8 Best Picnic Spots in London Besides Hyde Park

8 Best Picnic Spots in London Besides Hyde Park

This alternative list of scenic parks in London will have you packing your picnic essentials in no time.

As one of the world’s greenest capital cities, London is simply brimming with royal parks, manicured gardens and green spaces. Many of these parks were once royal hunting grounds or home to ancient forest remains that used to cover the land.

Despite the abundance of parks all over the city, picnic sessions usually gravitate towards London’s largest park, Hyde Park. This iconic city spot is teeming with attractions and is perfect for outdoor adventures. However, there is also a plethora of other parks that are equally impressive!

From spectacular royal parks to natural woodlands, check out these alternative stunning public gardens instead.

1. London Fields

Image credit: Nick

Say hello to London Fields, Hackney’s most popular park, especially amongst hipsters and millennials. First identified as the singular London Field in the 16th century, this recreational spot used to be an animal grazing pasture. Today, the venue is a common ground for the public to engage in outdoor activities.

The extensive grounds boast lush green landscapes and large trees that provide shade for park-goers. Adorned with wildflower meadows as well, this area is truly a feast for the eyes and makes for a gorgeous picnic spot. Apart from cafés, the park has a designated barbecue area too, so don’t forget to bring your BBQ essentials when visiting.

2. Kensington Gardens, Royal Park

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As one of London’s eight Royal Parks, Kensington Gardens used to be a part of Hyde Park. When William III decided to make Kensington Palace his home, the surrounding area was sectioned off from the Hyde Park grounds to form Kensington Gardens. With former royalties calling it home, it is no wonder that Kensington Gardens is steeped in history.

Image credit: Greg Lmy

Stop by the Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, a ship-like playground before paying a visit to a beloved resident of the park, the Peter Pan statue. The statue was commissioned by the creator of Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie, who found inspiration for his stories in Kensington Gardens. Otherwise, families can enjoy taking a stroll around the charming Round Pond overlooked by the statue of Victoria, where swans, ducks, and geese call home.

If you are a fan of sakura cherry blossoms, don’t miss out on a picnic opportunity under the blushing pink flowers (yes, right here in London) at East Albert Gardens, located near the incredibly ornate Albert Memorial. Elaborately detailed with Victorian-era gothic designs, this memorial is truly a sight to behold.

3. Highgate Wood

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This tranquil landscape that used to be part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex, is now an open public space teeming with a myriad of flora and fauna. Sitting in the suburban north of London, Highgate Wood is a woodland area paired with an open park that is ideal for those seeking refuge from the city clamour.

During springtime, picnickers can revel in the woodland where pretty little bluebells carpet the grounds. When summer sets in, take a long stroll amongst the cooling glades and follow the trails to further explore the grounds. Apart from finding delight in old English forests, park visitors can also take advantage of the park facilities, such as the open sports ground and playground.

4. Hampstead Heath

picnic spots in london

Image credit: (left) Matt Brown (right) Adrian Scottow

Fans of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia will take pleasure in visiting the Hampstead Heath. The wild open space with accompanying woodland, which inspired the iconic Narnian landscape, boasts stunning natural sceneries. Lying approximately 6km away from Trafalgar Square, Hampstead Heath is a breath of fresh air from the bustling city nearby.

Perfect picnic spots aside, this islet of scenic landscapes boasts an incredible view of the London cityscape from atop its Parliament Hill. Aside from that, the zoo and butterfly park at Golders Hill Park are perfect for the little ones to enjoy. Hampstead Heath is also extremely popular for its swimming ponds and splash pool that promises a splashing good time.

Instagrammers can rejoice at the “Insta-worthy” settings when they head to the Pergola and Hill Garden. Be sure to snap some perfect shots!

5. Kew Gardens

picnic spots in london

Image credit: Kew Facebook

With history spanning 250 years, The Kew Gardens is London’s pride and joy. What began as a mere humble backyard of a royal palace is now standing vast and tall. The Kew Gardens is also the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

This botanical gardens in central London boasts a diverse range of exotic gardens and historical architecture. It is home to a few remaining Victorian glasshouses, including the largest surviving one which functions as the Temperate House. Don’t forget to sneak a peek into the Princess of Wales Conservatory to explore plants from ten different climate zones.

Climb the Tree Top Walkway and stand 18m above ground level while enjoying panoramic birds-eye views of the massive garden. The centerpiece of the Kew Gardens is the Palm House which recreates tropical rainforest climate complete with tropical plants and flowers. When spring rolls along, the surrounding areas of the iconic palm house become embellished with sakuras. Don’t miss out on those pink blooms!

Note: Temperate House is undergoing restoration work until 5th May 2018

6. Richmond Park

As the largest of London’s Royal Parks, Richmond Park is a vast, sprawling space of English countryside. Populated with a range of wildlife in the park’s ancient woods, including more than 600 red and fallow free-roaming deer, this park is ideal for power-kiting, cycling or picnicking in London’s wild side. Have your lunch with a view at the Isabella Plantation where beautiful shrubs of azaleas, rhododendrons, and magnolias stand out amongst the background of Richmond Park.

If cycling is too boring, you can try pony or horse-riding through the park grounds too! There are a number of local stables that ride Richmond Park – just be sure to make a booking first or do your research as some stables need you to go through an assessment lesson before riding.

7. Regent’s Park

picnic spots in london

Image credit: Royal Parks

Beautifully designed by the royal architect, John Nash, Regent’s Park is a royal park that prides itself for its natural landscapes and many attractions. Home to the famous London Zoo, the Open Air Theatre and central London’s largest outdoor sports area, this park attracts crowds of visitors and is strewn with picnickers daily.

Climb atop Primrose Hill to set eyes on incredible vistas of the London skyline and over Westminster or take a long stroll around the gorgeous flower beds that line The Avenue Gardens and Queen Mary’s Gardens. Couples can experience a romantic sunset boat ride alongside waterfowl in the garden’s boating lake while families with young children can enjoy a delightful time at the London Zoo with the animals. Packed with a wide variety of activities and venues in the park, there’s truly something for everyone here at Regent’s Park!

8. The Green Park

Image credit: Royal Parks

The Green Park is the smallest Royal park that runs along St. James’ Park in central London. Well-equipped with native English trees such as the black poplar, silver maples, and native oaks, this park provides fantastic opportunities for a nice picnic day out!

Take a stroll along the long garden pathways through flower beds and watch the park turn yellow during spring when over 250,000 daffodils spring into life! The vast green spaces available here also call for a fun football session or family picnics.

picnic spots in london

Image credit: Royal Parks

The park is also surrounded by reputable establishments such as the Piccadilly, The Ritz, and The Buckingham Palace, allowing for more sightseeing opportunities after picnics. On Royal occasions, such as The Queen’s Birthday Parade, keep a look out for the Royal Gun Salute by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, using 21 rounds of cannon fire. This eventful park must be on your to-go list in London!

There is truly no better way to experience the English countryside than by having a picnic at one of the many parks here in London. Rolling picturesque hills and woodland areas teeming with wildlife also make these parks perfect nature retreats to chill and unwind at!

About Author

Begum Khalida
Begum Khalida

A curious yet quirky oddball who believes that she is the spirit animal of Matthew Gray Gubler. Apart from having a part-time job of having to correct the pronunciation of her name, Khalida is a passionate tea enthusiast who also loves to read, daydream, travel and watch a plethora of dramas.

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