Underrated but Beautiful London Parks
Hyde Park? Meh.
No, we’re kidding. Hyde Park is wonderful, of course – but it’s not the only big, green space in England’s capital city. Londoners love to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for an hour or two for a walk or picnic in a park when the long summer days hit and if you want to experience the parks the same way that locals do, we recommend that you skip Hyde Park and visit one of the many other ones on offer. Next time you’re in London, here are the best parks to check out for all the beauty without the crowds:
The idyllic boating lake resembles a scene from a Jane Austen novel, with row boats and pedalos available for hire. Alongside the lake, expansive green lawns and towering trees lining the avenues, there’s also formal gardens which are beautifully manicured with rose displays, blossoming flowerbeds and Victorian-style fountains dotted around. Pair this with the surrounding architecture from the Georgian era, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful day out in classic English surroundings. Oh, and don’t forget the magnificent open air theatre!
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal parks at over 1000 hectares and features loads of wide, open spaces where deer roam freely. It’s popular with cyclists and dog-walkers thanks to plenty of scenic paths for serious exercisers or weekend warriors, and also has two golf courses and a stableyard. Basically, it’s an animal-lovers heaven. At the highest point of the park there are incredible views over St Paul’s cathedral and the city – so incredible, in fact, that they are legally protected.
Greenwich Park is famed for the panormanic views over London’s River Thames and the city. It’s the oldest of the Royal Parks and offers visitors plenty of cafes for a leisurely coffee or snack while you absorb the atmosphere. Don’t miss the Royal Observatory which sits on a hill within the park and the Prime Meridian line which runs through the courtyard. There are also still some deer roaming the area, reminiscent of its former identity as a hunting park.
Crystal Palace Park
Probably the only place to see dinosaurs in London, Crystal Palace park is a strange amalgamation of typical ‘parklike’ things; swings, lawns, playgrounds, football-playing children and things that are very much not ‘parklike’ at all; like the aforementioned life-size, 100-year-old dinosaur sculptures as well as London’s largest maze. Strange? No doubt about it. Wonderful? Absolutely.
Crystal palace park:
While many of London’s green spaces offer perfectly manicured lawns, beautifully thought out gardens and lined avenues, Hampstead Heath is far more natural and a bit wild. It’s home to Hampstead Ponds which are three freshwater swimming areas split into female, male and mixed. Super quaint, and super fun! If you fancy watching the sunset after a dip in one of the ponds, head up to Parliament hill for spectacular views of the city skyline in brilliant shades of orange and red.