London’s parks and gardens are worth a visit at any time of the year, but during the Springtime they can be dazzling. The days start to get lighter and warmer, plants start to bloom, trees blossom and splashes of colour appear everywhere. Here’s our guide to London’s parks; enjoy the fresh air and open spaces and it’s always best to check the weather forecast before setting out!
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew The world’s most famous garden and World Heritage Site offers lots to see and do for all the family. Spend the day strolling through the gardens and glasshouses (in case it rains!), visit an exotic rainforest, travel through 10 climate zones in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, and don’t forget to take a look inside Kew Palace itself. www.kew.org
Kensington Gardens Kensington’s parkland covers 275 acres and is home to Kensington Palace, the royal residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Wander through the peaceful Italian Gardens, see the Peter Pan statue, visit the stunning Albert Memorial, or view some art at the Serpentine Gallery and for children, there are two playgrounds, including the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground (near Black Lion Gate). https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensington-gardens
Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bustling Royal Court, Henry’s State Rooms and the vast Tudor kitchens. After the history tour take a stroll through 60 acres of landscaped gardens or lose yourself in the famous maze. www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourt
Eltham Palace, Greenwich A unique 1930s Art Deco mansion with medieval great hall combination. Eltham Palace features stunning interiors and furnishings and a medieval royal palace and the childhood home of Henry VIII. The 19 acres of beautiful gardens cleverly blended 1930s and medieval features, and include London’s oldest working bridge. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/eltham-palace-and-gardens/
Syon House & Gardens Built in the 1500s and home to the Dukes of Northumberland, Syon House main features are a great hall based on a Roman basilica and a bedroom once used by Queen Victoria. The landscaped gardens by Capability Brown are Grade I listed and include a collection of rare trees, plants, a rose garden and beautiful lakeside walk. http://www.syonpark.co.uk/
Richmond Park A popular destination all year round and in the springtime Isabella Plantation’s stunning displays of azaleas are the big attraction. Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park and London’s biggest enclosed space and as well as all the human visitors, it’s teeming with wildlife – look out for the herds of Red and Fallow deer. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park