Londoner’s guide to parks and outside spaces
London is one of the most desirable global cities in the business and fashion world, to name a few. Widely recognized for its economic performance and a place for business or education opportunities the agriculture of the city is not as broadly discussed.
Did you know?
In 2019, the National Park City Foundation confirmed London as the world’s first National Park City? This initiative aims to see more than 50% of London consisting of purely green spaces by 2050. Green spaces are filled with incredible wildlife, beautifully designed gardens and plenty of space for summer picnics and refreshing winter walks in London’s parks. As well as being perfect for relaxing, London’s parks have plenty of outdoor activities on show such as, sports events, open-air theatre, live music concerts and adventure playgrounds for children, not to mention some of the most breath-taking views the city has to offer. This guide ranks some of the best parks the city has to offer although you’ll soon realise London is full of pockets of green spaces.
This guide ranks some of the best parks the city has to offer although you’ll soon realise London is full of pockets of green spaces.
1) Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Home to Loughborough University and the host park of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The park is an iconic space full of wildlife and sporting activities. Recently awarded the Green Flag Award for the 7th year in a row this is easily one of the most popular and frequently visited parks in the capital.
2) Lee Valley Regional Park
Stretching 26 miles along the river Lee, past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire, there is plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife, relax, play, or explore in this 10,000 acre linear park. As a cousin to the Olympic Park, it is equally as much a zone of sporting excellence with centres for athletics, horse riding, ice skating, sailing and golf and as if that wasn’t enough, it also has a secret beach! Why not try your luck at discovering it?
3) Regents Park
Host to the London zoo, Regent’s Park is the largest grass area for sports within Central London and offers a wide variety of activities, an Open Air Theatre, gardens and a boating lake.
4) Hyde Park
Set right in the heart of London, Hyde Park offers both world-class events and concerts together with plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind. This park is also home to ‘Winter Wonderland’ which is a winter attraction consisting of fair rides, an outdoor ice skating rink and delicious festive foods. Additional activities such as tennis, boating and horse riding available – you’re sure to find a fit for all here.
5) Richmond Park
Admire hundreds of free roaming deer, ancient trees and rare wildflower species at this beautiful Royal Park. Covering 2,500 acres, the views from the top of the hill in Richmond Park are stunning and are protected by law.
6) St James’s Park
St James’s Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and covers an area of nearly 57 acres of land. The Park includes The Mall and Horse Guards Parade, and is surrounded by landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Whitehall.
7) Victoria Park
Spanning over 213 acres of land, this park is home to many historic artifacts and features and has decorative gardens and wilder natural areas as well as open grass lands. The Park has two cafes, two large playgrounds, as well as sporting facilities and a skatepark. Victoria Park is also commonly used as a concert venue and hosts many festivals each year.
8) Greenwich Park
Overlooking the River Thames and home to one of London’s most iconic views, Greenwich Park is an amazing mix of 17th century landscape, stunning gardens and a rich history that dates back to Roman times. With over 183 acres of land, Greenwich serves as a perfect day trip – you’re bound to find something for everyone.
9) Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London heath covering 790 acres. This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, at one of the highest points in London offering beautiful views all year round. It includes Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park (with a zoo and butterfly house), an open air lido (open 365 days a year), swimming ponds, splash pools, countless sports pitches and facilities, an athletics track, playgrounds and enough green space to feel like you have escaped the city.
10) Crystal Palace Park
Over 200 acres of green land to explore the many ponds, playgrounds, skatepark, farm and boating activities available here. Not to mention a unique dinosaur park and one of the UK’s largest Mazes. Fun for all.
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