We are excited to be visiting London later this month again. Lea is hoping to go to University here in a couple of years and absolutely loves it. Vibrant, buzzing and oozing diversity, London is a truly great place to be a student. A melting-pot of different cultures and the focal-point of the UK’s cultural heritage, this amazing city offers opportunities like no other city on Earth. From picking up a bargain at the eclectic Camden market, to catching her favourite band playing at the Roundhouse, she’ll never be short of something to do – she will wonder where her studies are going to fit in! Lea is actually seeing Marina and The Diamonds at the Roundhouse when we visit. London offers some of the world’s most beautiful parks to take a stroll, relax or catch up on a bit of recommended reading! Here is our guide to five great parks in London.
Covering some 350 acres, right in the centre of London, students are likely to pass Hyde Park frequently on their way to and from their student studio in London. You need plenty of time to explore, though, as it is truly one of the most diverse parks in the world. With over 4,000 trees, a range of distinctive flower gardens, a lake, two restaurants, a children’s park and ice-skating in the winter, Hyde Park really does offer something for everyone! It is also home to the Diana Memorial Fountain and the legendary Speaker’s Corner, where you can go on a Sunday afternoon and listen to the great and the good airing their views. Open all year round, Hyde Park is free to enter. For more details, head to the park’s website.
St. James’s Park
St. James’s Park, which runs alongside The Mall has plenty of royal connections being surrounded by no fewer than three royal palaces! You can watch the Changing of the Guard every day at 11 am and enjoy strolling through 58 acres of glorious woodland. A favourite haunts is at the lakeside, where you can see the city’s famous pelicans being fed every afternoon at 2.30 pm. Free to enter, the park is open all year round.
A wonderful area of wide-open spaces and natural woodland, Hampstead Heath is only a few miles from the centre of London and affords some of the most stunning skyscapes in the city. The park is great for jogging, strolling or simply sitting and watching the world go by. It includes Parliament Hill, a zoo and butterfly house, splash parks and even an open-air swimming pool! From the peaceful summit of Parliament Hill it really is easy to forget that you’re in one of the world’s busiest cities. There are many other sports events taking place throughout the year too. For more information, see the website.
London’s oldest park, Greenwich is an enchanting area, home to its own herd of wild deer! Part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site, which also includes the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum, the park offers spectacular views over the River Thames and includes gorgeous flower gardens, a pavilion and a number of delightful tea rooms. A perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
If you’re after something a bit different, take a trip to Crystal Palace Park, the site of the original Victorian palace and now home to an assortment of full-size dinosaur models, which peep out from the foliage as you stroll past. The park also includes a museum, which explains more about the dinosaur exhibition, a children’s farm and plenty of wide-open spaces. For more details about the park, see the website.
We can see why Lea loves to be in London, and that is just the parks!
Have you been to any of these parks?