London hidden parks and gardens

Two sun loungers in a park

London has many green spaces and although people might be familiar with favorites like Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Greenwich Park to name but a few, there are many hidden gardens and parks waiting to be discovered not only by visitors to London but, often by people who have been living here for a long time and have not seen them yet.

View of Brown Hart Gardens in London
Starting in Central London in Mayfair, just around the corner from Oxford Street is Brown Hart Gardens; not a garden in the traditional sense, this paved Italian garden has been built on top of an electricity substation and it includes two stone pavilions, one at each end of the garden and a building housing a cafe very popular with workers in the area especially at lunchtime.To find out more about the history of the garden and other places in Mayfair a guided walk is highly recommended.

Cafe at Brown Hart Gardens

Nearby, the Ukrainian Cathedral (the full name is the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile) is also worth a visit.

View of the Ukrainian Cathedral
And still in Central London, many people walking down High Street Kensington might not be aware that pink flamingos are roaming around on the rooftop of one of the buildings on the street: welcome to Kensington Roof Gardens!

Pink flamingo in London

Accessed from Derry Street it includes three themed gardens: the Spanish Garden, the Tudor Garden and the English Woodland where the flamingos are normally found; the gardens are opened to the public and access is free during the day.

View of Kensington Roof Gardens

The Roof Gardens view

Part of Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s collection of unique retreats, the site is also home to the restaurant Babylon and a Private Members Club open Friday and Saturday nights.

At the Roof Gardens in London

Bridge and Babylon Restaurant
It might not have any flamingos but, Camley Street Natural Park is an oasis of tranquility a few yards away from St.Pancras International Station from where the Eurostar train travels to France and Belgium.

View of the Eurostar train

The area around Kings Cross Station has been redeveloped in recent years with the addition of a new roof to the main concourse of the station, the refurbishment of two hotels, the Great Northern and the Renaissance and the creation of London’s newest square: Granary Square.

View of Kings Cross station

The roof at Kings Cross Station

View of the St.Pancras Renaissance Hotel

View of Granary Square

Camley Street Natural Park is on the other side of the canal from Granary Square and it includes a number of shaded footpaths, a pond and spaces for picnics with views of the canal and the narrow boats that often are seen in this part of London.

View of Camley Street Nature Park

Footpath at Camley Street Park

The pond at Camley Street Park

The canal seen from Camley Street Park

When areas are redeveloped and new neighborhoods are created, great importance is given to green spaces as seen with the works done at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the London Olympics. With that in mind, in the late 90′s when the Greenwich Peninsula went through a big regeneration which included the construction of the Millennium Dome (now the O2) and the Greenwich Millennium Village, plans where made for the creation of the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park.

View from Greenwich Ecology Park

Open from Wednesday to Sunday the park is located near the Emirates Air Line cable car station and entrance is free. There are two lakes: the inner lake can only be accessed during opening hours while the outer lake can be accessed at all times.

Lake at Greenwich Ecology Park

Being a freshwater habitat, frogs, toads and newt can be found in the park together with a number of different species of birds. In spring and summer flowers can be seen along the boardwalks and in the lakes.

Boardwalk at Greenwich Ecology Park

Waterlilies at Greenwich Ecology Park
Spring and summer are also the perfect time for a trip to North London to Golders Hill Park; part of Hampstead Heath, the park is very popular with families as it includes a children playground and a deer enclosure.

View of Golders Hill Park

Deers at Golders Hill Park

There are also landscape gardens set around a pond and shaded area to relax with a good book (or a Kindle!)

Landscape garden at Golders Hill Park

Flowers at Golders Hill Park

For people visiting the area the Pergola and Hill Garden are just a short walk from Golders Hill Park.

View from the Pergola

The Hill Garden has got an ornamental fish pond and offers views over Hampstead Heath but, the main attraction here is the Pergola.

View of Hill Garden

This red brick Georgian building has a number of terraces from where to enjoy the view. Accessed by a long walkway that leads to a summer house the area is very quiet, almost eerie at times.

View of the Pergola

Marble building at the Pergola

Pergola view

At the far end of the Pergola, a spiral staircase leads to the gardens below from where views of the entire complex can be enjoyed.

Plants on the Pergola

On the other side of town in South London, Battersea Park is also a green space worth a visit.

View of Albert Bridge

The riverside location offers beautiful views of Albert Bridge and it is a favourite of joggers and dog walkers.

View of the Peace Pagoda

View of the boathouse at Battersea Park

Battersea Park outdoor sporting facilities

One of the main landmark of the park is the Peace Pagoda and other attractions include a boating lake, a children zoo and outdoor sporting facilities.

Autumn in Battersea Park

Photographers will appreciate Battersea Park in the autumn when leaves change colours with beautiful displays all over the park. These are just a few of the hidden gardens and parks in London and many more are just waiting to be explored.

8 thoughts on “London hidden parks and gardens

  1. Beautiful photos! Some of your pictures look like paintings. What a great collection of hidden parks and gardens. I wish I had read your post before our trip to London last year. I was in the neighborhood of some of those parks. I’d love to visit Pergola and Hill Garden.

  2. NICE! Next time, also check out the Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair, just across from The Connaught and next to the Catholic Church. The park benches each have dedications, many touchingly referring to WW2.

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