Parks in London: A Guide to the Best Green Spaces in the City

London is a city that boasts of an impressive number of green spaces, so much so that it is classified as a forest by the UN. With so many parks to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. However, worry not as this article has got you covered. The following paragraphs will introduce you to the best parks in London, organized by area, so you can easily plan your next picnic or stroll.

Whether you’re in Central, West, South, North, or East London, there is a park for you. This guide will provide practical information and a map to help you navigate your way through London’s green spaces. So, pack your picnic basket and get ready to explore the gorgeous parks that London has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • London is a city with an abundance of green spaces, classified as a forest by the UN.
  • This article introduces the best parks in London, organized by area, with practical information and a map provided.
  • Whether you’re in Central, West, South, North, or East London, there is a park for you to enjoy.

The Best Parks in London: Parks in Central London

St James’s Park

St James’s Park is a stunning green space in central London, covering approximately 23 hectares. It is surrounded by some of the city’s most notable landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster, The Mall, and Horse Guards Parade. Despite being in the heart of the city, the park is a peaceful and picturesque retreat.

Bird watchers are particularly fond of St James’s Park, as it features a large lake with two islands that attract a variety of birds, including pelicans, waterfowl, and ducks. The lake, islands, and birds make for a beautiful sight and a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Green Park

Green Park is a lovely oasis in the centre of London, covering about 40 acres. It is one of the “royal parks” of London, and its name is fitting, as it is a lush green space with plenty of trees and no lakes. Unlike its past, which was known for being a hotspot for highwaymen and thieves, it is now a peaceful park with a network of trails that lead visitors through the greenery.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is the largest of the four royal parks in central London and is probably the most famous. It covers a massive area and is home to many events throughout the year. People can present on various topics at Speaker’s Corner, and the park has hosted open-air rock shows featuring the likes of Queen.

Hyde Park was first established by Henry VIII in 1536, but it wasn’t open to the general public until a century later. Today, it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens is a beautiful park in central London, covering over 270 acres. It was once the gardens of Kensington Palace, which still sits in the middle of the park. The trails take visitors past many interesting species of flora and fauna, making it a great place for a peaceful stroll.

Although Kensington Gardens began as the westernmost part of Hyde Park, it is now a separate park, and there is somewhat of a friendly rivalry between the two. Both are beautiful and worth visiting.

St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstan in the East is an unusual yet beautiful park in London. It was once the site of a 12th-century church that was destroyed during World War II. Rather than restore the building, the area was turned into a park, and the result is a unique and striking green space.

The sight of plants gradually reclaiming the grand building is a beautiful and peaceful sight to behold.

Holland Park

Holland Park is a must-visit park for flower lovers. It features many different beautiful gardens, including the first place in the UK to grow dahlias. The Japanese Kyoto Garden is also a highlight, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy open-air concerts and theatre shows. The New Design Museum, located on the corner of the park, is also worth a visit.

Chelsea Embankment Gardens

Chelsea Embankment Gardens is a small yet perfectly formed park located alongside the River Thames. It offers a peaceful escape from the upscale neighbourhood of Chelsea, which is known for its handsome houses and chic coffee shops.

The park features numerous statues, lawns, and flower beds, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists. Visitors can also enjoy people-watching as they explore the affluent neighbourhood of Chelsea.

The Best Parks in London: Parks in West London

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is one of the largest green spaces in London, covering more than 955 acres. As a “royal park,” it is also one of the most charming parks in West London. One of the park’s unique features is the large flock of deer that wander around the park, delighting visitors. Historically, the deer were introduced for hunting, but today they are a beloved attraction. With about 650 wild deer within the park, it is a perfect place to connect with nature.

Bushy Park

Bushy Park is the second-largest of the “Royal Parks” and one of the most significant scientifically. Covering more than 445 hectares, it is a great place to connect with nature and enjoy a variety of activities. The park has been designated as both a “site of special scientific interest” and grade I heritage, making it pretty special. There are many different species of flora and fauna to explore, and the park offers everything from model boating to horseriding and rugby. The park was also the home of the very first Parkrun, which has now spread around the world.

Ealing Common

Ealing Common is a beautiful park in West London, and it’s a great choice for cricket fans. Centuries ago, it was considered the premier cricket club in London, hosting high-brow events and competitions. Today, the park is gorgeous, with chestnut trees lining many of the paths, and a colorful rose garden in the southwest corner. It’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of West London.

Pitshanger Park

Pitshanger Park is a pretty space in the Brent River Park in Ealing, bordered to the north by the River Brent. It may not be the biggest park in West London, but it’s certainly one of the quietest and best places to chill out with a book and a beer under the sun. The park’s flourishing wildlife and serene atmosphere make it a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Ravenscourt Park

Ravenscourt Park is one of the most historical parks in the capital and one of the most picturesque. The 32-acre park takes its name from Thomas Corbett, who bought the house and garden in 1747, naming it after the raven on his coat of arms. Today, it’s a sprawling urban park that is popular with locals when the temperature hits double figures. With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Ravenscourt Park is one of the best parks London has to offer.

The Best Parks in London: Parks in South London

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is a stunning park that has been around for centuries. It is one of the oldest parks in southeast London, dating back to the 15th century. The park has many trails, and visitors can enjoy the beautiful views of the city from the top of the hill. The Queen’s House is also nearby. It was almost turned into a railway line in the 1850s, but the people of London revolted, and it remains a protected green space to this day.


Blackheath is one of the prettiest parks in London, with a grim history. It is believed to have served as a burial ground during London plagues in the 14th and 17th centuries. Despite its spooky past, the park is full of flora and fauna, and it is a great place to people-watch. The park was created in the 19th century and is located in one of London’s fancier areas.

Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park is one of the most beautiful parks in south London and attracts over four million visitors every year. The park covers 50 acres and is one of the highest points in London, providing visitors with stunning views of the city. The park is also home to many species of birds and bats. It has tennis courts and a running track, making it a popular spot for fitness enthusiasts.

Dulwich Park

Dulwich Park is a beautiful green space that has a community-like feel. It has amenities such as football pitches, playgrounds, and tennis courts, as well as a boat lake. The park is particularly stunning in the spring when it is overflowing with colorful blooms.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common has been a hub for community life since 1890 and is one of the best-known parks in south London. The park is a mix of natural and architectural treasures, with the 18th century Holy Trinity Church on one side and a handful of beautiful old Victorian and Georgian manors on the other. The park has numerous amenities, including a running track, football field, and cricket pitch. The large bandstand is the largest in London and hosts a number of open-air concerts throughout the year.

Tooting Bec (Tooting Common)

Tooting Bec is a picturesque park made up of two parks, Tooting Bec and Tooting Graveney. Tooting Bec is slightly larger and offers 62 acres of foliage-rich parkland. The park is particularly famous for its picturesque, tree-lined avenues, making it a great place to take a stroll.

Battersea Park

Battersea Park is a beautiful park located along the Thames. The park covers 83 hectares and is home to a children’s zoo, a Buddhist pagoda, and an art gallery. Visitors can also enjoy a thrilling adventure at Go Ape.

Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Park is a beautiful park that was named after the crystal palace that was destroyed by fire in the 30s. The park is home to many striking plants and trees, a dilapidated Victorian theme park, and huge dinosaur statues. Visitors can also explore the disused Victorian Subway, which is only open three times a year for restorative work.

In conclusion, south London has some of the most beautiful parks in London. From Greenwich Park to Crystal Palace Park, each park offers something unique and stunning. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful views, flora, and fauna, and amenities such as tennis courts, running tracks, and boat lakes.

The Best Parks in London: Parks in North London

Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is one of the most popular parks in London, covering over 165 hectares of land. The park houses the ZSL Zoo, a Japanese Garden Island, a boating lake, walking trails, and an open-air theatre. It is a perfect destination for a day out in London.

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a vast park covering more than 320 hectares of land. It features a running track, lido, playgrounds, a pond, and woodlands. The park offers one of the highest views of London, which is protected by law. Hampstead Heath is an ideal place to get lost in the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park is not the largest park in London, but it is one of the most diverse, covering 80 hectares of land. The park features many different areas that are easily explorable. It also hosts many events, including an excellent farmer’s market most weeks.

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is one of the prettiest parks in north London, originally a hunting venue for Henry VIII. The park is renowned for its beautiful views over central London. Besides the view, the park also features a gym, playground, and plenty of walking and cycling trails.

Clissold Park

Clissold Park and House is a beautiful and expansive park in North London, situated in Hackney. The park has been open to the public since 1889 and has held a prestigious Green Flag Award for more than 15 years. It features a paddling pool, fountains, and pretty gardens. The park is also filled with birds, goats, and a herd of fallow deer that visitors might catch a glimpse of.

In conclusion, these parks offer a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From the beautiful views of Primrose Hill to the diverse areas of Alexandra Park, there is something for everyone in these parks.

The Best Parks in London: Parks in East London

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is a historic park that has been a beloved spot for Londoners since the 19th century. It is known as “the People’s Park” because it was one of the first parks accessible to working-class people in London. Today, it is a popular destination for people from all over the city and beyond.

The park covers a vast area of 88 hectares and has plenty of facilities for visitors to enjoy. There are two cafes, a lido (pool), and a cricket pitch. Moreover, the park hosts numerous events, including concerts and protests.

London Fields

London Fields is one of the oldest parks in south London, dating back to the 12th century. It is a modern park that has become popular with young Londoners from the up-and-coming southeast. The park has many attractions, such as table tennis and a foodie market, making it one of the best-loved parks in east London.

Lee Valley Regional Park

Lee Valley Regional Park is a vast park that spans across multiple counties and covers an area of 10,000 acres. It is an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors and want to experience a little slice of the countryside in London. The park has numerous walking and cycling trails, as well as activities such as ice skating, horse riding, and a sporting center used during the 2012 Olympics.

Wanstead Park

Wanstead Park is a picturesque park that is perfect for enjoying London’s warmer weather. The park was once surrounded by Wanstead House, a grand building that resembled a palace, but the house no longer stands. However, the park remains as impressive as it once was. The park covers a sprawling green space and features The Temple, a visitors center turned into an art and history exhibition space.

Overall, these four parks offer a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a peaceful stroll or an action-packed day, these parks have something for everyone.

London Parks: Practical Information + Map

Which is the Most Beautiful Park in London?

St. James’s Park is considered the most beautiful park in London. It is located in front of Buckingham Palace, and its picturesque location adds to its beauty.

How Many Parks are in London?

London has numerous parks, making it difficult to count them all. However, there are eight Royal Parks in London, five of which are located in Central London.

Which is the Biggest Park in London?

Richmond Park is the largest park in London, followed by Bushy Park, Regent’s Park, and Hyde Park. It is important to note that the opening hours of the parks vary, and some are open 24 hours, while others have set hours. It is best to check ahead to avoid getting locked in. Additionally, it is recommended to bring a plastic-bottomed picnic mat when bringing a picnic to the parks to avoid a soggy bottom due to London’s unpredictable weather.

London Parks Map

London is known for its beautiful parks and green spaces. Here are some of the most popular parks in London:

Park NameLocationFeatures
Hyde ParkCentral LondonSerpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner, Diana Memorial Fountain
Regent’s ParkCentral LondonLondon Zoo, Open Air Theatre, Queen Mary’s Gardens
Greenwich ParkSouth East LondonRoyal Observatory, Greenwich Meridian Line, Deer Park
St James’s ParkCentral LondonBuckingham Palace, Pelicans, Horse Guards Parade
Richmond ParkSouth West LondonDeer Park, Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge
Hampstead HeathNorth LondonParliament Hill, Ponds, Kenwood House

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in these parks such as picnicking, jogging, cycling, and even boating. With so many parks to choose from, there is always a green space to explore in London.