Despite’s the capital’s constant bustle, London is a green city, with gorgeous parks and gardens dotted all over the city. From boating in Hyde Park and cycling in Battersea Park to deer-spotting in the countryside of Richmond Park, London’s parks have plenty of things to do with panoramic views to match.
Not sure where to start? Below are some of the best parks near South Kensington, enjoy!
Following the Prime Ministers lockdown announcement, and keeping in line with Government guidance, parks remain open. You can meet one member from another household outside in public spaces.
1. Kensington Gardens
Once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens are among the Royal Parks of London. Immediately to the west of Hyde Park lies the Serpentine Gallery, which hosts an ever-changing display of contemporary art exhibitions.
The palace gardens are an intimate, tranquil and secluded oasis all year round. Marvel at the history and heritage of Kensington Palace or admire the homage to Princess Diana, a Memorial Playground that kids adore thanks to the massive wooden pirate ship, sensory trail and play sculptures.
2. Chelsea Physic Garden
Tucked away beside the Thames, Chelsea Physic Garden is a celebration of the beauty and importance of plants. Founded in 1673, it is the oldest botanic garden in London and houses different medicinal, herbal and useful plants. Visitors can buy a guide book upon arrival to accompany their tour of the gardens.
The Physic Garden Café is open for food and drinks but will operate a takeaway service to maintain social distancing measures.
3. Battersea Park
Battersea Park is a large (200 acre) Victorian park, built between 1854 and 1870 and is considered by many to be one of the most interesting parks in London. An inner-city park with so much variety, hidden secrets, and activities.
The park is home to a small children’s zoo, a boating lake, a bandstand, and all-weather outdoor sporting facilities including tennis courts, a running track and football pitches. While the park remains open for visitors, the zoo will remain closed during London’s lockdown, with hopes to reopen from Wednesday 2nd December.
4. Hyde Park
Set right in the heart of London, Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers Corner and offers world-class summer concerts but still has plenty of quiet places to unwind.
The park offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding. It’s the perfect backdrop to join the many joggers or walkers enjoying the open air.
Hyde Park has a variety of cafes, restaurants and kiosks to choose from offering everything from ice creams and sandwiches to three-course meals. Please see website for updated hours and social distancing measures.
5. Brompton Cemetery
The Grade I listed Brompton Cemetery is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. Described as a haven for wildlife and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, the cemetery is the resting place of 205,000 people including well-known names like Emmeline Pankhurst and John Snow.
Whether you want to learn about Brompton’s rich history, go for a morning jog, grab a cup of coffee at the North Lodge Café or just sit in stillness, Brompton Cemetery is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of West London.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the cemetery is unable to offer services in the Chapel.
6. Regent’s Park
No roundup of London’s best parks is complete without mentioning Regent’s Park. Spanning 410 acres, it was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash and houses formal gardens, tree-lined pathways, a boating lake and four playgrounds.
Stop and smell the roses, (more than 12,000 of them), or visit the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo to make the most of a day out in London.
Regent’s Park has a variety of cafes to grab a slice of cake or have full-blown lunch. Please see website for updated hours and social distancing measures.
7. Chiswick House and Gardens
Chiswick House is a magnificent neo-Palladian villa set in beautiful historic gardens in west London. A £12.1 million project restored the gardens which were unveiled in June 2010. Enjoy 65 acres of gardens, from classical vistas to ponds, fountains and woodland wilderness.
Picnic in the summer, buy fresh produce in the autumn, marvel at the naturalistic landscapes in winter and come spring, admire the colourful heritage camellia collection.
8. Richmond Park
Further afield from South Kensington, but worth the great escape is Richmond Park, with its wide-open spaces, grasslands and an easy commute from central London.
Admire hundreds of free-roaming deer, ancient trees and rare wildflower species at this beautiful Royal Park. Covering 2,500 acres, Richmond Park has protected status as an important habitat for wildlife. The views from the top of the hill are a must!
England is currently facing its second lockdown, and people up and down the country now face tougher restrictions.
The lockdown came into effect on Thursday, November 5 at 12.01 am and will remain until Wednesday 2 December, but Cabinet Minister Michael Gove warned it may last longer. Under the new restrictions, people are being told to stay home unless they have a reason to leave, which includes exercise, medical reasons, food and other essential shopping. Meeting indoors is not allowed, but individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place.
Stay up to date with Coronavirus updates:
- For health information and advice please follow the NHS
- Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK
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