Spring has officially sprung and with the sunshine comes a typically British urge to find a park, don some shorts and have a cider. Luckily enough, the Big Smoke is filled with an abundance of green spaces for you to relax. If you plan on packing a picnic this spring or summer, here are 10 of the best parks in London.
Related: 21 Quirky Things to Do in London
In no particular order, the first on our list of best parks in London is the renowned Regent’s Park. There is a plethora of things to do in this huge park, including seeing the animals at ZSL London Zoo, taking a boat across the boating lake or relaxing in the beautiful rose gardens which boast 12,000 roses. If you get bored of soaking up the sun, there are also tennis courts to keep you busy. If you fancy venturing out, Regents Park or Great Portland Street are the nearest tube stations.
Competing with Regents Park is Battersea Park, which also boasts its very own zoo. If you’ve not had your fill of animals, Battersea Dogs and Cats home is also just across the road. In the park there’s also a four-storey art gallery, as well as picturesque views of the River Thames and plenty of open spaces to enjoy them with a Pimms. Your nearest tube station is evidently Battersea Park.
For any list of the best parks in London, it’d be a crime to ignore Hampstead Heath. Closest to the Hampstead Heath overground, or the Hampstead station if you’re going via tube, here you can enjoy your sandwiches on top of Parliament Hill while taking in stunning views of London. It’s even got its very own swimming ponds should the weather be particularly nice.
Circled by Queensway Station and Lancaster Gate, Kensington Gardens is a stunning royal park, directly next to Hyde Park. What used to just be Hyde Park was then sectioned off to make grounds for Kensington Palace, which sits inside these gardens. Kensington Gardens is perfect for history lovers, as it houses the Albert Memorial as well as lots of green space for picnics.
Located in South Hackney, Victoria Park is the oldest public park in London. It’s packed full of canals and ponds as well as a large green space for a kick-about or a kip in the sunshine. For more things to do, there’s also a deer enclosure, tree walk events and café in the heart of the park.
Greenwich Park is London’s oldest royal park and offers beautiful Thames views. There’s a Royal Observatory, which allows you to stand on the famous Meridian Line, which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, therefore allowing you to stand simultaneously in both the East and the West. As this park used to be used as a hunting park you can still expect to see a small herd of deer living there. Visit this park using the Greenwich, Blackheath or Maze Hill train station.
Despite being the home of Winter Wonderland every year, Hyde park is not short on things to do in the summer. Here you can find the Serpentine, London’s oldest boating lake, where you can rent a boat or swim in if the weather allows. As well as that, there’s a rose garden and a meadow if you want some pretty views with your picnic. Get here via Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Knightsbridge or Lancaster Gate.
Richmond Park is the biggest park in London, at a whopping 2,500 acres. As the largest royal park, you can expect hundreds of deer enjoying the open space as well as a range of other wildlife including bats, birds and wildflowers. There are also stunning views which stretch so far you can see St Paul’s Cathedral. These views are loved so much by Londoners that they are protected by law. If you’d like to spend the day at Richmond Park, get there via the Richmond tube station.
St James’s Park
The penultimate on the list of best parks in London is St James’s Park. This park is the height of regality and offers Instagram worthy views of Buckingham Palace. You can also watch pelicans being fed at the park’s lake or witness a house guards’ parade while you enjoy your picnic. If the name didn’t give it away, the nearest tube station is St James’s Park.
Finally, if you want something a little different, Holland Park offers a taste of Japan with its own Kyoto gardens. Here you can find koi carp and beautiful Japanese landscaping. As well as that, this park houses a Jacobean mansion and 55 acres of green space perfect for a picnic! In the summer, there’s also an open-air theatre. Get there via Holland Park tube station.
Have you been to any of the above parks in London? Let us know what you thought in the comments! And if you’re a student, be sure to check out our student accommodation in London too.