1. Kew Gardens, 2. Primrose Hill, 3. Soho Square, 4. Hampstead Heath, 5. Alexandra Palace Park, 6. Holland Park, 7. Furnivall Gardens, 8. Victoria Park, 9. Greenwich Park, 10. Green Park. Who in London doesn't enjoy a picnic? Taking it easy around the park while avoiding insects and the typical summer drizzle... Oh, the pleasures of British summer. However, there are so many fantastic picnic locations in London that no matter where you are in the city, you're never too far from a green space that's ideal for setting up the picnic hamper and a mountain of snacks. Ready? Here is a list of the top picnic sites in London.
- Kew Gardens
- Primrose Hill
- Soho Square
- Hampstead Heath
- Alexandra Palace Park
- Holland Park
- Furnivall Gardens
- Victoria Park
- Greenwich Park
- Green Park
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have an incredible 250 years of history (and counting), but they are also laying the groundwork for the future by creating not one, but two national bases for botanical study. Behind the scenes, experts are hard at work in offices and laboratories while you’re strolling around the Victorian Palm House or looking for the lush flora (including the enormous, revolting Titan Arum in the Princess of Wales Conservatory).
Although the Gardens now cover a massive 300 acres, they began modestly in the backyard of the former royal palace, which George III favored most. Whether you enjoy green things or not, this place has a lot to offer. Visitors continue to enjoy visiting the opulent Victorian glasshouses, one of which, Temporary House, retains the distinction of being the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse.
In addition, it will soon reopen (at the start of May 2018) after a five-year renovation. If you wish to look elsewhere, how? Consider visiting the Tree Top Walkway. This hike through the leaves, which is 18 meters high, offers fantastic views of the surroundings. After you land, make your way to the Chinese Pagoda, which dominates the southern end of the Gardens and was constructed in 1762.
You’re guaranteed to be inspired by the superb maintenance and diverse flora. The sculptures, which include Henry Moore’s “Reclining Mother and Child” in a gorgeous setting that varies with the light of each season, might also be worth looking for if the flora aren’t doing the trick. The Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture “A Maximis Ad Minima,” as well as the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art and Marianne North Gallery, are all included in the general admission ticket, so the art alone might occupy the entire stay. There is always something blooming in Kew Gardens. You may be sure that even in the fall or winter, you won’t only see a lot of stuff because the website has a specific “what to see this week” area.
- Best spot: If you want to nibble au naturel, hunt down the picnic benches in Kew’s woodland areas – they’re lovely.
- Need food? Kew Gardens has a few great cafes and restaurants that’ll offer takeaway.
- Anything else I should know? Kew have gone super green and banned single-use plastic from its cafés and restaurants, and offer discounts if you bring a reusable coffee cup.
Google Rating: 4.7/5.0
Address: Royal Botanic GardensLondonTW9 3AB
Phone: 020 8332 5655
- Mar 27-Aug 29 Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat, Sun and bank holidays 10am-7.30pm;
- Aug 30-Oct 29 daily 10am-6pm;
- Oct 30-Feb 10 2017 daily 10am-3.45pm;
- Feb 11-May 25 2017 daily 10am-5.30pm.
- Closed Dec 24 and 25. (Last entry 30 minutes before closing, some attractions close earlier, check on arrival.)
One of the most famous views of London may be found atop Primrose Hill, which is located on the north side of Regent’s Park. It is a well-liked picnic and kite-flying location. The same-named neighborhood’s surroundings are equally alluring as the famous people who frequent the gastropubs and small cafés on Regent’s Park Road and Gloucester Avenue. Thanks to such breathtaking vistas of the city, it’s simple to understand why Primrose Hill is so well-liked on those languid, lazy summer days. It’s not simply the skyline, though, that draws a lot of people here for dinner.
In addition, Camden, Regent’s Canal, Abbey Road (hello Beatles fans), and all the charming animal antics at London Zoo are all within a short stroll of Primrose Hill’s summit. It’s also a pretty awesome area to fly a kite once you’ve had your fill of picnic fare.
- Best spot: As high up as you dare. The most breathtaking of views are undoubtedly from the top of the hill.
- Need food? There are plenty of delicious delis and cafés lining the streets of Primrose Hill, including Anthony’s or the Greenberry Café. Grab what you need for your picnic basket and get munching.
- Anything else I should know? The beloved ‘Paddington’ movie was filmed in Primrose Hill, so if you’re up to a post-picnic stroll do check out the beautiful colours of Chalcot Square and Chalcot Crescent nearby.
Address:Primrose Hill RdLondonNW3 3NA
Phone:0300 061 2300
Opening hours:Daily 5am-dusk
Is it the residence of Tudor hobbits or merely a cover for a hidden passageway leading to Buckingham Palace? Soho Square’s two-story central hut serves as an emergency fire escape for a 3,200 sq ft subterranean bunker from World War II, but it is today London’s fanciest garden shed.
Soho Square is essentially just a respectable green space in a neighborhood that is generally devoid of them, save from the enigmatic edifice at its center. It’s hardly surprising that as soon as the sun peeks out, it is crowded with people enjoying drinks and lunch outside.
- Best spot: When the temperatures rise it’s not always easy to find somewhere to sit, but if you can bag a spot in the shade it’s blissful.
- Need food? You’re in Soho, so you won’t have to wander far before you hit food. Swing by Pizza Pilgrims, Bun House or Herman ze German for a superior picnic.
- Anything else I should know? The hut in the middle of the park is the fanciest garden shed you’ve ever seen (no really, it’s full of the groundskeeper’s kit).
Address:Soho SquareLondonW1D 3PT
Opening hours: 8am-dusk daily
Photo by: tony zaccarini
When the weather warms up, many Londoners head to The Heath first, and fortunately, there is space for everyone. The vast green space, which offers breathtaking city vistas, rolling meadows, old-growth woodlands, and a verdant landscape, is the pride of North London. Want to get hungry before your picnic with a dip? Make camp close to the public swimming ponds and remember to bring your couch.
The grassy expanse of Hampstead Heath, which is wild and undulating, contrasts beautifully with the capital’s manicured lawns and flowerbeds. If the City of London Corporation’s “aspiration” to let a flock of organic lawnmowers graze sheep on the heath comes to pass, it will feel even more deliciously rural.
The heath, which covers 791 acres of woodland, play areas, swimming ponds, and tall grass meadows in north London from Hampstead to Highgate, served as the basis for a large number of movies, books, and poems. The Hampstead Ponds are ideal for a cool plunge on hot summer days, and when the wind picks up, kite flyers love to take to the lofty heights of Parliament Hill.
- Best spot: The Heath is huge and has plenty of stellar spots for picnics. But for the best views head to the summit of Parliament Hill, where you can munch sandwiches with a backdrop of the London skyline. The hill can get busy, especially on sunny days, so for a quieter spot, try the surrounding Parliament Hill Fields.
- Need food? Head to one of the Heath’s many cafes: Parliament Hill Cafe, Parliament Hill Lido Cafe, Golders Hill Park Refreshment House, and Kenwood Brew House restaurant.
- Anything else I should know? The park is free and always open. Barbecues and campfires aren’t allowed, so leave your baps and frozen bangers at home.
Address: Highgate RoadLondonNW5 1QR
Alexandra Palace Park
The Alexandra Palace Park is much more than just a hall perched on a hill; it is a well-known landmark in London. Although the palace itself is frequently a larger-than-life music venue, the seven acres of parkland that surround it offer much more tranquility because of verdant fields, a boating lake, and tons of flora. For sweeping views of the city skyline to go with your picnic, climb the hill. Since 1863, Alexandra Park has provided residents with a respite from the hectic city life. And today, millions of visitors take advantage of its 196 acres each year.
There are 694 different species of plants, animals, and fungus in the Park, including 212 different insect species and 26 distinct arachnid species. All of these species, large and tiny, contribute to maintaining the delicate balance of our ecosystem. Despite the fact that many of the park’s plants and animals are typical of London, 38 of them are uncommon or legally protected.
The Park, which serves as a recreational area in the same vein as the Palace, has played host to a wide range of shows, including a Victorian roller coaster, a stilted hamlet on the boating lake, a Venetian Fete, and water fireworks. Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, John Cooper Clarke, and The Slits were all punk rockers who performed on outdoor platforms; our events have continued this legacy. The largest of them is the Fireworks Festival, a yearly tradition that attracts tens of thousands of spectators.
The Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust looks after and conserves the Park and Palace. We work all throughout the year to ensure that the Park is accessible to and enjoyable for both locals and visitors from abroad. Our team includes volunteers, Friends of the Park, and partners.
- Best spot: Lay out your blanket on the grass at top of the hill with your back to Ally Pally.
- Need food? Shop for tasty delights in nearby Crouch End before walking up or, if you’re visiting on a Sunday, peruse the treats on offer at the Ally Pally Farmers Market.
- Anything else I should know? Once you’ve had your fill of the lush London views, you can scale heights with Go Ape, try your hand at the Pitch & Putt or shop for plants at the garden centre.
Address: Alexandra PalaceAlexandra Palace WayLondonN22 7AY
Phone: 020 8365 4343
Photo: Martin Lakostik
Although Holland Park is frequently overshadowed by its opulent neighbor Kensington Palace Gardens, it is unquestionably a lovely place for a picnic. There is a lot to see, from sculpture and the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens to woodland and wildlife. Tennis courts, football fields, and locations for playing golf, cricket, and netball are also available, so you can enjoy some sport alongside your sausage rolls. In the summer, this tranquil location comes to life. You’ll soon forget about the steamy bus ride to Holland Park if you’re enjoying yourself there.
Both history fans and horticulturists will enjoy learning about the history of Holland Park, one of London’s best parks. The park encircles Holland House, a Jacobean palace named for its second owner, the Earl of Holland, whose wife was the first person in England to produce dahlias successfully. Disraeli and Lord Byron, among others, visited Holland House in the 19th century, when it was a center of political and intellectual activity.
However, during World War II, bombs largely damaged Holland House. These days, dahlias are still planted in Holland Park’s 55 acres, which also have the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens with koi carp and a bridge at the base of a waterfall. The playground, which features a tyre swing, a large see-saw, a zip line, and a lot of climbing equipment, is a must-see for families. A second fenced-in play area is also available for younger children. Opera and open-air theater are presented in the park during the summer.
- Best spot? If you have kids, set up near the new Holland Park Adventure Playground (reopening early summer 2019), complete with zip wire and a ten-person seesaw. In the summer months, Opera Holland Park pops up underneath a temporary white canopy. If you’re there to see a show, you can reserve a table near the venue and bring your own picnic beforehand.
- Need food? If you didn’t BYOP (that’s ‘bring your own picnic’, FYI), there’s a cafe at Holland Park Orangery.
- Anything else I should know? The park is open daily from 7.30am until 30 minutes before dusk. Cycling isn’t allowed in the park.
Address: Ilchester PlaceLondonW8 6LU
Phone: 020 7361 3003
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-30 minutes before dusk
Photo by drima film
In Hammersmith, there is a park called Furnival Gardens, which used to also be spelled Furnivall Gardens. Until roughly 200 years ago, there was a thriving fishing industry at the mouth of Hammersmith Creek, which was previously located there. In 1936, the brook was filled in. The playground, which features a tyre swing, a large see-saw, a zip line, and a lot of climbing equipment, is a must-see for families. A second fenced-in play area is also available for younger children. Opera and open-air theater are presented in the park during the summer.
A park located in Hammersmith along the Thames is called Furnival Gardens (sometimes spelled Furnivall Gardens). Until roughly 200 years ago, there was a thriving fishing industry at the mouth of Hammersmith Creek, which was previously located there. In 1936, the brook was filled in.
To coincide with the 1951 Festival of Britain, it was determined in 1948 that the bomb-damaged ground between the river and the Great West Road should become a public open space. Dr. Frederick James Furnivall, a scholar who established the Furnivall Sculling Club in 1896, is honored in the name of the new riverbank park. On the site of the burial cemetery for the Hammersmith Friends Meeting House, which was obliterated during the war by a flying bomb, a garden area was established.
- Best spot? Grab one of the benches along the Lower Mall for the best views over the Thames.
- Need food? The park is only a short stroll from Hammersmith’s bustling Kings street. Or pop to Eat 17 on Fulham Palace Road for delicious delights.
- Anything else I should know? The petite green stretch is home to the Furnivall Sculling Club – this is the midway point of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race – but for less athletic pursuits, pimp up your picnic with a plastic pint from one of the many pubs along the riverfront and lounge in the grass.
Google Rating: 4.5/5.0
Address: Rutland GroveLondonW6 9DH
Photo by:Ben Rowe
When you visit this sizable green space known as the “people’s park,” you’ll see throngs of fashionable Londoners wearing high-waisted jeans. With two lakes, a Chinese pagoda, a boating pond, a playground, and a smattering of other Instagram-worthy wonders, it is one of east London’s largest outdoor dining areas. Vicky Park is a popular location for urban festivals when hipster picnics aren’t taking over. All Points East, a festival featuring music and community events, was held there last year.
One of London’s favorite green spots is Victoria Park, also referred to as the “People’s Park.” This vast outdoor area, which spans 86.18 hectares, is totally contained within Tower Hamlets. During the summer, events like Field Day and Lovebox frequently take over the area. All Points East, a brand-new ten-day event that comprises a three-day music festival and a midweek schedule of community events, will take place there in May and June 2018. In the fall, park visitors are treated to spectacular fireworks displays, but that’s not all; the park was initially created by renowned architect Sir James Pennethorne in 1842, and some areas are Grade II-listed. The dogs are worth keeping an eye out for.
- Best spot? The Old English Garden is a pretty spot for a bench-bound picnic, or for waterside views, set up next to one of the park’s three lakes.
- Need food? Supplement your picnic with a stop-off at the scenic Pavilion Cafe or The Hub. Both cafes are wheelchair accessible.
- Anything else I should know? The park opens at 7am and closes at dusk. Last year, Victoria Park kept its Green Flag and Green Heritage Awards for the fifth year. Blue-badge holders are allowed vehicle access.
Address: Victoria Park RdLondonE3 5SN
Opening hours: 7am-dusk Mon-Sun
Since Greenwich is one of the largest green areas in the city, you can typically eat your sandwiches in peace without being too near to other Londoners who are also having lunch there. Once you’ve had your fill of nature, visit The Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, or the Deer Park. The first enclosed Royal park is located in SE10 and is a wonderfully green environment.
The distinction of being the first enclosed Royal Park belongs to Greenwich Park. The park, which served as Henry VIII’s hunting ground in the past, still preserves a sizable 183-acre grassland enclosure that serves as an urban refuge for deer, foxes, and more than 70 different bird species. Greenwich Park provides one of the largest green spaces in south-east London.
The distinction of being the first enclosed Royal Park belongs to Greenwich Park. The park, which served as Henry VIII’s hunting ground in the past, still preserves a sizable 183-acre grassland enclosure that serves as an urban refuge for deer, foxes, and more than 70 different bird species.
Greenwich Park provides one of the largest green spaces in south-east London. There have been movie shoots for Layer Cake (2004), Four Weddings and a Funeral (2001), and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). (1994). Furthermore, there are stunning views of Canary Wharf, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and more from the summit of Greenwich Park. It’s well worth the walk if you don’t mind the exercise — SE 10/10.
- Best spot? Brace your calves and head to the top of the hill. The iconic views of London from just outside the observatory are pretty spectacular.
- Need food? No food? No problem. Source your snacks from Greenwich Market beforehand.
- Anything else I should know? The park is open from 6am every day, but closing times vary depending on the time of year, so check ahead.
Address: Park RowLondonSE10 8XJ
Phone: 020 8858 2608
Photo by: Alan Stanton
There is no doubt that having a picnic in Green Park will be a fun experience. Due to the park’s highly famous neighbor, both tourists and residents throng here. Aside from the Queen’s gaffe, Green Park boasts a fairly impressive view with statues, water features, and, in the spring, daffodils stretching as far as the eye can reach. The Royal Park may be well-liked, but it’s also a favorite spot for enjoying M&S salad bowls after work.
In close proximity to Buckingham Palace, The Green Park, one of the best picnic spots in London, is a tranquil triangle of old trees and grasses that provides a serene escape from city life. Look out for Royal Gun Salutes, when ceremonial guns are fired to honor important royal occasions, while you visit a variety of memorials, fountains, and statues.
According to legend, King Charles II’s wife commanded that all the flowers be taken out of The Green Park in the seventeenth century after seeing him gathering flowers there for a different woman. The park still lacks conventional flowerbeds but in the spring, when over a million daffodil bulbs are blooming, it is a riot of yellow. One of the eight Royal Parks in London, The Green Park has a size of just over 40 acres.
- Best spot? The path between Green Park station and Buckingham Palace is a highway for tourists, so head off the beaten track for a slightly quieter spot.
- Need food? The aforementioned M&S Simply Food is right opposite Green Park station – it’s a great place to pick up affordable picnic snacks.
- Anything else I should know? The park is open all day every day. If you want to upgrade from a blanket or your jacket tossed on the ground, from April to October, you can hire a striped deckchair from £1.80 an hour. For the committed deckchair enthusiast, season tickets are available too.
Address: PiccadillyLondonW1J 9DZ
Phone: 020 7930 1793