The British summer has finally arrived. And where better to spend it than in one of the capital's most glorious parks? We’ve rounded up the best green spaces in the city where you can sit back, relax and get that much-needed vitamin D fix. Just pack a picnic, grab your sunnies, sip on Pimms and enjoy…
1 HYDE PARK
London W2 2UH
You don't even have to bring your own chairs
The playground of all parks. People flock to Hyde Park in bikinis, shorts and flip flops (not forgetting roller skates and Boris bikes) in the summer to catch some rays. Grab yourself a sun chair and crack open a cold beer with your friends in one of London’s most famous Royal Parks. Or better yet take a pedalo out on the pretty Serpentine Lake and test your leg muscles on the water. The park offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding. A truly delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
It’s also home to one of London’s biggest festivals this year.
Boats on Serpentine Lake
2 REGENTS PARK
Chester Rd, London NW1 4NR
Explore every corner of the park and you'll find hidden fountains
Situated in the beautiful Primrose Hill and right beside London Zoo, Regent's Park is not to be missed. Not only is it a truly beautiful park, it’s also home to Queen Mary’s Gardens displaying over 12,000 lush roses in 4,000 varieties. Take a long walk in the sunshine, admire the nature and soak up the tranquil vibes. It’s just a 10 minute walk from St Christopher’s Inns Camden so if you’re a guest here, lucky you!
Queen Mary's Rose Gardens of Regents Park
3 GREENWICH PARK
London SE10 8XJ
Just look at that view
For incredible, vast views of London get yourself to Greenwich Park. It’s the oldest enclosed Royal Park covering 74 hectares (so it’s pretty big). The park is famous for housing the Royal Observatory, home to Greenwich Mean Time as well as London’s only Planetarium. Situated on up on a hill, the observatory will reward you with fantastic views of London so it’s a great spot to set up a picnic for the day. At this park you can also appreciate the fruit and vegetables growing in the Queen’s Orchard from apples, plums, cherries, pears and much more. The park is an 8 minute walk from St Christopher’s Inns Greenwich, the perfect place to base yourself to make the most of all that Greenwich Park has to offer.
4 VICTORIA PARK
Grove Rd, London E3 5TB
A great park for a nice brisk walk
Located in Tower Hamlets, Victoria Park is the oldest public park in London. In 2015 it was voted the nation’s favourite park in the People’s Choice Awards (so it’s unsurprising that you’ll find plenty of locals here walking their dogs or out for a run). With vast green open space, beautiful lakes, colourful gardens and charming bridges, the East London park is such a picturesque place to spend your summer days.
A swan with its cygnets
5 RICHMOND PARK
Holly Lodge, TW10 5HS
Just look at them! Adorable.
Fancy some deer spotting? Well, Richmond Park is the place to go. You can get truly fantastic, close-up views of the beautiful Red and Fallow deer as they graze away in the sunshine in their natural habitat. It is the largest of London’s Royal Parks as well as a National Nature Reserve where you can find ancient trees and the spectacular Isabella Plantation, a 40 acre woodland garden with streams, ponds and blooming flora all around.
Richmond is also a great place for a spot of shopping and lunch where you can eat overlooking the river Thames at one of the many great terrace restaurants...so make a whole day out of it!
Just a small snapshot of the beautiful Isabella Plantation
6 HOLLAND PARK
Ilchester Pl, Kensington, London W8 6LU
Japanese Kyoto Garden
You’ll find Holland Park in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, not far from St Christopher’s Hammersmith. It’s one of the city’s finest green spaces, housing the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens with its koi carp and bridge at the foot of a waterfall. See if you can spot the magnificent peacocks in the summer months. Holland Park provides facilities for tennis, football, golf practice nets, cricket practice nets and netball, so come kick a ball around with your hostel mates.
7 ST JAMES’ PARK
London SW1A 2BJ
Amazing views of Buckingham Palace
Another fantastic Royal Park to kick back and relax after a long day of sightseeing around the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben. Located in Westminster, you can get a true feel for British heritage, patriotism and culture with the Changing the Guard ceremony that takes place daily just east of St James Park. The military marches are a must-see when in London! Take a walk around the lake, walk down the Mall and then check out the Tiffany Fountain! We recommend walking over the Blue Bridge where you’ll be rewarded with views of Buckingham Palace and the London Eye behind the lake.
More deck chairs to grab and make base at St James' Park