At this time of year, when the trees are blossoming, flowers are blooming and a strange, warm yellow orb can sometimes be seen in the sky, there is perhaps little more soul-destroying than being stuck in the middle of a city. If you are in the West London area and have some spare time at lunchtime, or at the weekends, we have identified some of the loveliest green spaces around the area where you can retreat to and enjoy the clement weather.
There are, of course, the famous Kensington Gardens, Holland Park and Hyde Park in this area of London, but we were looking for something a little less obvious. Within Holland Park is a beautiful little Japanese garden called Kyoto Garden
. If you are searching for peace and tranquillity in the heart of London, this is where you’ll find it – gentle waterfalls, koi carp and beautifully landscaped plants and trees.
The Emslie Horniman Pleasance park
dates back to 1911 and contains a children’s play park, sports courts and toilet facilities, and is a pleasant green space to spend some time if you want a little exercise as well as fresh air.
As well as parks, there are a number of beautiful gardens in the Notting Hill area, some of which are open to the public rather than purely to specific local residents during ‘Open Garden Squares Weekend’, which falls on 17th – 18th June 2017. Ladbroke Square Garden
dates back to 1837, when it started life as a race course but is now one of the largest privately-owned gardens in London. Lawns are intertwined with paths and borders and there are playgrounds for children of all ages, and it is open each day from 2pm to 6pm. Other gardens that are open in the Notting Hill area that weekend are the Royal Crescent Garden
, which has won awards from the London Gardens Society, and the Norland Square Garden
, which is home to playgrounds, shrubberies, ornamental trees, tennis courts and a large lawn area.
Perhaps the best area of Paddington for green space is Little Venice
, so called because of its network of canals and waterways at the junction of the Regent’s and Grand Union Canals. Here you will find cafes by the water’s edge, plenty of restaurants serving a wide range of food and catering to any budget, and lots of ways to mess around on the water. You can take a walk along the canal, passing through Maida Vale and Camden Town, or you could take a relaxing round trip on a narrowboat, waterbus or canal cruise.
On the eastern banks of Regent’s Canal at Little Venice is Rembrandt Gardens
, which are also known as Warwick Avenue Gardens. These pretty gardens feature plenty of fauna and in spring countless hyacinths and tulips bloom, originally planted in the 1970s on the 700th anniversary of the founding of Amsterdam, which was linked with the City of Westminster in 1975. Tranquil and set beneath the roads, the gardens offer a clear view of the Little Venice area and canals.
During the Open Gardens Weekend, you could also visit Ashworth Mansion Garden
in Maida Vale, or Crescent Garden, which has the accolade of being London’s best large private garden square.
For a large green space with plenty of things to do, you can’t go wrong with Acton Gardens
, which features tennis courts, playground, space to play ball games and a nature trail with tree sculptures to spot; there is also a pitch-and-putt golf course and a cafe.
is an ornamental garden that features a lawn area and rose beds, though there is also a playground; similarly, Wendell Park
has picnic space, playground equipment and a large open space ideal for a game of football.
Although only a short tube ride away from Kensington and Holland Parks, Earls Court has little by way of its own green spaces that are accessible to the public. Brompton Cemetery
is closer than either of those larger parks and is a surprisingly beautiful and tranquil green space close to Earls Court. Tours are available through Friends of Brompton Cemetery, though you do not need to book onto a tour to stroll through. Full of historic monuments, bountiful wildlife and mature trees, this is a very peaceful place to spend some time relaxing. It has the honour of being the only cemetery owned by the Queen.
There are a few mentionable private gardens in the area, though these are only accessible to the public during Open Gardens Weekend – the Victorian Earls Court Square
and Bramham Gardens
are worth a visit if you are in the area 17th – 18th June 2017, as is Courtfield Gardens
, which is dominated by various varieties of trees and shrubs, a wildlife garden, pond and Victorian gazebo.
Like Earls Court, Fulham is not blessed with many green spaces, but there are a few to be found. Fulham Palace Road Cemetery
is a well-maintained cemetery with plenty of shade from lush trees and is of historical interest in that it is the final resting place of soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.
Just outside Fulham is Cremorne Gardens
, which offers views of the Thames and has been awarded the Green Flag for its natural beauty and careful preservation.
Within Fulham, there are once again private green spaces that are available to the public during Open Gardens Weekend, such as All Saints Vicarage Garden
, which boasts a particularly beautiful and well-established magnolia tree and wisteria, plus a small apple orchard, wildflower meadow and apiary.
Meanwhile, Fulham Palace
covers 13 acres of green space enclosed by a moat. Open to the public and free of charge all year round, it features an 18th-century walled garden, and 18th and 19th-century landscaping including lawns, borders, flora and fauna including rare trees.
Within West London, there are so many green areas and spaces that are well worth a visit to escape the greyness of the city landscape. If the sun comes out, grab a blanket, picnic and a good book and find a spot in your favourite park.
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