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London’s most lovable park is…

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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Friday 29 July to Friday 5th of August is National Love Parks Week. But where do you celebrate in London?

It isn't easy to pick a favourite. According to the London Government’s website, more of Greater London is covered in green space than railways and roads combined. So, instead of the same old list of the Capital's most famous locations, we picked a wide selection for all sorts of days out. Whether you’re looking for some history or hoping to snap the perfect picture, or you’re just trying to get off the beaten track, we've got the lovable London park for you.

3 parks for a true tree hugger

  • Richmond Park (pictured) – here stand about 1,200 ancient trees, which sustain a whole ecosystem, from beetles to birds to fungi. The Royal Oak is likely the oldest, at ~600 years old.
  • Ravenscourt Park has over 600 trees – a towering Tree of Heaven, Dawn Redwood, Silver Birch and more. There’s even a Tree Trail you can follow.
  • Danson Park – There is a locally famous tree here, the Charter Oak, where the Bexley borough charter was signed in 1937.

Photo: Richmond Park | Simon Wilkes | Unsplash

3 parks for the ’gram

  • St Dunstan in the East (pictured) – a beautiful church stood here…twice. It was first rebuilt after the Great Fire, and then mostly destroyed in the Blitz. Instead of rebuilding, it was turned into a park, and trailing vines and bending branches are stunning against the old architecture.
  • Primrose Hill – if you can brave the climb, this is where you’ll get that gorgeous picture of the London skyline.
  • Regent’s Park – for your spring, summer and autumn photos, you’ll want to visit the long symmetrical corridors and leafy tunnels of Regent’s Park. We featured its cherry blossom trees along Avenue Gardens in the article: London in bloom.

Photo: St Dunstan in the East Church | Kyle Bushnell | Unsplash

3 parks with Hollywood fame

  • Battersea Park filled in for St James’ Park in the live-action 101 Dalmatians (1996).
  • Hampstead Heath (pictured) – this picturesque park has many movie credits to its name, but recently the marvel blockbuster, Eternals (2021), included a scene on Parliament Hill.
  • London Zoo (in Regents Park) featured in both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and An American Werewolf in London (1981).

Photo: Hampstead Pergola | Nicolas Lysandrou | Unsplash

3 secret gardens

Photo: Rookery tulips | Matt Brown | CC BY | Flickr

3 parks to impress your trivia team

  • Hadley Green (pictured) is a gorgeous park in High Barnet, reputed to be where the Battle of Barnet - the decisive battle of the War of the Roses - was fought in 1471.
  • Soho Square – as we discuss in another article, this little leafy square has been a gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community through the decades. Interestingly, it also has an air raid shelter underneath it, used by Londoners during the Blitz in World War II.
  • Greenwich Park – if not for the beautiful views, visit Greenwich Park to brush up on your maritime and Roman trivia, and adventure through space and time.

Photo: Hadley Common by Josh Cowan, Foxtons Specialty Photographer

3 parks for picnics

  • London Fields – this hip London parks makes a brilliant hang out with friends. You can go all out and get your gourmet picnic from Broadway Market on the way.
  • Bushy Park (pictured) - right by Hampton Court Palace, this expansive park has plenty of grassland and wide-open spaces to lay a picnic blanket in. On a sunny day, you'll find many families relaxing in Bushy Park's beautiful Woodland Gardens.
  • Wimbledon Common – whether it’s strawberries and cream for the tennis or you're just celebrating the sunshine, Wimbledon common is perfect for a picnic. (Just go easy on the Wombles and pick up after yourself!)

Photo: Woodlands Bushy Park | Heather Smithers | CC BY_SA | Flickr

3 parks to get your steps in

  • Walthamstow Wetlands – you can either set out on your own adventure in the largest urban wetlands in Europe, or check their site for tours and walks where they lead around the area. This reserve has some stunning scenery, and it’s a treasure trove for birdwatchers. (Read more on the the growing popularity of Walthamstow).
  • Hyde Park (pictured) – arguably London’s most famous park, there’s plenty to do in Hyde Park. We mention it here because you can just amble in for an afternoon stroll and stumble upon something memorable. Hyde Park has gardens, ponds, statues, food and drink, sport, memorials…there’s even a spot for public speeches and debate (Speakers’ Corner).
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – The Olympic Trail, the Art Trail, the Children’s Park and the Wildlife Park… this is a great park for a walk. It also has a lot of events for children, which leads us to our next slide…

Photo: The Albert Memorial in Hyde Park by Laura Downham, Foxtons Specialist Photographer

3 parks your children will love

  • Holland Park Adventure Playground, Holland Park – This exceptional playground in London's famous Holland Park was just renovated in 2019.
  • Children’s Garden, Kew Gardens – A playground and imaginative garden combined, where little ones can explore structures built around the themes of earth, air, sun and water (everything the flowers need to grow).
  • Crystal Palace Park (pictured) – if you’ve got a dinosaur fan in the house, a trip to here would make an epic afternoon. There are huge dinosaur sculptures – the remains of a Victorian theme park. These aren’t for climbing because they’re grade 1 monuments, but with a pair of binoculars children can go on a pre-historic safari.

Photo: Crystal Palace dinosaurs | Matt Brown | CC BY | Flickr

3 park-loving boroughs

There’s data behind our final selection. Essential Living did an interesting study on the greenest London boroughs, and they created a Green Space Score based on criteria like percentage of green outdoor space as well as factors like happiness with green space.

  • Richmond – Green Space Score: 48.84
  • Hillingdon – Green Space Score: 46.77
  • Bromley – Green Space Score: 45.38

Photo: Richmond Hill | Ian Thompson | Unsplash

Want to learn more about London’s commitment to our green spaces? Read our article: London declared UK’s “greenest” city. Or if you're looking for more parks and green spaces to walk with your bestie: Wipe your paws: best homes for dog walks.

Who wouldn't want to live in walking distance of a London park or green space? If you're create a profile on My Foxtons, you can include proximity to parks in your preferences, and our network of local offices will keep an eye out for your ideal home.

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