Relax in the Lap of Nature at London’s Free Parks and Gardens

It is incredible that a vast city, that is nothing less than a concrete jungle, has so much green space in the form of large parks and gardens that provide a serene environment in the midst of the hubbub of city life. The city also has eight Royal parks which are Hyde Park, Green Park, Bushy Park, Greenwich Park, Kensington Gardens, Regents Park, Richmond Park and St James’s Park. These parks were originally owned by the monarchy for their recreation purposes such as hunting. They form part of the hereditary possession of The Crown. However, at present these parks are free for public use. Besides these parks there are many more parks and gardens spread all over the city for the recreation of the residents and visitors to the city. Some of the most important free parks and gardens in London are being enumerated below.

Hyde Park: Perhaps the most famous park in London, it is also a royal park which is famous for its Speakers’ Corner and for being home to many other attractions of London such as Serpentine Lake, Serpentine Gallery, Serpentine Solar Shuttle, Peter Pan Statue, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and Playground. It is a traditional location for mass demonstrations and many a famous leader has made inspiring speeches from the Speakers’ Corner. It is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water and is contiguous with Kensington Gardens, together covering about 253 hectares of land. It remains open throughout the year from 5 a.m. until midnight.

St James’s Park: It is the oldest of London’s eight Royal Parks, which is visited by millions of the city’s residents and tourists every year. It includes the Mall and Horse Guard Parade and is located in the heart of ceremonial London giving the right backdrop for many spectacular pageants including the annual Trooping the Colour. It covers 57 acres of land in the City of Westminster and is the most easterly of the chain of parks comprising of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It is bounded by The Mall to the north, Buckingham Palace to the west, Horse Guards to the east and Birdcage Walk to the south. The nearest Underground stations are St James’s Park, Green Park, Westminster and Victoria. There is a small lake in the park known as St James’s Park lake that has two islands, West Island and Duck Island.

For visiting free London parks and gardens, it would be ideal for visitors to stay at Kensington Park Hotel London as it is situated close to most of these parks and they can visit and enjoy natural surroundings at ease.

Hampstead Heath: Covering 790 acres of land it is a large, ancient park that runs from Hampstead to Highgate. It is a rambling and hilly area that embraces ponds, old and new woodlands, playgrounds, a lido, and a training track. It is situated next to the stately home of Kenwood House and its gardens. Parliament Hill is located on its south-east and it offers panoramic views over London that is protected by law. Lakeside concerts are held in the park in summer. It is home to wildlife that includes grass snakes, foxes, rabbits, slow worms, squirrels and frogs. Over the ponds you can see jackdaws, kingfishers, pipistrelles and Duabenton’s bats. The site has also been home to some introduced species such as terrapins, muntjac deer and ring-necked parakeets.

Richmond Park
Located in south-west London, it is one of the  largest parks in London and was originally created as a deer park by Charles I. Since it is a wildlife conservation area people looking for some solitude, peace and deliverance from the tensions of everyday life can escape to the park for relaxing in the lap of nature. It has a wonderful landscape that has been the backdrop for many films and TV series and has also inspired many artists. Being a national nature reserve, you can also find a Fallow deer. The park is also home to many buildings with excellent architecture and great historical interest. It also has a golf course and is open to the public. The park is a vast expanse of 2,500 acres of land that provides perfect bliss in natural surroundings especially in the mornings that transports you to wilderness.

Kensington Roof Gardens: A unique garden, quite unlike Kensington Gardens, it is located 100 feet above street level on top of a department store building in the Kensington shopping area. It covers 1.5 acres on top of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street. Having been planted in the 1930s, it consists of a Tudor Garden, a Spanish Garden, an English woodland Garden and resident flamingos. The three themed gardens have more than 70 full size trees and a flowing stream that has plenty of fish and flamingos. The most formal is the Spanish Garden which is based on the Alhambra which is a Moorish fortress complex in Spain and consists of fountains and vine-covered walkways. The Tudor Garden is a smaller formal walled scented garden with lots of lavender and roses and panoramic views of the city. The English Woodland Garden overlooks the High Street and has a large variety of trees, a stream and a garden pond having pintail ducks and flamingos.

Holland Park: Located in an affluent neighbourhood within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this west London park covers 54 acres and is a peaceful retreat having the Kyoto Garden and free roaming peacocks. The park also has an YHA youth hostel, a popular children’s playground, sports area and a large outdoor chess set for adults. It also features the Belvedere restaurant and an Orangery event space.

There are many other parks in London such as Postman’s Parks, Lincoln’s Inn Field, Brown Hart Gardens, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens and many others.

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