From having a picnic and catching some rays in the summer to wrapping up warm and climbing hills in the winter, there’s always a reason to visit one of London’s many parks, but which one!
We’ve made you the ultimate guide to the best parks in London, from those which are perfect for relaxing in to London’s parks packed full of things to d and activities to enjoy. We’ve got everything from boating lakes to breathtaking views, feeding pelicans to exploring a woodland all the way to enjoying a performance at an open air theatre, London’s parks have something to offer everyone.
A large beautiful park located in central London just seconds from Oxford Street, with over 4,000 trees, a boating lake & huge areas of grass, it’s the perfect park for a picnic in the summer, a jog in the early morning, a late evening cycle, winter walk, a chilly swim or anything else you wish to do.
Featuring 350 acres of parkland you’ll be sure to find a spot that’s right for you. It’s loved by runners, cyclists and you’ll often see people skateboarding, rollerblading & everything in between around the Sepentine, a 40 acre lake which runs across the park. The lake has boats available to hire and there’s an area which is cordoned off with buoys for swimming (but be prepared it’s always very cold!)
Many smaller gardens lie within the park as well as the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and 7 July Bombings memorial. You’ll also find Speakers’ Corner which is located on the north-east corner near Marble Arch where people can go to speak about any cause they want. An act of parliament was passed which means that this section of the park is protected for use by speakers and for free speech. Head down on a Sunday morning and you’ll find small crowds gathered around speakers.
Bonus: If you head over the Serpentine bridge you’ll be in Kensington Gardens (see further down the page) which many assume is part of Hyde Park however it’s been separate since 1728.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner or Lancaster Gate
Open: 5am – Midnight | Size: 350 Acres | Price: Free
For those looking for stunning beauty or a park for sporting activities then look no further than this royal park located in North West London, designed by world renowned architect John Nash in 1811 the park features beautiful rose gardens, water features, wild birds, London Zoo and some of the largest sports areas any park has to offer for football, rugby, cricket & other sports.
Bonus: There’s also an open air theatre which is fantastic during warmer months. While you’re in the park make sure to look out for some of the 9 magnificent villas located within the park as well as some of the beautiful terraces (houses) which are dotted around the edge of the park, if you love architecture or simply looking at stunning houses they are most certainly worse a visit.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Regent’s Park, Baker Street, Great Portland Street or Warren Street Station
Open: 5am – various times | Size: 410 Acres | Price: Free
Another one of the Royal Parks in London, Richmond park is well known as a haven away from the hustle and bustle of London life. Situated south of the River it features over 600 free roaming deer, fantastic cycle paths, two golf courses and hills (which are quite a rare thing in London!).
Covering over 2,000 acres it’s one of the largest in London and thanks to the hills you get some great views across the city (in fact the views are even protected by an act of parliament). It’s a mecca for cyclists and those wanting to escape the city.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Richmond Station (then a 20 minute walk or catch the 371 or 65 buses to the pedestrian gate at Petersham)
Open: 7am – 7.45pm | Size: 2360 Acres | Price: Free
St James’s Park
If you’re looking for a somewhat special and very Royal park then this is the one to head to, with three Royal palaces surrounding the 60 acres it’s a lovely park no matter the weather. Highlights of the park include the Mall and the Horse Guards Parade as well as a chance to see the famous pelicans which wander around the park (not something you’ll likely see in any other park).
Much smaller in comparison to other parks it still has secluded areas which are perfect for those wanting to have lunch, a walk or simply get away from the traffic of central London.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: St James’s Park, Charing Cross, Westminister, Green Park or Hyde Park Corner
Open: 5am – Midnight | Size: 23 Acres | Price: Free
This was the first official public park in London and is now one of the most visited too. It has a lovely mix of green spaces, ponds, canals, tennis courts and a great pavilion. The park is home to some of the capitals biggest music festivals and events.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Mile End, Bethnal Green or Stepney Green
Open: 7am – 5pm | Size: 212 Acres | Price: Free
Taking the crown as the oldest Royal park in London it has some fantastic views across the capital as well as of the river Thames, you’ll find the park is home to the Royal Observatory which also features the Prime Meridian Line. It’s also home to the National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College.
A great option can be to take a riverboat to get here and see the views from the river Thames. Catch it at Westminster, Embankment or Tower piers and get off at Greenwich Pier.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: DLR stations: Cutty Sark or Greenwich
Open: Various Times | Size: 180 Acres | Price: Free
With over 800 acres of a mix of woodland, grass, ponds, meadows and more it’s the best option for those wanting to get away from the hectic city. Although you may think it’s far away it’s in fact only around 4 miles away from central London, though you’ll feel like your hundreds of miles away.
Whether it’s the summer and you fancy a picnic or the winter and you want to get out and get some fresh air it’s a great place to visit. You’ll also get the benefits of some breathtaking views once you get to the top of Parliament hill, make sure to check out some of the local pubs which can be a nice reward after you climb the hill or simply walk around the park.
Open: 9am – 5/6pm | Size: 800 Acres | Price: Free
One of the smaller parks in the capital however the location of Green Park makes it a great place to visit, surrounded by two other parks (Hyde & St James’s) it makes for a great stop gap if you choose to walk between them.
Another perk of it’s fantastic location right in central London is that come the nicer weather, you’ll find it a hot spot for people to pop into to eat lunch as well as large swathes of tourists having a break from exploring the local tourist sights. Tip: In the summer you’ll find deckchairs but do note there is a fee for using them.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Green Park or Hyde Park Corner
Open: 24 hours | Size: 47 Acres | Price: Free
This urban park is a great place to come and do exercise or simply relax during the summer months, you’ll find it gets pretty busy when it’s a hot weekend but there’s still lots of space. It has three different ponds, a skate park, good local pubs and is home to the South West Four festival every year.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Clapham Common or Clapham South
Open: 24 hours | Size: 220 Acres | Price: Free
A great park for all ages but increasingly popular with young families, this is mainly due to the Children’s Zoo and large play areas. The park has a beautiful 1km stretch of riverside which makes for a lovely walk along the Thames. There are some lovely fountains, a Peace Pagoda and open spaces for those wanting to chill out.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Sloane Square + 20 min walk or Battersea Train Station
Open: 6.30am – 10.30pm | Size: 200 Acres | Price: Free
Right next door to Hyde park you may have not realised it was a different park but it technically is. Being centrally located you can find some parts busy during peak weekends when the weather is hot. Within only 5/10 minute walk from Oxford street it’s a great escape from shopping and its gardens are fantastic and beautiful no matter what time of the year.
Home to the Kensington Palace and various other points of interest including the Albert Memorial and the Peter Pan Statue the very colourful gardens are a must visit and one that is a whole world apart from the city just beyond the walls.
Where: Map | Nearest Tube Stations: Nottinghill Gate, Paddington or Marble Arch
Open: 6am – 9pm | Size: 275 Acres | Price: Free
Lee Valley Park
This massive 26 mile long park stretches all the way from the East India Docks up into Hertfordshire and right through the Olympic Park. With an abundance of grassy areas, parkland and areas for sport it’s a top choice for those wanting to get out of the concrete, roads and noise of central London.
A must visit for any cyclist enthusiasts, the park features a BMX track and it’s own velodrome in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which is part of this larger park.
Open: Varies | Size: 10,000+ Acres | Price: Free
Packed full of trees, woodland, green areas, water and wildlife you’ll be sure to get that feeling of reconnecting with nature at this Royal Park which is the second largest of all the Royal Parks.
Open: Varies | Size: 1100 Acres | Price: Free
Crystal Palace Park
Packed with a range of different activites as well as beautiful trees, grassland and walks this park is worth a visit if you live close by. Plus it has unusual amenities such as beach volleyball, athletic tracks and swimming pools.
Open: Varies | Size: 200 Acres | Price: Free