Best London Gardens: Green Oasis in the Heart of the City

London may seem like a concrete jungle at first glance, but it is actually home to many green spaces. For those looking for a more intimate or unique outdoor experience, London boasts a wealth of gardens, both large and small. These gardens are perfect for picnics, basking in the sun, and escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In this article, readers will discover the best gardens in London, including secret gardens, gardens within palaces and stately homes, and tips for visiting these beautiful spots. A map is also provided to help readers plan their garden-hopping adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • London has many green spaces, including a variety of gardens for visitors to explore.
  • The best gardens in London include both large and small spaces, perfect for picnics and relaxation.
  • This article provides tips and a map to help readers plan their garden-hopping adventure in London.

Best Gardens in London

London is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world, each with their own unique charm and character. From the highest roof garden to the most famous flower patch, here are some of the best gardens to visit in London:

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is a must-visit for anyone looking for a breathtaking view of London. Located on the highest rooftop in the city, this garden boasts of a stunning view of the city skyline. Visitors can take in the views while enjoying a glass of prosecco from the bar. The garden is home to many gorgeous plants and flowers, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is one of the most famous botanical gardens in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. With over 30,000 species of plants spread across 300 acres, this garden is a true wonder. Visitors can explore the various gardens, including the Palm House, the Temperate House, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Kew Gardens is a perfect place to spend a day with family and friends.

Kyoto Garden

London’s Kyoto Garden is a peaceful oasis inspired by traditional Japanese gardens. Donated by the city of Kyoto in the 90s, this garden is a perfect spot for anyone seeking a zen kind of place to do some reflection. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll and explore the garden’s various features, including a waterfall, a pond, and a bridge. The garden is best explored slowly, so it’s recommended to leave an afternoon to see it.

Chelsea Physic Garden

The Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the more unique gardens to visit in London. Established in 1673 by the “Worshipful Society of Apothecaries,” this garden has a focus on the scientific side of plants, including their medicinal uses. Visitors can explore the garden’s various sections, including the Garden of World Medicine, the Pharmaceutical Garden, and the Garden of Edible and Useful Plants.

Isabella Plantation

Located in Richmond Park, the Isabella Plantation is a flower garden that is packed full of dreamy flowers like colourful azaleas. It’s a perfect spot for inspiration for your own garden or just as an Insta backdrop. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll and explore the garden’s various features, including ponds, streams, and woodland.

Queen Mary’s Garden

If you’re looking for a rose garden in London, then Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park is the place to be. With over 12,000 roses of more than 85 different types, this garden is a true delight for rose lovers. The garden is named after Queen Mary, wife of King George V, who was a great lover of roses. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll and explore the garden’s various features, including fountains, an ornamental lake, and a pergola.

London’s gardens are a true delight for nature lovers. Each garden has its own unique charm and character, making them a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a family day out.

Secret Gardens in London

London is a city that is full of surprises, and one of the best ways to discover its hidden gems is by visiting its secret gardens. From the Barbican Conservatory to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, there are plenty of green spaces to explore. Here are some of the best secret gardens in London:

Barbican Conservatory

The Barbican Conservatory is the city’s largest conservatory after Kew Gardens, and it only opens up on some Sundays. This tropical garden in London is well worth checking out, with its impressive collection of exotic plants and trees.

Streatham Rookery

The Streatham Rookery is a pretty and petite London garden that is perfect for escaping the city crowds. With its beautiful pond and perfectly landscaped hedges, it’s a great spot for grabbing a bit of peace and quiet.

Postman’s Park

Postman’s Park is a picturesque garden north of St Paul’s Cathedral that is more than just a pretty face. Its moving ‘Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice’ is dedicated to people who lost their lives trying to save others. This is one of the best free gardens to visit in London.

St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstan in the East is a unique garden that is slowly being reclaimed by the plants and flowers around it. This former church site is exceptionally beautiful and interesting, making it a favourite lunch spot for local workers.

Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace is a royal residence that is now managed by English Heritage and open to the public. With 19 acres of beautiful gardens to enjoy, visitors can explore the rock garden, water pools, and historic bridge. There’s even a play area inspired by the travels of former owners Stephen and Virginia Courtauld.

Coombe Wood, Croydon

Coombe Wood in Croydon is a picturesque garden that is inspired by the woodlands and opened back in 1948. It’s one of the most delightful spring gardens in London, thanks to its abundance of flowers and pretty stream.

The Secret Garden in Brockwell Park

The Secret Garden in Brockwell Park is a beautiful old walled English garden that was once the kitchen garden for the (now demolished) mansion on site. With roses and other plants galore, this gem is well worth checking out before the secret gets out.

Hampstead Hill Garden + Pergola

Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola is a charming, overgrown pergola that overlooks West Heath. In spring, wisteria snakes its way around the pergola’s columns, making it even more beautiful. With its relaxing vibes and beautiful plants, this garden also offers a lovely view out over London.

Rembrandt Gardens in Little Venice

The Rembrandt Gardens in Little Venice are a lovely place for a stroll or a lazy picnic. The tulips were donated to the garden by the City of Amsterdam in the 1970s, and there’s plenty of inviting green lawn as well as other plants and flowers to enjoy.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden at the Southbank centre is a beautiful spot to enjoy a drink, admire the flowers and take in the view of London. It’s also maintained by a group of volunteers recovering from issues like homelessness and mental illness, making it a place that’s more than worthy of your support.

Myddelton House Gardens

Myddelton House Gardens were designed by Edward Bowles, who was a definite gardening addict. To this day, they are one of the most popular gardens in London, with eight acres of beautiful gardens to explore.

Phoenix Gardens

Phoenix Garden is a community garden that gives the area a much-needed injection of green space and community spirit. Nestled between Soho and Covent Garden, it’s a not-for-profit that relies on donations, making it a great place to support.

Embankment Gardens

The Embankment Gardens are a strip of lawns and lush flower beds along Embankment that are easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in London’s centre. Some of the flowers on display are truly beautiful, and there are some curious statues and fountains to discover.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens

The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were once a place of extreme debauchery, where Victorians would go to visit prostitutes, watch lewd theatre and get into fights. These days, they’re a sprawling run of lawns and more secluded spots where you can discover some curious flora among the flowerbeds. They even have a city farm, making them a peaceful and wholesome spot to visit.

Gardens in London: Palaces + Stately Homes

London is home to some of the most beautiful and historic gardens in the world. Many of these gardens are found in the city’s palaces and stately homes. Here are some of the best:

Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Hampton Court Palace Gardens is one of the most impressive gardens in London. It covers over 60 acres and is filled with perfectly manicured hedges, imposing statues, and beautiful flowers. One of the highlights of the garden is the famous maze, which is great fun for both kids and adults.

Fenton House

Fenton House is a beautiful stately home located near Hampstead Heath. The house was built in the 1600s and is surrounded by a gorgeous garden filled with flowers, apple orchards, and bee habitats. Visitors can even purchase honey from the gift shop.

Ham House Garden

Ham House Garden is a stunning garden located in Ham. The garden is filled with flowers and visitors can join a free tour to learn more about the different types of flowers in the garden.

St. John’s Lodge Gardens

St. John’s Lodge Gardens is a hidden gem located in Regent’s Park. The garden dates back over 200 years and has served as gardens to a private residence, a hospital for officers wounded in the first world war, and the HQ of the Institute of Archaeology. Visitors can see a Grade II listed bronze statue of a young woman holding a goat, which was donated by the National Council for Animal Welfare in the thirties.

Kensington Palace Gardens

Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most beautiful gardens in London. The garden is located near the palace and is filled with beautiful flowers. Visitors can enjoy the garden for free, but there is an entrance fee to visit the palace.

Buckingham Palace Gardens

Buckingham Palace Gardens is a must-visit for anyone interested in the royal family. The garden is stunning and home to one of the most beautiful rose gardens in London. However, the garden is only open in the summer months.

Syon House Gardens

Syon House Gardens is a beautiful garden located in Greater London’s last remaining ducal estate. The garden is a favorite of filmmakers and has been featured in shows like Downton Abbey, Killing Eve, and Poirot. Visitors will be impressed by the garden’s beauty and historic significance.

Fulham Palace Gardens

Fulham Palace Gardens is a combination of beautiful “pleasure gardens” and “kitchen gardens” where herbs and spices were grown. The garden dates back to the 17th century and is one of the most historic and beautiful gardens in London. Best of all, entrance is free.

London’s palaces and stately homes are home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Visitors can enjoy the beauty and history of these gardens while exploring some of London’s most impressive landmarks.

Tips for Visiting London’s Gardens

When planning a visit to London’s gardens, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, consider becoming a member of the National Trust or English Heritage as they manage several of the gardens and members can enter for free. Overseas visitors can also sign up for temporary overseas membership. Secondly, it is often cheaper and easier to book tickets online for gardens with entry fees, avoiding crowds and saving a few pounds. Finally, joining a garden tour can be a fun and informative way to explore the gardens and pick up some tips for your own garden or houseplant.

Best Gardens in London: Map

Check out the map for locations of featured gardens.

  • Click here for the map.

  • Easily navigate through London’s best gardens with the interactive map.

  • Plan your visit to multiple gardens in one day with the map.