From Earl’s Court, take the Piccadilly Line to Green Park. Change here for the Jubilee and continue on to Baker Street.
7. Victoria Park
This no-nonsense park often plays host to open-air rock gigs, but it’s its simplicity that makes it a popular place to visit on a sunny day in London.
The area is filled with charming canals and ponds as well as a sports ground and many tennis courts.
Getting there: Take the Piccadilly from Earl’s Court to Holborn. Here, change to the Central Line to Bethnal Park station. From here, take the number 8 bus to Old Ford Road Street. The park is a few minutes’ walk from here.