London is one of the coolest, wealthiest, most beautiful European capitals, but there’s so much more to this spectacular metropolis than its typical attractions. After all, there are only so many museums, historical buildings, towers and palaces one can see before it all becomes a blur. Don’t you worry about that, though, as the London scene is filled with parks it would be a pity to miss!
Besides, London can be quite expensive, especially if you don’t plan your trip wisely in advance – taking into consideration everything from flights, accommodation, Gatwick taxi (or some other way to get from Gatwick to London), tickets to hot spots and so on. So, it would be nice to catch your breath in the spectacle that is the city’s green scenery, especially since it comes free of charge. Without further ado, here are London’s not-to-miss parks!
Hello, my deer!
If you find yourself in Richmond Park, chances are you’ll meet some of the 650 red and fallow deer roaming around freely. This Royal Park was actually originally designed as a deer hunting area, but it has come a long way since until becoming an internationally acclaimed wildlife and nature reserve. It’s also the largest out of the Royal Parks complex that includes eight parks which are the “centrepieces” of the Greater London area. Being the greatest of them all, Richmond Park provides countless amenities and entertainment opportunities, such as playgrounds, golf courses, fishing ponds, horse-riding tracks, kiosks & cafes, a pretty impressive cycling path, and the famous Isabella Plantation. So, get a free map of the park and start exploring!
A thing for breathtaking views?
Then Greenwich Park should be on your list! Sure, London has some unbeatable sightseeing spots, but this one is in the centre of it all, quite literally. It is situated on top of a hill, on the Prime Meridian Line, so of course it’s also home to the Royal Observatory. Just imagine you sitting there, feeling like on top of the world, overlooking the city, the River Thames, and Canary Wharf. After you’ve taken up your share of London views, take a walk among the extensive gardens, read a book under one of the old chestnut trees, or, if you’re lucky, enjoy a jazz concert or a movie at open-air The Luna Cinema. Oh, and remember that the landscape architect of the Versailles gardens in Paris also had a hand in designing Greenwich Park. Just saying!
Hyde and seek!
If you find yourself in the area of Kensington Palace – and of course you will – then Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are a must. This is a place you can visit year-round, as it boasts something for every season: swimming in the summer, cycling in the spring, horse riding in the fall, or ice skating in the winter. An interesting spot here is Speaker’s Corner, where every Sunday morning you can listen to eager orators sharing their thoughts. Various concerts and events are held here every year, so make sure to check the schedule based on your time of visit! If you have a penchant for art and architecture, don’t miss the Serpentine Galleries at the Kensington Gardens that were originally the private gardens of the palace and sit right next to the city park.
Regent, the Prince
The Regent’s Park is named after Prince Regent, who then went on to become King George IV, so you can expect some royal-worthy attractions here. A true gem of London’s green life, this Royal Park is home to Queen Mary’s Gardens, an Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, and numerous other amenities that include lakes, sports areas and playgrounds. Adjacent to The Regent’s Park you can find Primrose Hill, which you can climb to enjoy a picnic overlooking central London or even work out at its outdoor gym.
All Royal Everything
Besides the aforementioned not-to-miss park, the Royal Parks of London also include several other beautiful lands you can take a stroll through if you’re in the area. St. James Park with its lake and parades, The Green Park with its peaceful vibes, Bushy Park with its vast grassland, Victoria Tower Gardens lying at the heart of Westminster – these are all lovely places where you can relax if you want some fresh air away from the city turmoil. Even though these parks are not as “famous” as the previous ones, they are still as nice and popular, with both locals and visitors. It depends, of course, on what London area you’re staying in, but be certain you will spot locals just doing their thing, going on with their lives, enjoying living in a city that never sleeps. Not even bad weather can stop them!
Whether you want to catch your breath after your transfer from Gatwick to London, take a break from so many popular attractions, or hide from the touristy crowd, The Royal Parks public park system will welcome you with plenty of green gems. London’s not-to-miss parks are worth exploring because they are attractions on their own, so one thing’s for sure – London truly has it all and is a city for everyone. No matter what you’d like to do or see, England’s capital has it!