The Ultimate Guide to visiting parks in London

London Nature & Parks


It’s no secret that London is a city known for its several parks, some of which are arguably the most famous and well-known parks in the world.

But if you think that all that there is to do in a park in London is to stroll around and snap photos of birds and flowers, then you are sorely mistaken. As a matter of fact, with so many different activities and events happening in London’s parks throughout the year, one could easily spend an entire day in a London park without even venturing out of it. From landmarks, lakes, palaces and museums, to even ice rinks, zoos and open air theatres, there’s no telling what you’ll come across during a visit to a London park.

Where to find parks in London

The majority of the most popular parks in London tend to be centered around Westminster and Soho, such as Hyde ParkGreen Park and St. James’s Park; but the parks in London don’t just stop there.

If you want to visit more than one park in one day, you could easily stroll around Green ParkHyde ParkHolland Park and St. James’s Park in seven to eight hours given that they are in close proximity to each other. The Regent’s Park is also relatively close, although it’s about a 20 to 25 minute walk from Hyde Park.

Other London parks may be trickier to get to because of their location, so you will probably need to take a tube, bus or car in order to visit them. Battersea Park, for example, may be located south of the River Thames, but it’s also in the same area as other popular parks in London like Clapham Common and Greenwich Park.

Hampstead Heath, on the other hand, is about a 45 minute walk from Regent’s Park so you will probably need to take pubic transportation in order to get to it, while Victoria Park is located in Stratford, northeast of Whitechapel.

What to do in parks in London

If you’re hoping to do some sightseeing around a famous London park, or even have a quiet afternoon sitting on a deck chair reading a book, the sky is the limit when it comes to all the different activities you can do in London’s many parks.

Regent’s Park has a lake so you can hire a boat or pedalo, and it’s also home to the ZSL London Zoo and the nearby Primrose Hill. Holland Park boasts a tennis court, golf practice nets, a netball and a cricket pitch, and even has an open air theatre during the summer months. The park also has a giant outdoor chess set, a merry-go-round, a zip wire, tire swing, and even a separate fenced-in area for young children.

But out of all the parks in London, none offer more activities than Hyde Park, which is hands-down the most visited park in London. Here you will find not only a ton of historic monuments (like the Marble Arch, Speaker’s Corner, and Kensington Palace, just to name a few), there’s also a massive 40-acre lake called The Serpentine where tourists can hire a boat or pedalo, or even feed the local ducks and wildlife. Visitors can also take a stroll along the seven-mile long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, dip their feet in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, or even play a friendly game of football at The Hub, Hyde Park’s main sports facility.

And let’s not forget about Hyde Park’s magical Winter Wonderland, during which the park is transformed into an ever-popular Christmas attraction which includes a skating rink, roller coasters, an ice bar, Bavarian-style food stalls, and much, much more.

When to visit Parks in London

Although you can visit any park in London any time of the year, some parks in London are perhaps best visited during specific seasons.

During the summer months, many parks in London sell deckchairs so you can sit and read a book or even just enjoy the tranquillity of being surrounded by nature. During spring you could stroll around and admire the picturesque trees, flowers and gardens as they come into bloom, or transform into a gorgeous golden paradise during the autumn months.

If you’re visiting London during the Christmas holidays, Hyde Park is an obvious one as its annual Winter Wonderland event draws in thousands of tourists each year, while Holland Park and St. James’s Parkare especially beautiful during the spring and autumn months. If you’re visiting London during the summer months, watching an outdoor performance in The Regent’s Park or Holland Park is a must.

Also be aware that all the parks in London have different opening and closing times depending on the season. During the summer months (between May and July) some parks may stay open as late as 9:30 p.m., while during the winter months (between November and February) some parks could close as early as 4:30 p.m. Holland Park is open from dawn until dusk every day throughout the year, while Hyde Park is open between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight every day, all-year round.

If you’re in London over the Christmas holidays, Winter Wonderland usually opens around the end of November until the beginning of January each year, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

But regardless of when you plan on visiting a park in London, it won’t take you long to discover that London’s parks are beautiful any time of the year, come rain or come shine.