Wednesday, 28, August 2019
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London’s Secret Parks and Gardens
Head off the beaten track and discover some of the capitals most enchanting green spaces
With London crowned the world’s first National Park City earlier this year, it makes sense that charming green spaces in the capital would be aplenty. It’s easy to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in one of the areas prestigious Royal Parks, but if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter in Central London then a visit to one of the cities secret parks and gardens is a must.
Even in the heart of the West End, there’s still plenty of green space to discover. The Bloomsbury might be a stone’s throw from one of the busiest shopping streets in the world but head a little deeper into the area to discover a verdant oasis waiting to be enjoyed. Designed by William Holmes in 1885, St George’s Gardens features expansive lawns, ivy-covered tombs and weeping ash and plane trees – the perfect shady spot on a sunny afternoon.
Via Shoot Gardening
West London’s iconic Richmond Park is famed for its friendly herds of deer, epic cycle trail and 42 acres of land, visited by thousands of tourists and London locals each year. The beautiful Isabella Plantation, lined with blooming rhododendrons and azaleas, is a truly delightful spot not known by many, perfectly positioned to unwind away from the crowds. Hidden ponds and tranquil clearings sit throughout the bright woodland garden, offering private spaces at every turn.
Via Secret London
Less than 10 minutes’ drive from The Kensington sits the oldest botanical garden in London: the Chelsea Physic Garden. Following its opening back in 1673, the garden quickly became a world leader in natural medicine, with the areas proximity to the Thames creating the perfect microclimate for rare and endangered plants and species to thrive. Over 5000 different edible medicinal plants grow here, with walking tours and workshops with the Gardens knowledgeable staff available for visitors who want to learn more about plants that flourish here.
Idyllic waterfalls, serene ponds of koi carp and a plethora of peacocks are just some of the factors that make the tranquil setting of Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden so magical. The unique, Japanese-style landscape is perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation, and the gardens central location in the heart of one of London’s best loved parks means you can end your trip comfortably with a coffee and cake in the parks charming café.
Phoenix Garden, St Giles
Take a short stroll from The Bloomsbury to find the leafy Phoenix Park – home to an abundance of wildlife including frogs and sparrows which are thriving following a recent community conservation initiative. Open daily until dusk, the gardens hold regular classes and workshops throughout the year including Chair Yoga and Craft Evenings, ideal for visitors to the capital who want to try something different within the local community.
Set in a brutalist concrete structure and located in the busy City of London, the Barbican’s exterior doesn’t immediately look like the type of building to home an idyllic green garden. This makes the discovery of the buildings sprawling conservatory even more special. Home to over 2000 species of tropical plants and trees, plus a colourful menagerie of exotic fish, the leafy location is a delightful spot to relax in the green in the heart of the capital.