Even though London is one of the biggest cities in the world it is packed with beautiful gardens. So many that it would be impossible to visit all of them in just one visit. Here are some of the best gardens of London to consider.
Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
Kew is probably one of the most famous, largest, and best London gardens. The gardens here are so magnificent they’ve been named a World Heritage Site. They cover 300 acres and contain more than 30,000 different types of plants. In addition to the plants, there are interesting plant related exhibitions, some of which are geared towards kids. Kew’s mission is “to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life.” At Kew, research is carried out using the garden’s specimens to conserve and understand plant life. Visiting is a great opportunity so see some extremely rare plants. You can explore the different areas of the garden on foot or by riding on the hop-on hop-off land train. To reach the gardens from central London, take the District Line tube (Richmond branch) to Kew Gardens Station. The gardens are open daily from 9.30 am. Adult tickets cost £14.50 with accompanied children under 16 getting in free.
Chelsea Physic Garden
This is one of London’s lesser known gardens, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The walled garden was created in 1673 and has some really interesting elements. The garden’s rock garden is the world’s oldest and contains stones that were taken from the Tower of London and lava from Iceland that was brought to London 1772. The garden focuses on medicinal, historical, and edible plants and contains over 5,000 different plant types. The microclimate that has been created in the garden has allowed it to grow a grapefruit tree and the largest known olive tree in the world. The garden is open to the public Tuesday to Friday, and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm; it’s closed on Saturdays. Entry costs £ 9.90 for adults and £ 6.60 for children aged 5 to 15; under 5’s are free. The nearest tube station to the garden is Sloane Square which is a 10 to 15 minute walk away. Buses stop directly at the garden entrance.
Kensington Gardens is another of London’s very famous and most popular gardens. It is a Royal Park, one of the eight Royal Parks in London. It spans 242 acres and contains Kensington palace where members of the royal family still live. Within the gardens are several attractions, including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, the Peter Pan statue, and the Albert Memorial. The gardens are made up of open parkland, tree lined avenues, and beautiful flower beds. Entry to the park is free and the park is open from 6 am to dusk 365 days a year. It is easy to reach the garden by tube with Lancaster Gate, Bayswater, and High Street Kensington station near it. There are also several bus routes that stop by the gardens.
Hyde Park is a large green space located right in central London. It is another of London’s Royal Parks. It has cycling paths, swimming, boating, and plenty of lawned areas to relax. It is also the location of London’s famous Speaker’s Corner. The flora and fauna found in the park is diverse and ever growing. To see what the park looked like years ago make sure to visit the meadow area. The park opens everyday at 5 am and closes at dusk. Entry is free and the park can be easily reached by tube or bus.
Hampstead Heath is a little bit of countryside located on an expansive green space in north London. It consists of grassy hills, meadows, and natural habitats that attract a variety of wildlife. The park was originally a heathland used for grazing farm animals. However, today its woodland is expanding as it returns to a more natural environment and provides great views of London. Entry is free and the park is open daily.
Located just north of central London, Regent’s Park is one of the biggest green spaces in the city. The park consists of 395 acres of manicured gardens, recreational facilities, and open space. Of particular interest within the park is the Queen Mary’s Gardens which contains 400 different types of roses. You can also join a guided bird walk of the park, on which you will learn about the different birds that can be spotted in the park.