Parks, Gardens & Open Spaces

 With the eight London Royal parks covering over 4,882 acres it is no wonder that over 38% of London is open green space.  This compares with 14% of New York 9.4% of Paris.  With the city's fashionable London garden square's and a wide variety of parks, you will always find a green space to sit, relax and soak-in your surroundings.

120 Fenchurch Street Roof Garden                                                

Fen Court, 120 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 5BA

Admission: Free                     

Tube: Monument    Train: Fenchurch Street

Location Map:

The latest roof garden to open in the City.  Free of charge to enter but you might have to wait if the garden is very busy.

The current opening times are;

Monday to Friday 10:00 to 18:30

Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 17:00

Check their website to confirm times and if they open on Bank Holidays.

Sky Garden                                                

20 Fenchurch Street, 1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF

Admission: Free                     

Tube: Monument    Train: Fenchurch Street

Location Map:

The famous enlarged glass dome of 20 Fenchurch Street (aka Walkie Talkie building) is dedicated to three storeys of exquisitely landscaped public gardens and London’s most exclusive social spaces, including observation decks and an open air terrace. 

Admission is free but you must book online as entry is limited.  Visits are limited to one hour so make sure you are not late for your time slot.

Battersea Park            

Battersea, SW11 4NJ

Admission: Free                    

Train: Battersea Park   

Location Map:

200 acre Victorian Park with Children’s Zoo, Lake, and café situated on the south bank of the River Thames (there is an admission charge for the Children's Zoo but the park is free to enter).

Postman's Park                 

St Martin's Le-Grand, EC1A

Admission: Free                    

Tube: St Paul's

Location Map:

Home of The Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice by George Frederick Watts built in 1900. A shady garden which provides an attractive alternative to the busy City streets with a pathway weaving through the garden from east to west. Take a seat on one of the many benches that surrounds the seasonal bedding display that features as a centrepiece to the garden.

Woodberry Wetlands                

New River Path, 226 Lordship Road, N16 5HQ

Admission: Free                    

Tube: Manor House    Train:  Stamford Hill

Location Map:

Woodberry Wetlands as actually an operating reservoir originally constructed in 1833 and closed to public access ever since. Working Thames Water, London Wildlife Trust has carefully built a urban wetland oasis rich in wildlife.

Granary Square      

King's Cross, N1C 4AB

Telephone: 020 3479 1795

Admission: Free                    

Tube / Train: King's Cross / St Pancras International

Location Map:

Hands down the most popular thing for kids to do at King’s Cross is to splash and play in the fountains at Granary Square.

There are an incredible 1,080 choreographed jets, each individually controlled and lit. The jets squirt and splash in patterns, surprising and delighting kids of all ages. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a warm day. Even a bit of cloud and a chill in the air usually isn’t enough to stop a kid’s urge to take their socks off and get wet.

Granary Square fountains are open daily from 07.40am – 23.30pm.

Brompton Cemetery     

Old Brompton Road, SW10

Admission: Free                    

Underground: West Brompton   

Location Map:

Buried at the cemetery are people from all walks of life, including thirteen holders of the Victorian Cross, Chelsea Pensioners and the community of West London. The cemetery provides a rare haven of peace, beauty and tranquillity.

Bushy Park              

Hampton Court Road, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2EJ

Admission: Free                    

Train: Hampton Court or Hampton Wick   

Location Map:

Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Bushy Park, the second largest of the capital's eight Royal Parks.  The park is located just north of Hampton Court Palace and has been settled for over 4,000 years. 

Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow      

Thorney Mill Road, West Drayton, Hillingdon, UB7 7PF

Telephone: 01895 448028

Admission: Free                    

Train: West Drayton

Location Map:

Alongside flower-rich Mabey's Meadow and accessible only by footbridges, the willow woodland of Fray's Island provides a perfect spot to see the beautiful River Colne and perhaps catch a glimpse of a kingfisher.

Alive with insect life, flower-filled Mabey's Meadow is astonishingly colourful in the summer, and orchids thrive in an adjoining area outside the reserve.

Green Park                                         

Constitution Hill, SW1

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Green Park   

Location Map:

A haven from the frantic city life.  Popular for sunbathing in the summer and just chilling out and just next to Buckingham Palace.

Greenwich Park             

Greenwich SE10

Admission: Free                    

Docklands Light Railway: Greenwich or Cutty Sark   

Location Map:

Covering 74 hectares (183 acres), Greenwich is the oldest Royal Park and home to a small her of Fallow and Red deer. Situated on top of a hill, visitors enjoy sweeping views across the River Thames to St Paul's Cathedral and beyond.

The park is the home of the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House (all three of these attractions are listed in this web site).

Camley Street Natural Park      

12 Camley Street, N1C 4PW

Telephone: 020 7833 2311

Admission: Free                    

Underground and Train: St Pancras or King's Cross

Location Map:

Two unique acres of wild green space right in the heart of London, this innovative and internationally acclaimed reserve on the banks of the Regent's Canal is a place for both people and wildlife.

Camley Street Natural Park was created from an old coal yard back in 1984. It sits in the middle of King’s Cross, alongside the sparkling new Eurostar station at St Pancras

It is popular with all kinds of people seeking respite from the buzz of the city around them, as well as being a hub for London Wildlife Trust volunteers. Individuals are welcome to drop in during opening hours.

The reserve has a visitor centre and provides natural habitat for birds, butterflies, amphibians and a rich variety of plant life.

Hampstead Heath              

London NW3

Admission: Free                              

Underground: Hampstead/Tufnell Park/Belsize Park   

Location Map:

Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces, situated just six kilometres from Trafalgar Square. An island of beautiful countryside, the magic of Hampstead Heath lies not only in its rich wildlife and extensive sports and recreational opportunities, but also in its proximity and accessibility to millions of people.

There is a zoo, an athletics track, an education centre, extensive children's facilities, three swimming ponds and a Lido.

Hyde Park               

London W2

Admission: Free        

Underground: Hyde Park Corner or Lancaster Gate   

Location Map:

Over 350 acres of some of the finest landscapes in London and including the Serpentine and the Diana Memorial Fountain.

Kensington Gardens            

London W8

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Lancaster Gate or Queensway   

Location Map:

Kensington Gardens sits in between Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.  Places to visit within the gardens are;

  • Albert Memorial
  • Italian Garden
  • Diana Memorial Playground
  • The Arch by Henry Moore
  • The Allotment in Kensington Gardens
  • The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Wales 

Lincoln’s Inn Fields     

Newman’s Row, WC2A

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Bethnal Green   

Location Map:

Famously laid out by Indigo Jones in the 17th century and later enclosed in 1735 under an Act of Parliament. At one time it was popular for duellists but is more noted for the minor speaker's corner to which aspiring advocates used to practice for their future careers.

In the years of Inigo Jones the square was the most fashionable in London.

St James’s Park           

London SW1

Admission: Free                    

Underground: St James’s Park    Train: Victoria   

Location Map:

470 years ago, the St James's area was known mainly for farms, woods and a hospital for women lepers.  Now the park is the heart of London, a great place to walk and relax.

Richmond Park                  

Richmond, Surrey TW10 5HS

Admission: Free

Train/Underground: Richmond      

Location Map:

Richmond Park is the largest of London's eight Royal Parks and is the largest enclosed space within the capital.  You can find herds of Red and Fallow deer along with Pembroke Lodge and the Isabella Plantation. 

Wanstead Flats     

Wanstead, Essex

Admission: Free

Underground: Wanstead  Train: Wanstead Park or Manor Park     

Location Map:

Wanstead Flats is a large area of open grassland in the south of the forest, perfect for sports, picnics and enjoying nature. The Flats are also the home of Jubilee Pond, restored in 2002, and the easy access path that encircles it.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park            

Stratford, E20

Telephone: 0800 0722 110

Admission: Free        

Underground/DLR/Rail: Stratford   

Location Map:

Formerly the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the park is gradually reopening to the public. 

Stave Hill Ecological Park     

Timber Pond Road, Rotherhithe SE16 6AX

Admission: Free

Underground: Canada Water  Train: Rotherhithe    

Location Map:

Stave Hill Ecological Park is a 5.2 acre nature area located on the site of Stave Dock in the centre of the former Surrey Commercial Dock, a few minutes walk from historic Rotherhithe and just over the river from Canary Wharf.

The site was offered to the Trust for Urban Ecology in early 1984 by the London Docklands Development Corporation as a replacement for the William Curtis Ecological Park, Britain's first urban nature park. Landscaping work began in 1986 and the park was handed over to the Trust in 1988.

Regents Park            

London NW1

Admission: Free                    

Underground: Baker Street or Regents Park   

Location Map:

Well known for being the home to the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo, Regents Park covers 410 acres and includes stunning rose gardens and excellent sports facilities.

Morden Hall Park - National Trust    

Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD

Telephone: 020 8545 6850

Admission: Free

Underground: Morden      Tramlink: Phipps Bridge     

Location Map:

Morden Hall Park is green oasis in the city, giving you a taste of a country estate with a glimpse of its agricultural and industrial history. This tranquil former deer park is one of the few remaining estates that used to line the River Wandle during its industrial heyday.

The river meanders through the park creating a haven for wildlife. The snuff mills, which generated the park's income in the past, survive to this day. We've renovated the western mill, and it's now used as a learning centre.

Alexandra Palace Park    

Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY

Telephone: 020 8365 2121

Admission: Free

Underground: Wood Green or Finsbury Park     Train: Alexandra Palace

Location Map:

The People’s Park boasts panoramic views of London’s skyline which are second to none. These breathtaking views stretch from Canary Wharf to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard, and really must be seen to be believed. On a clear day can you believe that the view stretches even further afield with Crystal Palace’s transmitter being visible on the horizon.

There is a pitch and putt course, a boating lake, delicious outdoor eateries and an excellent weekly Farmer’s Market, a deer and skate park, walking routes, ornamental walkways, landscaped gardens and even a soft play adventure playground to entertain the kids! 

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park    

Thames Path, John Harrison Way, SE10 0QZ

Telephone: 020 8293 1904

Admission: Free

Underground: North Greenwich      Train: Westcombe Park

Location Map:

The Park opens to the public every day except Monday and Tuesday, at 10am and closes at 5pm or dusk, whichever comes first.

The Peninsula area became heavily industrialised from the late 1880s onwards. English Partnerships bought the land in 1997 and set in place a massive regeneration project, which included the creation of the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park as a freshwater habitat.

The Park is made up of an inner and outer lake. The outer lake area has open access at all times. The inner lake area is accessible only through the Gatehouse during opening hours.

Holland Park                 

Ilchester Place, W8

Telephone: 020 7361 3000

Admission: Free

Underground: Kensington High Street or Holland Park

Location Map:

The Royal Borough’s largest park with 22.5 hectares of gardens, children’s play facilities, sports areas, a cafeteria and large areas of woodland abundant with wildlife. Contained within the park is the beautiful Kyoto Garden; a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.

Centre for Wildlife Gardening        

28 Marsden Road, SE15 4EE

Telephone: 020 7252 9186

Admission: Free

Train: East Dulwich

Location Map:

An idyllic garden within a quiet residential street, the centre has an award-winning visitor centre offering practical advice to city gardeners. It's the perfect place to both learn and relax, and our new nature trail is great for kids.

A favourite place to visit for local families, gardeners and wildlife watchers from further afield, the Centre for Wildlife Gardening in Peckham has developed beyond all recognition over the last 25 years.

It was originally an old council depot, but it is now home to an award-winning visitors' centre demonstrating innovative environmental building techniques, which provides a base for school parties.

Totteridge Fields        

Hendon Wood Lane, Totteridge, Barnet, NW7 4HR

Telephone: 07973 825165

Admission: Free

Train: Totteridge & Whetstone

Location Map:

Part of London's last remaining tracts of traditional countryside, Totteridge Fields and its surrounds make a beautiful place for a spring or summer walk.

Ancient hay meadows are criss-crossed by hawthorn and blackthorn hedgerows. Bright with blossom in spring, these provide excellent nesting and feeding sites for birds.

The fields are a riot of colour in the summer, when grasses and flowers - including meadow-sweet, hardheads and buttercups - bloom.

Walpole Park        

Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ

Telephone: 020 8825 7444

Admission: Free

Tube: Ealing Broadway      Train: Ealing Broadway

Location Map:

Walpole Park was officially handed over to the public in 1901, but its historical significance dates back to 1800 when Pitzhanger Manor and approximately 28 acres of surrounding land were sold to Sir John Soane for the sum of £4,500. In September 2013, a major project began to reveal the park’s connection to Sir John Soane’s legacy, as well as restore the park’s buildings and landscape for all visitors to enjoy.

The park facilities include a walled kitchen garden, The Rickyard learning and education centre, a new playground, green open spaces, plus a café and toilet facilities. 

Brockwell Park        

Norwood Road, SE24 9BJ

Telephone: 020 7926 1000

Admission: Free

Train: Herne Hill

Location Map:

Brockwell Park is a large, historic park located between Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill. As well as ornamental ponds, formal flower beds, a walled 'Old English' herbaceous flower garden and a charming 19th century clock tower, Brockwell Park contains a number of historic buildings, including Brockwell Hall and the Brockwell Lido.

Urban London Beach        

Royal Dock's, Docklands

Telephone: 0207 511 5086

Admission: Free

Docklands Light Railway: Royal Victoria      Emirates Air Line: Royal Victoria

Location Map:

A chance to enjoy a sandy beach in the middle of London's Docklands.  Lazing in a deckchair, build a sandcastle or enjoy an ice cream.

Open: Summer school holidays.

Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve        

Old Farleigh Road, Farleigh, Croydon

Telephone: 020 8726 6900

Admission: Free

Train: Riddlesdown

Location Map:

Woodlands, open meadows and ponds can all be found in Selsdon Wood Nature Reserve.

Wormwood Scrubs Park        

Scrubs Lane, W12 0DF

Telephone: 020 8748 3020

Admission: Free

Tube: East Acton

Location Map:

The 67 hectare open space is a tranquil area that is loved by local residents and visitors.

The 'Scrubs' as it is often referred to has about 18 hectares of tree cover and 22 hectares of long grass meadow with almost 100 species of birds spotted here and 250 species of wildflowers (one sixth of the UK flora). 

There is also an array of leisure facilities, including play areas, walking / cycling routes, sports pitches, model aircraft runway and much more.

Stephens House and Gardens         

17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE

Telephone: 020 8346 7812

Admission: Free

Tube: Finchley Central

Location Map:

The Gardens provide a mixed landscape and include a unique arboretum, a rockery, a bog garden, large park areas to play in and wooded areas to walk. They are a green oasis in suburban London.  The Gardens cover 10 acres and include a statute to the late Spike Milligan.

Bedfont Lakes Country Park        

Challenge Road, Feltham, TW15 1AX

Telephone: 0845 456 2796

Admission: Free

Tube: Hatton Cross      Train: Feltham

Location Map:

The ground is a closed landfill site contained by a clay cap and topsoil. In 1988 the area was landscaped and developed as a Country Park. The north side of the Park has flourished into an excellent habitat for flora and fauna, birds, bats and other wildlife species, but the land is divided by a railway track and the south side of the Park has only recently been opened up to the public and needs development to the same standard as the north side.

Kensington Roof Gardens        

99 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA (access via Derry Street)

Telephone: 020 7937 7994

Admission: Free

Tube: High Street Kensington

Location Map:

The gardens at The Roof Gardens are spectacular and best of all, they're open to the public to visit free of charge. The gardens are often hired for private events so we strongly recommend you phone ahead.

Based on the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, this garden has a distinct Moorish flavour.

You’ll be transported to a Spanish haven seemingly hundreds of miles away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. The garden is made up of colourful English plants and flowers as well as Mediterranean trees to give the garden a Spanish feel that will survive London winters.

The striking colours and modern layout are all from the original plan of the gardens from 1938.

    Picture: Hyde Park

Copyright Visit London for Free 2012-2018