London Parks and Gardens
An A-Z of parks and gardens to visit in London
Chelsea Physic Garden
66 Royal Hospital Road Chelsea SW3 4HS
This botanic garden was founded in 1673 to investigate the medicinal
role of plants. It played a major role in the development of the sciences
of botany and horticulture. There is a garden shop selling plants. Web
Northern neighbor to Buckingham Palace, Charles II used to stroll here.
Indeed, Constitution Hill, on the northern border of the park, commemorates
Charles' excursions. The park is better known as the meeting ground
for duelists, and many a corpse must have lain on the now peaceful grass.
The largest open space in Greater London, the heath was once home to
highwaymen, but now it is a multi-purpose green space with the best
panoramic views of the city. Historic Kenwood House is on the northern
border of the heath.
Once a hunting ground for Henry VIII, Hyde Park's character stems from
the Serpentine Lake, home to waterfowl and sweating oarsmen. Rotten
Row, on the southern boundary of the park, is a famous horse-riding
area, and Speaker's Corner, by the Marble Arch entrance, is the the
place to listen to soap-box orators. on Sunday mornings.
The border between Hyde Park and Kensington Park is vague, but the characters
of the parks are quite diffferent. Kensington Gardens was once part
of Hyde Park, until William IV enclosed it to become the gardens for
Kensington Palace to the west. The Gardens are more orderly and formal
than Hyde Park, with a sunken garden and a rectangular pond by the palace.
By Long Water is a statue of Peter Pan, whose author, JM Barrie, donated
the children's swings nearby. map
62 acres on a high hill affording excellent panoramic views of central
London. Primrose Hill was once part of the same royal forest as Regent's
Once the royal hunting ground of Marylebone Park, Regent's Park was
part of a vast redevelopment plan by the Prince Regent, later George
IV. The Inner Circle now contains Queen Mary's Garden, fed by the underground
Tyburn River. There is space for sailing, tennis, archery, and boating
on the Regent's Park Canal.
St. James Park
An oasis of calm in the bustle of the West End, St. James Park
is bounded by The Mall and Birdcage Walk, while its westernmost end lies
practically on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace. The area was a deer
park under Henry VIII, a formal garden under Charles II, and was remodeled
into its present relaxed air by John Nash in 1828. The central lake is
home to large populations of ducks and pelicans.
Parks and Gardens in Outer