Tibetan Peace Garden, SE1
In the grounds of the Imperial War Museum, this stunning park was opened by the Dalai Lama in 1999. A fitting location for a place that celebrates peace and community, it’s a wonderful place to visit – especially if you’ve spent a few hours within the museum itself.
The greenery and serenity is a welcome sight having just spent a while learning about conflict and war, but you can also visit this space at your leisure without visiting the museum. The garden calls itself a ‘homage to harmony’, and this atmosphere is achieved beautifully via fantastic design and attention to detail. The Dalai Lama also wrote a personal message for the park, which is carved into the Language Pillar. A great park for ambling, exploring and simply chilling out, with something for everyone and plenty of space in which to do your own thing.
Camley Street Natural Park, N1
Spread over two acres of totally unexpected woodland in the heart of Kings Cross, this jaw-dropping park brings a taste of the wild and untamed to the inner city. Offering woodlands, rivers, ponds and wild meadows, this is a particular favourite for family outings – there are definitely fairies living in these trees!
Equally, this is a hotspot for photography enthusiasts. A huge array of wildlife calls this park home, and it’s a rare treat indeed to see both fluffy and winged beasts living so happily in our nations capital. You can stroll along the canal (which is rife with ducklings in the springtime) or simply find a shady spot under one of the ancient trees to set up a rug and crack open the cool box.
Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden, E1.
For a more urban feel, the Riverside Garden provides fantastic views over the Thames toward Tower Bridge, and features mature flowerbeds, large patches of lawn, and a touching memorial to those who died in WW2.
This structure is a large block of stone with a dove carved through its middle, which lets the sunlight through at all times of day and now frames a beautiful view of The Shard. Until 1976, this area was an unwelcome wasteland (which would waft horrid smells towards nearby Wapping High Street), but it has since been transformed into a popular, safe and scenic inner-city picnic spot.
Postman’s Park, EC1
Postman’s Park is elegant, smart and stylish. The nearby General Post Office has given the park its name due to the constant flow of workers visiting the park to eat their lunch. Featuring the famous 1900 Watts memorial, this park was built to commemorate heroic men and women of London, who have sacrificed their lives during extraordinary acts.
By no means morbid but certainly thought-provoking and a celebration of human kindness, you can spend hours reading all the Doulton tablets that so sympathetically portray these people and their deeds. The central feature of the park is a beautiful antique sun dial, with a fountain and flowerbeds in bloom beyond.
Sexby Garden, SE15
If you’re looking for somewhere to take a romantic stroll, this is the place to do it. Beautiful water features, private nooks and crannies providing seating and leafy walkways make up a small area with a lot to offer.
The park itself is only around half a kilometre long, but the landscaping has been designed so that you can simply mooch and mosey for hours, without actually walking very far. A cleverly structured and atmospheric garden, Sexby bursts into life at this time of year – and you’re guaranteed to come across some really amazing flowers.
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