The top 10 London gardens for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke. Don’t get us wrong, we love summer in London. We love a London pub or Hyde Park on a sunny day. But, we sometimes long for the cool spaces of the countryside when the heat gets too much. So how does a girl find a way to combine the best of both worlds? We hear that the good weather is back next week and with that in mind we’ve compiled a list of our favourite gardens in London- places to find a little safe haven on a summery day in the city.
1) KEW GARDENS
Being the largest collection of living plants and the most famous botanic garden in the world, this one is an obvious one. Yet while it’s not a hidden gem, it is a gem nonetheless. Boasting over 300 acres and over 30,000 different types of plants, this London garden seems like the perfect place to get lost in a flowery wilderness. There’s also a tree top walk and a new giant beehive installation. Perfect ‘for the kids’…
2) CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN
While it might not be the biggest, Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in London. It was established back in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (who still exist if you fancy a visit). The idea behind this London garden is the exploration of the medicinal, economic, and environmental importance of plants. But, for those who aren’t necessarily plant geeks it’s also a lovely place for a quiet stroll.
3) FULHAM PALACE GARDEN
One visitor wrote of Fulham Palace Garden that in any city other than London this garden would most definitely be a ‘must see’ attraction. It might not be the biggest or the best London garden but if you fancy stepping off the grid for a day out and exploring something new, this top London garden is an up and coming wonderland.
4) KYOTO JAPANESE GARDEN, HOLLAND PARK
Holland Park’s extensive grounds are an obvious choice for some London greenscape but perhaps, like me, you didn’t know about the Kyoto Japanese Garden hidden inside. Donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991, the Japanese garden in London includes tiered waterfalls, Japanese stone lanterns, and plenty of fish. Having never been to Japan, I can’t say how much it will feel as though you’ve been transported abroad, but I can say it looks pretty darn beautiful.
5) PHOENIX GARDEN
Located in St. Giles, behind the Phoenix Theatre, this top London garden sits between the bustling hubs of Soho and Covent Garden. Not grand by any means, Phoenix Garden is a local community garden. It has recently been closed for re-construction but is set to re-open this summer!
6) ISABELLA PLANTATION
This one is a personal favourite. While it’s located in Richmond Park, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a brisk walk from the station as it’s a bit of a way. But… totally worth it. Planted in the 1830s, the plantation is best known for it’s azaleas that line the ponds and streams. Dreamy.
7) MOUNT STREET GARDENS
Tucked away between two shops in Mayfair, this secret garden was once the local hang-out for General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill. The garden is said to have an unusually warm microclimate meaning that palm trees can thrive here… some have even referred to this spot as ‘tropical’. Don’t be put off by the fact that it used to be the home of a parish workhouse, we’re sure the vibe is much more relaxing now.
8) ST DUNSTAN IN THE EAST
This one isn’t necessarily a ‘garden’ as such, but it’s flowery and green and we thought it was pretty cool. The building, that used to be a parish church, has suffered through a lot in its time. After being severely damaged in the Great fire of London, the church was rebuilt and patched up only to be almost totally destroyed during the Blitz. After it was decided that the building would not be re-built again, it was turned into a public garden in 1967. It’s kind of spooky but also kind of beautiful… a bit of a twist on the classic London garden.
9) HAMPSTEAD PERGOLA AND HILL GARDENS
Often referred to as ‘the secret garden’, Hampstead Pergola and the Hill Gardens is undeniably a hidden treasure. The Pergola overlooks West Heath and in late spring is covered in beautiful Wisteria. The great views of London make it worth a visit to this garden all year round.
10) RICHMOND HILL
With beautiful sunny days come beautiful sun-kissed evenings. Richmond Hill is undeniably one of the most beautiful viewpoints in London, and the perfect place to enjoy a sunset drink. Being the only view to be protected by an Act of Parliament, you know it’s gonna be good.
With packed tubes and office blocks, it’s easy to moan when the sun comes out to play in London. The city, however, is full of green getaways… you just have to know where to find them.
Check out our London Gardens Pinterest board!