On a sunny hot day like today, what better than to take a break and relax in one of London's lovely parks. Explore everything from the picture (picnic!) perfect St James's Park to the huge 2,500 acre Richmond Park where you might forget you are even in London. Here we list our top ten London parks.
Top ten London parks
1. Hyde Park:
Hyde Park covers 350 acres of central London. Hyde Park has something for everyone, you can enjoy swimming, boating, cycling, skating or just relax in this central London oasis. There are pitches for team games, tennis courts, tracks for horse riding and a spectacular children’s playground. The park is fabulous all year, a great place for summer time picinics or enjoying the Winter Wonderland festival during the winter months. royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park
2. St. James's Park:
One of my personal favourite Royal parks, St. James's Park covers 57 acres and is home to a wonderful mix of flowers and birdlife (don't miss the pelicans being fed between 2.30pm and 3pm daily!). The bridge over the lake offers great views of Buckingham Palace at one end and the London Eye and Horse Guards Parade at the other end. royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park
3. Regent’s Park / Primrose Hill:
Located in NW London, Regent’s Park is a Royal park that covers 410 acres and is home to London Zoo, the Open Air Theatre (performances end May to early September), and a boating lake. The view from the top of Primrose Hill is one of London’s best, with fantastic panoric views across the city. royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park
4. Richmond Park:
Located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London covering a massive 2,500 acres. This beautiful park of hills and woodlands set amongst ancient trees, with plants, animals (including 650 deer) and butterflies, offers a peaceful respite to visitors. royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park
5. Greenwich Park / Blackheath:
Located in SE London, Greenwich Park covers 183 acres and is the second oldest enclosed Royal Park. One of the largest green spaces in south east London, Greenwich Park offers a wide range of facilities and points of interest, including a child-friendly boating lake, six tennis courts and the National Maritime Museum just on the perimeter. The Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park is home to the Greenwich Meridian Line which represents the prime meridian, relative to which world time is calculated and the distance to every place on Earth is measured. royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park
Blackheath stretches across the very top of Greenwich Park into the pretty village. Tip: check out the views from 'The Point', a small area at the corner of Blackheath, with it's spectacular views over the city.
6. Hampstead Heath:
Hampstead Heath is located in NW London but just four miles from Trafalgar Square. The Heath has some of the best views and highest points in London for everyone to enjoy. It includes Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park, an open air Lido (open 365 days a year), swimming ponds, splash pools, countless sports pitches and facilities, athletics track, playgrounds, stunning listed Pergola and Hill Garden and enough green space to really feel like you have escaped the City! Hampstead Heath
7. Kensington Gardens:
Kennsington Gardens covers 275 acres and was formerly the private gardens of Kensignton Palace. The park is planted with formal avenues of magnificent trees and ornamental flower beds. It is home to Kensington Palace, the peaceful Italian Gardens, Peter Pan statue, the stunning Albert Memorial and the Serpentine Gallery. There are two playgrounds, including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensington-gardens
8. Victoria Park:
Victoria Park is a fabulous 213 acres oasis located in East London's Tower Hamlets. Attractions include canals, ponds, a pavilion, tennis courts and a sports ground. Open air pop and rock concerts are held in the park during the summer. Victoria Park is not very far from a number of other attractions including Brick Lane, Spitalfields and Columbia Road flower market. Victoria Park
9. Battersea Park:
Battersea Park is a 200 acre park in the London Borough of Wandsworth in SW London. It is situated on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Chelsea. An inner city park with so much variety, hidden secrets, and activities. batterseapark.org
10. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park:
This lovely park in East London includes many of the former Olympic and Paralympic venues – including London Stadium, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena and Lee Valley VeloPark. www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
Free holiday accommodation in London
One of the biggest budget busters when visiting London can be the cost of accommodation. However, rather than booking a hotel or holiday rental, arrange a home swap in London and you will dramatically cut the cost of your London holiday.
Home Base Holidays is a London based home swap holidays website and has a large number of tempting home swap holiday offers.