A Guide for Visitors to Explore 12 Famous Parks in London
From the evergreen sweeping slopes of Primrose Hill and the famous Rose Garden at Regent’s Park to the hidden gems of the royal gardens at Kensington Palace, London is a city that offers an exceptionally vast Royal Parks and exquisite green spaces as a welcome break from the busy city. With the city’s convenient transport system that makes getting around London a breeze, exploring our famous parks makes for a delightful exploration. Here is our selection of 12 famous parks in London and how to get to these serene green spaces.
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Our selection of the 12 famous parks in London:
1 | Battersea Park London
Battersea Park, one of the famous parks in London is located on the South Bank of River Thames. Occupying an area of 200 acres, this Victorian park was built between 1854 and 1870. Home to a large lake, ecological areas, Pump House Gallery, sports facilities and the famous London Peace Pagoda.
The London Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park is one of the 80 Peace Pagodas around the globe. The Peace Pagodas were built as part of an advocacy for world peace and non violence by the Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fujii (1885 — 1985) who was the founder of Nipponzan-Myohoji Buddhist Order.
Standing at 33.5 metres, the Battersea Peace Pagoda has four bronze statues of the Buddha symbolising the four characteristics of Buddha’s life — birth, contemplation towards enlightment, teaching and death. The Pagoda is located in a serene location overlooking the Thames River, surrounded by lush trees and green lawns.
Good to Know Information about Battersea Park London
Open: 10:00 A.M. — 5:30 P.M. during Spring and Summer;
10:00 A.M. — 4:30 P.M. or dusk during Autumn and Winter
Where: Battersea Park, Battersea Park SW11 4NJ
Pedestrians can access Battersea Park via Albert Bridge Road, Prince of Wales Drive and Queenstown Road (SW11 4NJ)
2 | Kensington Palace Gardens London
Kensington Palace Gardens is a hidden gem! A delightful beautiful garden is located next to Kensington Palace, an 18th century wonder. This historic palace is used by the present day younger royal family. Located in the prestigious Kensington neighbourhood, Kensington Palace Gardens is open to the public and is one of the top destinations for Londoners to escape to amidst their daily chaotic city life.
Although Kensington Palace Gardens can be visited at any time of the year, it is best experienced in spring and summer, while a visit in the coolness of the autumn chill has its own charm.
Where: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX
Getting to Kensington Gardens
Kensington Palace is located within easy walking distance of the following train stations:
>10 mins from High Street Kensington Underground Station
>10 mins from Queensway Underground Station
>25 mins from London Paddington
>22 mins from London Marylebone
>40 Mins from London Victoria
TTS Best Tips:
Take a very special journey in the royal footsteps and walk around the beautiful grounds with a local expert. You will be given interesting insights into the history of the royal family and see the statue of the late Princess Diana in the sunken garden. Afterwards, enjoy Britain’s most loved drink, tea like never before — a traditional British high tea.
Check availability of this unique activity to Kensington Palace Gardens and High Tea and book your experience.
NB: Entry to Kensington Palace is not included in this activity.
Recommended read: Kensington Palace Gardens — An Idyllic Getaway from Chaos of the City
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:
Kensington Palace Entrance Ticket
Visit the historic Kensington Palace while you are there. Bathe in the history and opulence of this remarkable 18th century wonder. Learn about the intriguing tales of the state rooms, the beautiful palace apartments, see the room where Queen Victoria was born, the tragic tales of the Stuarts, secret stories and public lives of the royals. Marvel at the mind-blowing architecture of the Cupola Room and the King’s Grand Staircase. Kensington Palace is definitely worth a visit if you like an insight into the royal lives, both past and present.
Book your ticket for a visit to Kensington Palace.
3 | Hyde Park London
Famous parks in London
Hyde Park is a Grade I listed park and is one of the eight Royal Parks in London. The most popular of green spaces in the City of London, it offers a venue for world class events, concerts and boating activities along with cycle paths, plenty of quiet spaces to relax, unwind and be ‘just be’.
This incredible green space in one of the world’s largest metropolises, is home to famous landmarks such as the Albert Memorial, Serpentine Lake, and the Speaker’s Corner. Hyde Park’s tree-lined avenues and winding walkways make a great escape to wind-down your day.
While anytime of the year is a great time to bathe in the serenity bestowed by this green space, you may want to visit at a specific time of the year to experience the changing seasons. Hyde Park is one place where the changing seasons are best noted, with snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses in early spring to summer and the absolutely beautiful vista of fallen golden, brown honey-coloured leaves in late autumn/fall.
Aside from being one of the famous parks in London, Hyde Park has another important role. Hyde Park London forms a chain beginning from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and through Green Park, past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace.
Open: All day
Where: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Getting to Hyde Park:
The nearest Tube Stations are: Victoria, Bond Street, Green Park, Paddington, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.
4 | Green Park London
One of the eight Royal Parks in London, this green oasis was officially named “Green Park” in 1746. Green Park, nestled between Hyde Park to the west and St James Park to the east is a peaceful triangle of open meadows of mature trees and grassland. The lack of flower beds or lakes does not deter Londoners from seeking a quiet retreat from city life.
Located next to Buckingham Palace, Green Park spans nineteen hectares (forty seven acres). It makes a splendid stop for a breather after visiting the nearby landmarks. The popular landmarks here which attract the most visitors are Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, and Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.
Where: Piccadilly, London W1J 9DZ
Getting to Green Park:
Green Park Tube Station is served by Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips on Famous parks in London:
For an off-the-beaten path experience of the best parks and gardens in London, join a unique small group tour specifically curated for garden lovers and lovers of flowers. This tour typically covers a full day and takes you on a journey to discover some of London’s best kept garden secrets — an experience that goes beyond the usual tourist haunts of the capital city. Added to gardens, flowers and learning about medicinal uses of some of the very interesting plants, you shall also enjoy High Tea at Chelsea Physic Garden.
Check availability and book your space on this unique experience of visiting the Secret Gardens in London.
5 | St James Park London
A charming parkland in the heart of the city, St James Park is the oldest Royal Park in London. Occupying an area of 23 hectares (57 acres), features a large lake and is primarily a wildlife sanctuary. A leisurely stroll through this green oasis allows for swans, geese, ducks and even pelicans.
Take in the spectacular views from the Bridge across the lake where you could see the Big Ben, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. There are several fountains, and statutes along with memorials to discover in St James Park.
At the very heart of the park is Tiffany Fountain. Tiffany Fountain is famous for the magnificent six metre plume of water it sends into the air. On some special occasions, the jet is illuminated in any one of the rainbow colours.
A monument to look out for is the Queen Victoria Memorial that stands in front of Buckingham Palace. At 25 metres, this incredible monument commemorates the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901.
St James’ Park borders Buckingham Palace to the west and you may also want to experience the Birdcage Walk and the Horse Guards Parade.
Make your way along The Mall, and if you are here at the right time, you may catch the moment for the Changing of Guard, a ceremonial event where soldiers stand down and are replaced by the next group.
More on “Changing of Guard” below.
6 | Regent’s Park London
Regent’s Park, named after Prince Regent who later became King George IV is a favourite haven for Londoners and visitors alike. The ample green space in this famous park of London encompasses 170 hectares (410 acres). A truly scenic park offering tree lined paths, children’s playgrounds and sports facilities.
The highlight of the park must surely be the award winning Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. The Rose Garden boasts the largest collection of roses in London with a reputed 12,000 roses planted here.
A serene Japanese Garden Island, enjoys a secluded area in the park, an open-air theatre for musical entertainment, boating lake, walking trails and a Zoo. Yes, London’s ZSL Zoo is within Regent’s Park.
Good to Know Information about Regent’s Park London | Famous parks in London | Famous Parks in London
Open: 5:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M
Where: Regent’s Park London, NW1 4NR
Getting to Regent’s Park London
Nearest Tube Station is Regent’s Park on the Bakerloo Line
Recommended read: Why Regent’s Park is the #1 Garden with a total Zen
7 | Kew Gardens London
Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been home to botanic collections since the 18th century.
“Home to the largest living plant collection on earth” Kew Gardens is a haven for nature lovers! This one hundred thirty two hectare (three hundred twenty-six acres) is a grand showpiece of landscaped gardens and architectural features. Home to flora and fauna from around the globe, Kew Gardens plays a crucial role in the fields of scientific, economic, botany and ecology.
Strolling through the Botanic gardens, it is easy to forget that you are in England. There are plants and trees from varying climate zones, ranging from desert to Alps. Asian magnolias in full bloom, Japanese cherry trees and in the lush Victorian Palm House, papayas!
The Princess of Wales Conservatory is another beyond-believe space at Kew Gardens. The gigantic waterlillies are at least a couple of metres in diameter! The iconic Palm House houses the oldest tree-fern, known as Encephalartos altensteinii which was brought from Africa to England in 1775, believed to be the oldest surviving plant in the world.
Pristine flower beds, rare flowers, Victorian glasshouses and their winter spectacular makes Kew Gardens a perfect destination throughout the year.
Kew Gardens London is an unmissable destination for everyone, both young and old alike.
Good to Know Information for Kew Gardens | Famous parks in London
Open: From 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M, in summer
Where: Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
How to get to Kew Gardens, Richmond, London
1 | By train
Kew Bridge station is 800m from Elizabeth Gate, via Kew Bridge. South West Trains run services from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. There is no level access at Kew Bridge.
Richmond station has lift and level access. Take 65 bus (in the direction of Ealing Broadway) to Lion or Victoria Gate.
2 | By tube
Kew Gardens station is 500m from Victoria Gate. It is in Zone 3 and is served by the District Line (Richmond branch) and London Overground.
There is no level access from the westbound platform. It is possible to continue one stop to Richmond and catch a tube back to use the eastbound platform which does have level access.
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:
Pre book your visit — Kew Gardens Entrance Ticket
Kew Gardens is fully wheelchair accessible.
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Registered disability assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens.
8 | Richmond Park London
Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Park covering an area of 2500 acres, has some of the best wildlife. Designated as a National Nature Reserve, the park is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation.
The wide open spaces and grasslands are an important area for wildlife, such as rare species of birds, beetles, bats, deer herds and wildflowers.
There are about 650 wild deer within Richmond Park. Although historically the park was created for deer hunting by Charles I in the 17th century, these days the deer are mostly home across the pond, wandering delightfully in their natural surroundings.
Richmond Park London makes a perfect day out for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. You could try power kiting, horse riding, golf or off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.
Good to Know Information about Richmond Park
Open: Typically open 24 hours except November to early December and February to early March, when pedestrian gates are open at 7:30 A.M. and closes at 8:00 P.M.
Where: Richmond Park, Richmond, TW10 5HS
How to get to Richmond Park London:
The nearest Tube/Train station is Richmond Station, served by National Rail or District Line. From the station, take bus #371 or #67 to the pedestrian gate at Petersham.
9 | St Dunstan in the East London
An unusual but a beautiful park set amongst ruins of war, St Dunstan in the East offers a world away from the hustle and bustle of London city life.
Tucked away on a quiet street between Tower Hill and Monument, is the ruins of an old Gothic church that has a rich history. Often referred to as ‘London’s Secret Garden’, plants are allowed to reclaim their rightful place among the ruins, giving St Dunstan in the East a special, natural and quirky feel.
St Dunstan in the East is truly a charming little space where tranquility is experienced at any given time.
Good to Know Information
Open: 8:00 A.M to 7:00 P.M
Where: St Dunstan in the East
St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD
Getting to St Dunstan in the East:
Nearest Stations are: Monument, Bank, Fenchurch Street and Tower Hill
Highly recommended read: St Dunstan in the East — 8 Reasons to Visit this Serenity amongst Ruins
10 | Holland Park London
Holland Park spans 54 acres and is the largest park in the affluent Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There are plenty of things to do here including tennis, football, cricket and netball along with health walks which are regularly scheduled here.
Holland Park is famously known for its dahlias. The Holland House Garden has proudly grown dahlias year by year ever since these beautiful flowers were first successfully grown in England (1814).
There is yet another reason to visit Holland Park — an oasis of calm offered by the uniquely landscaped Japanese style Kyoto Garden, perfect for quiet reflection and relaxation. Tiered waterfalls, stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees, a pond full of beautiful koi carp. There are also a couple of peacocks wandering around. It is hard to imagine that you are in London when visiting Kyoto Garden, the zen here is incredible.
Good to Know Information about Holland Park London | Famous parks in London
Open: 7:30 A.M to 8:00 P.M. (or closes half an hour before dusk in winter)
Where: Holland Park,
Ilchester Pl, London, W8 6LU
How to get to Holland Park:
Nearest Stations are Holland Park, Kensington High Street, and Nottinghill Gate.
11 | Greenwich Park London
A much loved park by Londoners, Greenwich Park is one of the oldest in London and has a rich history. Established in the 15th century, Greenwich Park offers many things to do in and around the park or secluded spots if you wish to steal moments to yourself to bathe in the serenity of the gentle breeze and calmness.
Enjoy panoramic views over the Docklands and the City of London from atop Greenwich Hill. The views are absolutely spectacular at any time of day.
Visit the Queen’s House, play hopscotch on the Meridian, watch the Red Ball fall, explore British History, have tea in the Cutty Sark and discover the quaint pretty town of Greenwich. A visit to Greenwich will typically involve a day.
Good to Know Information about Greenwich Park London | Famous parks in London
Where: Greenwich Park, London SE10 8EJ
Open: From 6:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M (January & February), and 8:00 P.M from the start of British Summer Time.
Getting to Greenwich Park London:
By Train to Greenwich Station;
By Tube (Jubilee Line) to North Greenwich Station;
By Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark Station.
Recommended read: Greenwich in One Day – 45 Experiences and more to cherish
12 | Hampstead Heath London
Hampstead Heath is London’s beloved green space. Situated a little out of central London, Hampstead Heath offers green spaces with best views and highest points including Parliament Hill, Golders Hill Park, a lido that is open 365 days, swimming pond, sports facilities, playground along with an extraordinary pergola and hill garden. Added to stunning vistas are the natural habitat of the expansive grassland and ancient woodland.
Good to know Information about Hampstead Heath
Where: Hampstead Heath, West Gate Lodge, Hampstead Lane, Hampstead Heath. NW3 7JP
Hampstead Heath is open 24 hours 7-days a week;
Golders Hill Park opens at 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. during autumn and winter / 10:00 P.M. in the summer;
Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden opens at 8:30 A.M. and closes at 3:15 during the winter months and 8:00 P.M. in the summer.
How to get to Hampstead Heath London:
Take the Train to:
Gospel Oak, to the south east, 1 minute walk
Hampstead Heath, to the south west, on the edge of the Heath
Take the Northern Line to:
Hampstead, to the west, 10 minutes walk
Golders Green, to the north for Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension, 10 minutes walk
Tufnell Park or Kentish town, to the south east, both around 14 minutes walk
For more information and a map of the area, go to Hampstead Heath.
ADD TO YOUR FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON ITINERARY
1 | The Ceremonial Event of the “Changing of Guard”
The dazzling Changing of Guard is a much cherished tradition of the British monarchy. It is the time of day where the time honoured tradition of the Queen’s Household Cavalry change their shifts, when the palace guards are replaced by the next team of guards. This ceremonial event takes place at 11:00 A.M. and is free to watch.
It is a popular event for tourists and there are crowd control measures in place for safety.
There is no single spot for best views because the ceremony spans three locations — Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and Wellington Barracks. Hence, it is impossible to view the entire Guard Mount.
The following information will support your planning to experience the Changing of Guard.
How to experience the Changing of Guard at Buckingham Palace:
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place at 11:00 A.M. on the following days:
August to May — Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays;
June and July — Daily
The timings to guide your visit:
>10:43 Old Guard leaves St James’s Palace;
>10:57 New Guard leaves Wellington Barrack;
11:00 Official Start Time
>11:10 St James’s Palace relief leaves Buckingham Palace;
>11:25 Relieved sentries leave St James’s Palace;
>11:40 Old Guard leaves Buckingham Palace;
>11:45 St James’s Palace Guard leaves Buckingham Palace.
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips:
You may not need to join a guided tour to witness the Changing of Guard but as the highly popular event of Changing of Guard takes places along three different locations, we suggest the following three activities if you wish to end up at the right place at the right time, for best views and not much is missed.
1 | Watch the ceremonial event of the Changing of Guard and explore the city of Westminster on a walking tour with a guide — Changing of Guard and Westminster Walking Tour
2 | Get closer to the dazzling action with a guide where you can follow the guards journey to Buckingham Palace on foot —Changing of the Guard Tour.
2 | The Iconic London Eye
Along the River Thames in Southbank neighbourhood stands the iconic London Eye, one of the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheels at 135 metres (443 ft). Famously known also as the Millennium Wheel, it is the most popular paid tourist attraction with almost 4 million visitors a year.
The ride on the Eye takes about 30 minutes, with captivating views of London’s skyline such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London. On a clear day, you may get to see as far as 40 kilometres!
Good to know Information on the London Eye for your famous parks in London itinerary:
Where: The London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
Open: From 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Nearest Tube Station:
Waterloo, Charing Cross, Embankment and Westminster.
Timeless Travel Steps Best Tips to Experience London:
Join the fast track boarding and enjoy the gradual rotation of the wheel. Take in the mesmerising 360-degree view of captivating London and the city’s landmarks for 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you may want to see more of London for less by combining an experience of the London Eye with Big Bus and Thames River Cruise.
Recommended read: 18 Important Facts you would love to Know about the London Eye.
RELATED ATTRACTIONS IN LONDON WHILE ENJOYING THE FAMOUS PARKS IN LONDON
London has so many things to do that picking the best to do is pretty tough! However, if you are in town, enjoying the famous parks in London, there are some landmarks that are truly unmissable because these iconic sites are the roots to London as it is today. Here are two that may make a great start to your adventure in London:
1 | The Oldest Gothic Cathedral in London
Visit the oldest Gothic cathedral in London — Southwark Cathedral first established in 606 AD. While here, enjoy the cultural fusion of gastronomy at Borough Market, located at its doorstep!
2 | Tower of London
Tower of London — the most famous fortress in the United Kingdom and where the story of London began with William the Conqueror in 1066. Unveil the secrets, tragedies, torture, conspiracies, unsolved murders that took place in the Tower during the centuries along with centuries old traditions still practised today.
For more about London, navigate to Many Chapters in the Charming City London.
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Have a super awesome time discovering London.