Gardens & Parks in London
Humongous Hyde Park used to be a royal hunting ground, was once a venue for
duels, executions and horse racing, and even became a giant potato field
during WWII. It is now a place of fresh air, spring colour, lazy sunbathers
and boaters on the Serpentine. Features of the park include sculptures by
Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore and the Serpentine Gallery, which holds temporary
exhibitions of contemporary art.
Near Marble Arch, Speaker's Corner started life in 1872 as a response to serious
riots. Every Sunday anyone with a soapbox - or anything else to stand on - can
rant or ramble on about anything at all.
Kensington Gardens is an extension of Hyde Park and covers an area of 275 acres.
One of the main attractions of the garden is the Boating Pond where locals try
out there model boats. Kensington Gardens is an ideal place to escape from it
all as it is relatively quiet and you can watch the thriving wildlife on a summers
Nearest tube: High St. Kensington
Kew Gardens, in Richmond, Surrey, is both a beautiful park and an important
botanical research centre. There's a vast expanse of lawn and formal gardens
and two soaring Victorian conservatories - the Palm House and the Temperate
House - which are home to exotic plant life. It's one of the most visited
sights on the London tourist agenda, which means that it can get very crowded,
especially in the summer. And with nearby Heathrow continuously spitting out
jets, there isn't much chance of total peace and quiet.
Greenwich Park has been enclosed since 1433 and is London's oldest royal park.
The park covers 183 acres and has something for all the family including red
and fallow deer in the deer park, a flower garden and a children's play ground.
The park also has concerts on Sunday afternoons at the bandstand and Shakespeare
performances in August.
Nearest tube: North Greenwich
This park is a haven from all the hussle and bussle of Piccadilly and covers over
53 acres. Used in the 17th century for hunting and duels this park still has some
of its old world charm. Green Park leads on to St. James Park, Hyde Park and
Buckingham Palace so it is often quiet, as people choose to visit one of the
larger parks or the Palace.
Nearest Tube: Green Park
The Regent's Park evolved from the 1811 plans of John Nash, Crown Architect and
friend of The Prince Regent. To raise revenue for the Crown, he designed a private
residential estate set in parkland. From the steep summit of Primrose Hill there
are fine views of Westminster and the City. The area now open to the public is
mainly open parkland which supports a wide range of facilities and amenities
including gardens, a lake with islands, a heronry and waterfowl collection, sports
and catering, children's playgrounds and the Open Air Theatre. It also contains
London Zoo and is the largest outdoor grass area for sports in central London.