• If you’re on the hunt for the best parks in central London, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to unveil some of our favorites, ranging from the globally renowned Hyde Park to hidden gems like Paddington Street Gardens.

    Hyde Park

    Undoubtedly one of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park is a massive royal park spanning 350 acres from Marble Arch to Kensington. Acquired by Henry VIII in 1536, it initially served as a hunting ground for wild deer. Today, it’s a place for more relaxed activities.

    One aspect I particularly love about Hyde Park is its ability to offer tranquility even when crowded. There are serene spots to just sit and be still, even on the busiest days. Yet, I also enjoy watching rollerbladers on Sunday mornings and strolling around the Serpentine lake. In summer, the bandstand hosts regular performances, and don’t forget to explore the beautiful Rose Garden.

    Notable features of Hyde Park include:

    • Speaker’s Corner: A historic site for open debates and protests since the 19th century.
    • Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk: Opened in June 2000, this 7-mile walk is marked by 90 plaques showcasing locations related to Princess Diana’s life.

    While Hyde Park stands out, it’s just one of London’s famous royal parks, including Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, St. James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Brompton Cemetery, and Victoria Tower Gardens.

    Nearest stations to Hyde Park: Hyde Park Corner, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, or Knightsbridge.

    Green Park

    Few cities globally can boast a public park in front of a royal palace. Green Park, situated in front of Buckingham Palace, is a beloved London park for both locals and visitors.

    Covering over 40 acres, Green Park features various monuments, statues, and fountains for visitors to explore. Keep an eye out for the Royal Gun Salutes, fired to mark special royal occasions.

    As you stroll through Green Park, you’ll notice the absence of formal flowerbeds. This dates back to the 17th century when King Charles II’s wife caught him picking flowers for another woman. She insisted all flowers in Green Park be removed.

    Nearest station to Green Park: Green Park Tube Station.

    St. James’s Park

    Another royal park on our list is St. James’s Park, known for its formal flowerbeds planted in front of Buckingham Palace. These flowerbeds are a spectacle seen worldwide in news coverage.

    The famous pelicans in St. James’s Park have lived there for almost 400 years, originally a gift from the Russian Ambassador to King Charles II. Hopefully, this time, the king didn’t gift them to a mistress!

    St. James’s Park also includes the refurbished Duck Island Cottage, the Admiralty Arch, and the Household Cavalry Parade Ground, where the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place during the Queen’s official birthday in June.

    Nearest stations to St. James’s Park: Westminster Tube Station or St. James’s Park Tube Station.

    Holland Park

    Covering 54 acres, Holland Park was once the grounds of Cope Castle. It’s one of my personal favorites, although I don’t visit as often as I should. I can’t quite put my finger on why.

    My favorite part is the Kyoto Garden, opened in 1992. It must be one of the most beautiful parks in London. Like any Japanese garden, it’s an ideal place for reflection and relaxation on sunny days. This traditional Japanese garden features maple trees, stone lanterns, and a pond with koi fish. If you seek tranquility in the bustling city, this is the place to be.

    Holland Park also hosts vibrant areas like tennis and football courts, a cricket pitch, and an adventure playground for children.

    Or, you can simply enjoy the beauty of the gardens.

    Nearest stations to Holland Park: Kensington Olympia or Holland Park.

    Paddington Street Gardens

    Paddington Street Gardens are a lesser-known gem in Marylebone. If you’ve been exploring the shops on Marylebone High Street, this is a great place to unwind. Even better, if you’ve been visiting Madame Tussauds nearby.

    The gardens are split into two sections, north and south. The south has a children’s playground. There are plenty of benches to sit on, many dedicated to people who lived in the area. In the summer, you can even hire deck chairs.

    Opened in 1886 by Princess Louise, Paddington Street Gardens were formerly a graveyard. In the north, you can still see some tombstones.

    Nearest station to Paddington Street Gardens: Baker Street Station.

    Kensington Gardens

    While Kensington Gardens is to the west of Hyde Park, it’s considered a separate park. There’s much to see here, from the grandeur of Kensington Palace to contemporary art and architecture at the Serpentine Galleries.

    Make sure to visit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. Both children and adults will love the giant wooden pirate ship, sensory trail, and sculptures inspired by the fictional park hero, Peter Pan.

    Kensington Gardens also houses the Albert Memorial, unveiled in 1872 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, who died of typhoid fever at the age of 42.

    Another delightful spot in Kensington Gardens is the Italian Gardens, a 150-year-old ornamental water garden believed to be a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria.

    There’s even an allotment for the public, where you can relax or get some advice on growing fruits and vegetables.

    Nearest stations to Kensington Gardens: Lancaster Gate, Queen’s Gate, or High Street Kensington.

    In conclusion:

    Central London boasts a diverse range of parks, each with its unique charm. From the world-renowned Hyde Park to the secluded Holland Park and Paddington Street Gardens, these parks offer locals and visitors tranquil and beautiful leisure spaces. St. James’s Park’s pelicans, Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, and the various attractions in Kensington Gardens provide a rich cultural experience for visitors.

    In the hustle and bustle of urban life, these parks become havens for relaxation and immersion in nature. Whether strolling through the historically rich Hyde Park or finding inner calm in Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden, these are ideal destinations for discovering tranquility in central London.

    So, as you wander through central London, don’t forget to pause, appreciate these beautiful parks, and experience the unique green beauty of the city. Amidst the urban chaos, these green paradises stand as both a retreat for the mind and a picturesque landscape in the heart of London.


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