Due to the Metropolitan Green Belt, London has a plethora of parks to visit - from tiny neighbourhood ones, to the likes of Hyde Park.
The Metropolitan Green Beltwas put into place in 1938 to deal with London's increasing pollution problems and burgeoning growth. 19 of the 32 London boroughs -a borough is an independent neighbourhoods governed by their own councils- have green belt land:
While visiting London, I would recommend you stop for a quiet lunch or stroll in any of these parks. Bring some peanuts to feed the squirrels, a nice picnic, and you are set to go!
Here are a few of my recent favourites...
|winter views in Regent Park|
Hyde Park is often a bit too crowded for my liking, but has some beautiful waterways, including the Serpentine River which acts as its centre point. The park is great for people-watching, with roller bladers, horse-back riders, walkers, joggers, runners, and people whizzing by on their Boris Bikes!
The west side of Hyde Park morphs into Kensington Gardens, essentially just an extension of the park that includes the Kensington Palace grounds. The palace itself is currently under renovation, but is due to re-open in time for the Olympic games this summer.
The Serpentine Gallery is somewhere I always mean to find, but usually get sidetracked by the winding paths and spires you can stumble onto in the park:
Although not far from where I live, I only made it to Hampstead Heath this past Christmas - a park I have seriously been missing out on!
Unfortunately the first time I visited, I was showing some guests around London, and forgot to bring an umbrella (an elementary mistake in London!). We ended up getting caught in increasingly-torrential rain, with no maps or signs to guide us out of the park.
Eventually we did make it out, but I would recommend both bringing rain gear, and preparing for a few hours out in the park. There are actually no maps available anywhere, so entering the enormous park with that knowledge is important!
The heath offers stunning views out over London, along with some wilder, less trimmed lawns.
What are your favourite parks in London? Are there any hidden gems I'm missing?