We love Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and the rest of London’s major green spaces. Sometimes though, it’s nice to properly get away from it all, while remaining in the capital. Here we introduce you to a few parks and gardens that might not be on your radar.
It’s not just Kew which has some amazing edible plants sprouting in its borders. Chelsea Physic Garden has been flourishing since 1673, and has everything from pomegranates and olives to mint and rosemary. There’s a Garden of Medicinal Plants, a Pharmaceutical Garden, and a Garden of World Medicine too, containing countless varieties of useful plants from the world over. Plenty of year-round colour is provided in the flower beds. There’s a fee to get in to Chelsea Physic Garden, but we think it’s well worth it.
St Mary’s Secret Garden is built on the site of a church destroyed in World War II. Its four distinct areas are a small patch of woodland, fruit and veg plots, sensory garden and herbaceous borders. You can buy plants from the garden during the week, and there are also various courses and workshops you can sign up to (including Basic Gardening and Estate to Plate). This is the kind of place where your fingers will turn green in no time at all.
Though it’s slap bang in the middle of central London (adjacent to Lincoln’s Inn Fields) not too many Londoners know about New Square. Its well-manicured lawn, fountains and aromatic flower beds are open for all to enjoy during office hours. It’s the perfect place to sit with a flask of soup, or simply stretch your legs during a coffee break.
Though only supposed to be a temporary addition, Meanwhile Gardens has lasted well over thirty years, which is testament to the good it does to this area of Kensington. This canalside park incorporates a wildlife garden, wooded area and boardwalk. Look out for visiting herons!
If strolling round the grounds of a crematorium isn’t your idea of a relaxing afternoon, think again. Golders Green Crematorium was the first in London, and is ensconced in gorgeous gardens created by the Victorian, William Robinson. Features include two ponds, a crocus lawn and a bridge, as well as beautiful blooms everywhere. Needless to say you’ll enjoy real peace and quiet. You’ll also be in good company; the likes of Enid Blyton, Sigmund Freud and Peter Sellers are resting here.