London has some of the most beautiful parks and green spaces in the world. Locals and tourists who want to spend time enjoying natural sceneries will have no trouble finding one while in the city. But picking one from amongst the long list of choices can be overwhelming. If you do not have the time to squeeze in a visit for several parks in a brief stay in London, here are some of the best ones that you might want to put on your list.
1. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is a vast natural attraction that covers 350 acres. The renowned park is one of the best of its kind in the world. It is a great place for recreational activities and active pursuits for people from all walks of life. There is no dearth of things to do in this massive parkland. Its thousands of trees as well as flora and fauna provide a natural environment suitable for people who want a quick escape from the constant buzz of activities in the city. The park has a large lake where people can be seen rowing a boat on a beautiful spring or summer day. There are facilities and spaces for several types of active games including horse riding and tennis. These are on top of the common attractions found in most parks like playgrounds, picnic areas, and more.
2. Kensington Gardens
There are many things to enjoy in Kensington Gardens. This Royal Park in the heart of London includes the Kensington Palace in its wide array of attractions. The park covers 275 acres of natural scenery. It is home to Italian Gardens and several memorials and sculptures which people can admire at leisure. There are several areas suitable for picnics. The playgrounds provide spacious areas for children and adults alike to frolic. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground draws throngs of park goers. This place is a breathtaking natural haven with plenty of wildlife in the midst of a busy cityscape.
3. Richmond Park
Richmond Park is London’s biggest Royal Park. It spans 2500 acres and boasts of diverse and breathtaking landscape. The woods are home to trees that have been standing there for hundreds of years. There are several species of plants and animals that live in the area including the hundreds of free-roaming deer the park has long been known for. Visiting this park evokes a feeling that you are no longer in the heart of a bustling city but somewhere in the woodlands in the countryside. This park provides an idyllic getaway for people who want a change of scenery. There is no shortage of things to do given the wide array of recreational activities and active adventures to suit different people’s preferences.
4. The Regent’s Park
The Regent’s Park is famous for many things including its awe-inspiring rose gardens. Designed by architect legend John Nash in the early 1800’s, this 410-acre park features a massive outdoor space dedicated for different sports. Despite the extensive list of attractions and activities to find here, the Regent’s Park manages to retain a tranquil atmosphere.
5. St James’s Park
The 58-acre St James’s Park is home to a lake where several pelicans frolic. But it is not only the pelicans that draw the crowds of locals and travelers that visit it. The park sits in the midst of three Royal palaces, which adds to the many reasons to visit the place. It is an excellent place to catch a glimpse of one of the ceremonial parades held in the area.
If you’re looking for a change of pace or scenery, you don’t have to look far than the neighborhood or city parks near you. While many parks nowadays are beginning to attract more attention, most are still underutilized by people who have access to them. There are many perks to living in communities with parks nearby. With so many fun things to do, spending time in those wide open spaces can be a great experience.
Watch the activities at the playground
Park playgrounds are often busy with children playing and adults joining the fun or observing the activities. Whether you are visiting alone or with kids, it’s a nice area to sit by and just enjoy the moment. Watch the children’s antics as they play on the monkey bars, slides, swings, and other facilities in the area.
Play to your heart’s content
Get active by playing a game or sport in the available facilities at the parks you visit. Many parks have wide open spaces for sports like baseball or football. You can ride a bike along the bicycle paths many parks feature. Or you can go for a run in and around the park and join the games that some groups sometimes organize.
Indulge in a picnic
When was the last time you’ve been in a picnic? If you have trouble remembering, it might be a good time to start planning one. Invite family and friends for brunch or lunch in the park. Or you can go on an impromptu lunch any time you want. Instead of taking your usual lunch at your office or in a restaurant nearby, you can take away your food and head to the park for an enjoyable meal outdoors.
Enjoy the special events
Live performances, movie watching, and food festivals are among the many special events commonly held in parks. Find out what upcoming events are lined up in parks near you. You can enjoy the attractions and festivities with family and friends. You might be surprised how many events you’d be interested to see.
Surround yourself with nature
Sometimes the natural scenery alone is enough reason to spend time in a park. It’s a chance to bask in all that natural beauty you can find in parks. So the next time you can’t think of a compelling reason to go to a park, just imagine the glorious feeling of being around nature. It can be a quite motivating reason to go.
If parks are not high on your list of places to visit at home or when traveling, now is always a good time to start doing it. Much has been said about the potential health benefits that come with spending time in green spaces. Many who spend time at neighborhood or city parks can attest to the immediate positive effects such visits give. Beneficial effects aside, here are some of the top reasons to visit parks near you.
It doesn’t cost you anything
Small neighborhood parks or even the larger city parks are accessible for free. Imagine enjoying all the attractions and amenities at no cost to you. All you really need to do is to show up and spend the time there any way you like. The beauty of parks is that they’re always there for you to explore and use as a brief escape from everyday routines. You can go for a stroll, read, or watch the people and scenery around you.
It’s good for your wellbeing
A visit to a nearby park can be a form of stress relief. It offers a change of scenery which may help take your mind off the things that threaten to overwhelm you. It may also fuel your creativity. The time you spend outdoors surrounded by beautiful views can refresh your mind. Park visits can also boost your mood not to mention the health benefits you gain when you spend more time in the midst of those green spaces.
It’s a space for recreation and physical activities
Parks are great places to get active. Many children love going to neighborhood parks because of the playgrounds they can enjoy. But it’s not only kids who can benefit from the open space and facilities available in many parks. Adults can likewise find plenty of things to do to get active. There are many recreational and sport activities you can do when in parks. Walking, riding bicycles, playing Frisbee and other sports are some of the many things to do during your visit.
It promotes a sense of community
Many people nowadays live in communities where everyone is fairly isolated from each other. Only a few often engage in community activities thus foster familiarity and camaraderie. Neighborhood parks provide opportunities for people who live in the area to meet by chance. This unplanned meetings and gatherings promote a sense of community.
It’s a great way to explore the area
Parks near your home or in hotels where you’re staying while traveling provide more venues to explore. It may be a good adventure where you can discover interesting sights and meet new people along the way.