With a range of stunning vistas and peaceful green spaces, London has some unbeatable picnic spots. No matter what the reason is you’re visiting London, packing a hamper and heading to one of London’s famous parks is a great way to unwind and escape the bustling city streets and attractions.
Here are our favourite parks to explore and picnic in.
Hyde Park is set right in the heart of London and provides visitors with a place to enjoy concerts and events, as well as a place to relax.
Hyde Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks, and covers a total area of 350 acres.
The Serpentine Lake within Hyde Park is a 40 acre recreational lake that hosts swimmers and many other types of watersports. There’s a bar and kitchen overlooking the lake that serves a variety of hot meals, snacks, sandwiches and salads, so if you fancy a day of watching the activities out on the lake and enjoying the generous food and drink on offer, this is the perfect spot.
There’s plenty to see and do at Hyde Park including The Diana Memorial Fountain, Speakers Corner and the unique Hyde Park Wildlife. There’s also many festivals and events held in the park over the course of the year, so make sure to check it out while you’re in town.
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Regent’s Park is the largest of the central Royal Parks, covering a massive 410 acres and teeming with attractions, from the London Zoo to an open air theatre. There is a range of cafes, including the award winning Garden Café. For families with children there are two playgrounds, a boating lake and plenty of ducks to be fed. There is a stunning view across London from Primrose Hill. Primrose Hill provides one of the best views in London. On a sunny day, climb to the and enjoy a wonderful view of the skyline from a unique vantage point not to be found anywhere else (63 metres above sea level). There’s actually six different viewpoints for you to choose from so there’s plenty to see, and on a clear day you can spot attractions and landmarks right across London, such as The London Eye and The Shard.
As you’d expect there’s plenty of food and music festivals that are held in the park throughout the year. There’s also rowing boat hire during the summer and bandstands, beautiful rose gardens, tennis courts, ice cream stands and eateries for you to explore and enjoy.
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A stunning green, triangle-shaped park that lies just beyond The Ritz. It was established by Charles II as a hunting ground back in 1668, and opened to the public in 1826. Today, you’ll find lunching commuters and tourists enjoying the park’s famous stripy deckchairs. On special royal occasions the park plays host to the royal gun salute where the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will let loose rounds of cannon fire.
The common is an oasis of tranquillity amongst the traffic of south-west London. The park dates back to the 18th century and today it houses a range of cafés and the largest bandstand in London. The bandstand is a great place to enjoy some wonderful open-air concerts during the summer months. If you fancy trying your hand at fishing, Eagle Pond is a ‘natural’ pond with plenty of decked platforms for you to cast from.
Battersea Park was opened by Queen Victoria in 1858. Today it’s a wonderful green space that boasts some stunning Thames views. There’s also an art gallery and a zoo for you to explore. On the landscaped boating lake, there’s pedalos for you to enjoy and make memories on and from there, why not look around the walled garden and adventure playground? The playground includes everything from slides to high climbing nets making sure that children of all ages have something to do. If that’s not enough there’s also a family-run zoo, including lemurs, meerkats and pygmy goats!
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Preserved for over 200 years as a popular escape from the city, Hampstead Heath earned the nickname ‘appy ‘ampstead for a reason. A wild park containing woodland and meadows, it spans over 800 acres while being only 4 miles from central London and boasts some excellent views of the city.
There’s not many better ways to spend a day in London than to ramble around on the Heath. If you need refreshments, there’s plenty of charming local pubs around the heath for you to enjoy a pint at. If you fancy taking a dip outdoors, the locally famous swimming ponds are a great place to jump in, or if you;d prefer to stay dry, why not fly a kite on Parliament Hill, or have a picnic amongst the park that inspired C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.
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Crystal Palace Park
The park’s namesake, the Crystal Palace burned down in 1936, but its grounds live on today as a delightful park in south-east London. Home to some unique and interesting features, such as five huge dinosaur sculptures that lurk around the lake and the remains of a Victorian prehistoric theme park. If you want to explore somewhere and see things you won’t find anywhere else in London, this is the park for you!