Spring is on its way, and in order to get through the misery of the storms and the current chilly weather, it’s nice to look forward to days spent in the sunshine outside. Why not start planning a trip somewhere over the Easter period to enjoy new scenery and the great outdoors when the temperature warms up a little and you can shed a few layers exploring new places? London might not be your first thought when considering green areas, but, in fact, it has some of the best parks in the country, with lots to explore and the city right there if you tire of grass and trees. Here are some of the best green spaces in London:
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in the city and has been a public park since the late 1600s following Henry VIII’s ownership of it as a deer hunting ground. There are often concerts and events held here during the summer months, and its massive 1.5-mile length makes it the perfect place for big crowds and epic sounds. On a normal day it’s simply a wonderful place for a stroll or even a ride on a horse. There are beautiful flowers, statues and fountains, and you can easily lose a whole day here picnicking or just exploring all the corners.
Clapham is just to the south west of central London and is home to one of the best parks the city has to offer. Clapham Common has some top sports equipment, two playgrounds and a skate park as well as plenty of open space to soak up the sun or run around with kids. The piece de resistance here is the recently restored bandstand where you can enjoy many open-air concerts, back to full glory having fallen into disrepair in the 1960s. Clapham is a great base for exploring other areas of Greater and Central London too, so why not book into Clapham Junction Travelodge for easy access to all transport networks and the city.
Hampstead Heath is huge and is unlike any other London park. Far from the impeccably kept lawns and topiary of some of the royal parks, the Heath is disheveled and much more like a field somewhere in the countryside than a park in the capital of the UK. The total area of Hampstead Heath is 791 acres, and this is composed of swimming ponds, woodland and fields so there is always something new to discover. The idea is eventually to have sheep grazing here to cut the grass rather than using a mower, adding to its rustic feel. Venture up Parliament Hill for some excellent views and a great spot to stop and reflect or eat lunch.
Don’t think of London as grey and built up; there are many incredible open spaces with plenty to be explored. The parks rival the open countryside, but they have the bonus of events and activities as well as having the excitement and facilities of the city within easy reach.