While London is a concrete jungle green spaces here are plentiful (though a recent article states this is dwindling sadly). Also, the concrete really equals old and interesting architecture so you can’t compare it to a place like New York in that respect or even Tokyo which are true concrete jungles in my opinion.
I haven’t been to these spaces recently as I’ve been trying to discover new places but with the good weather it is time to return:
In no particular order, my 5 favourite parks:
1. Holland Park – Ilchester Place W8
It is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Read a posh and ridiculously expensive part of London that you and I will never be able to afford to live in. Well, there is the sugar daddy option. Anyways, here is some info on the park.
When last there I hung out with friends in the Kyoto Garden, which I think is the best bit of the park. When you are there you can’t hear the noise of London streets so it’s a great escape. There are also peacocks.
2. Regent’s Park – NW1 4NR
I’ve spent tons of time here and it is a beautiful place to be. I stayed at a hostel just a hop skip and jump away from here my second year in London. When leaving for the summer at home I packed my bags, stored them with my cousin and gave up my room in North London. When I came back I stayed at the International Student House. Don’t let the pictures fool you it wasn’t that great. The bar was the best part. Anyways, I went on a search for housing that lead me to renting a room just around the corner from my last place.
During this hunt for property in August 2009 I had my birthday, alone. It wasn’t sad though as I bought a picnic lunch and spent some time at the park. I’ve been back lots just not this year yet. Last year boyfriend and I went to London Zoo which is located inside the park.
I’m a bit torn about it actually. I know that zoos help with conservation but the day we went it was really hot and I mostly felt bad for the animals. Especially the gorillas. Yes they have a big plot but they are gorillas! They need vast amounts of space. Anyways, if you go don’t go on a unbelieveably hot London day (they happen), because the animals will be tired and shielding themselves from the sun. Except the monkeys, they seem to be active no matter what. I didn’t get to see zebras (favourite animal) but the giraffes were impressive.
3. St James Park – SW1A 2BJ
This is a great park to break up a walking tour (I’ll do that in another post). It is a royal park and located right by Buckingham Palace.
It is well-kept and while I was promised pelicans I didn’t see any when I was there. Apparently they are fed every day at 2:30 pm so go then if you want to make sure you see them. There were however lots of swans around. You can also catch a picturesque view of the London Eye here.
4. Kensington Gardens – W2 2UH
Another royal park. It was the first park I visited when a friend and I decided to do some site seeing the first year I moved here. This park hosts loads of events. There was an outdoor artist installation that ended in March but started last year. I caught one of the pieces in winter but unfortunately did not get back in time to see the rest.
It also hosts the Serpentine Gallery and a memorial fountain for Princess Diana. I attempted to go to the gallery and it was closed but just outside it is a kind of outdoor cafe type structure in this brilliant red colour.
5. The Rookery – SW16 2QP
This is a gorgeous little park that you wouldn’t know about if you didn’t live in Streatham. Streatham is where boyfriend lived when I met him and where I lived for about two months as I had to leave my place and as we searched for a place to live.
** I started this post a few weeks ago when the weather was good. It’s been raining on and off every day for the last little bit. Back to typical weather, le sigh.**