Free London - Parks and recreation

Alexandra Palace

(Nearest station: Alexandra Palace)

The 7 acre Palace is surrounded by 196 acres of beautiful parkland, a year round ice rink, a pub & restaurant, boating lake, pitch & putt course, 1,500 free parking spaces and much, much more.

Battersea Park

(Nearest station: Queenstown Road)

Battersea Park is felt by many to be the most interesting inner-city park in London and featuring a boating lake, old English Garden and playgrounds for the kids to burn off some energy!

Cycling is also allowed in the park, and there is also a place to hire cycling recumbents, so you can sit back and stretch out while you explore at ease.

Stroll through the picturesque promenades and spot some wildlife (including herons, cormorants and glebes) and make a trip to the Peace Pagoda, a Japanese Buddhist monument constructed to inspire peace, a gorgeous vision of red and gold among the soothing green surroundings.

Wander around the boating lake (rowing boats and pedalos available to hire) and visit the Pump House Gallery (free entry), housed in a four-storey Grade 1 Listed Victorian tower on the lakeside.

Bushy Park

(Nearest stations: Hampton Court / Teddington)

Bushy Park is London's second largest Royal Park with 320 red and fallow deer which roam free to enjoy the peace and tranquillity. Areas of interest include the sixty-acre woodland gardens, the site of the American camp based in Bushy during WWII and Chestnut Avenue.

Crystal Palace Park

(Nearest station: Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace Park is a major public park in south London. Once a Victorian pleasure park it still features the first life-sized dinosaur sculptures completed in 1854, stroll in the acres and wander around the lake featuring some of the dinosaurs. 


Gillespie Park

(Nearest stations: Finsbury Park / Arsenal)

Daily 08.00am to dusk on weekdays and 10.00 to 16.00 at weekends. A small ecology park supporting a remarkable diversity of habitats and species - the original park consists of a mosaic of created habitats, including a pond, woodland and grassland. Gillespie Park has a state-of-the-art visitor and education centre (a renowned example of sustainable architecture).

Green Park

(Nearest stations: Victoria, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner)

Open daily from dawn to dusk. A Royal hunting ground in origin, Green Park is more rural in design than St James's with mature trees and grassland. It is an important link between St James's Park and Hyde Park.

Hampstead Heath/Parliament Hill

(Nearest station: Golders Green)

Open 24 hours a day. The Heath is a fantastic place to stroll, bird-watch or just play. You can swim in the ponds or Parliament Hill Lido when the weather is clement (fees payable). The views on a clear day can include the whole of central London.

Holland Park

(Nearest stations: Holland Park, High Street Kensington)

Holland Park contains formal gardens, recreation facilities, a theatre, art galleries and large semi-natural woodland. There is also a restaurant and cafeteria, and a celebrated Dutch Garden. An ecology centre provides outdoor educational facilities and conducts activities such as nature trails, guided walks and pond investigations.

Hyde Park

(Nearest stations: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Lancaster Gate, Queensway)

The most central open space in London and very close to Oxford Street, take a stroll as the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of your day in town. Hyde Park is a place where people go and picnic in summer, horse ride, rollerblade or just walk. 

Kensington Gardens

(Nearest stations: High Street Kensington, Queensway, Lancaster Gate)

Open 06.00 to dusk every day. Kensington Gardens is adjacent to Hyde Park. Visitors can admire the sunken garden, stop for a drink at the Orangery and appreciate the paintings at the Serpentine Gallery. See the Princess Diana water sculpture.

Mile End Park

(Nearest station: Mile End)

Mile End Park has been transformed for the 21st Century; incorporating many separate parks, the Play Arena, Ecology Park, Arts-park, Terrace Garden, Adventure Park, Sports Park and Children's Park. 

Mudchute Park and Farm

(Nearest stations: Mudchute, Island Gardens)

Open daily 09.30 to 16.30. Set in 32 acres of parkland in the shadow of Canary Wharf. Mudchute Park and Farm is the largest city farm in the country with a riding school, farm animals, a cafe and shop. There is a daily charge for riding and booking is necessary.

Primrose Hill

(Nearest stations: Chalk Farm, Camden Town, St John's Wood)

Take the tube or alternatively walk to Primrose Hill from the north end of Regent's Park (by ZSL London Zoo).  It has one of the loftiest vantage points over the city. The village is an enclave of specialist shops and is a great place to eat.

The Regent's Park

(Nearest stations: Great Portland Street, Regent's Park, Baker Street)

The Regent's Park and the Queen Mary's garden are open daily from 05.00 to 30mins before dusk. An excellent park with children's play areas, gardens, sports facilities and an open air theatre (fees payable).

Regent's Canal

(Nearest station: Paddington)

The canal runs along the edge of Regent's Park, and at 8.6 miles long, is a hearty walk and unique way to walk from Paddington to the River Thames in East London. The Canal includes 'Little Venice' around Maida Vale, a great location for ice creams when the weather is warm enough.

Richmond Park

(Nearest stations: North Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes)

Open daily from 07.30 to dusk. Richmond Park used to be a royal hunting ground. It is a home to much wildlife including red and fallow deer. Other attractions include the Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge which was the childhood home of Bertrand Russell and now it is a café and the Palladian Villa.

Russell Square

(Nearest station: Russell Square)

A large Georgian Square near the British Museum, Russell Square is ideal for a break from the busy city: sit by the fountain or buy a drink from the café.

St James's Park

(Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Westminster, St James's Park)

Open daily from dawn to dusk. St. James's Park is at the heart of the nation with Royal Palaces and government buildings all around.  The Park was entirely redesigned in its current romantic, informal style in the 19th Century. Some guided walks available.

Thames Barrier Park

(Nearest station: Pontoon Dock)

Next to the Thames Barrier, and south of the Royal Victoria Dock, London's first major riverside park in over 50 years, the Thames Barrier Park, was opened to the public in November 2000. Designed by renowned modernist French landscape architect, Alain Provost, the park is unique in the UK. It features a stunning water fountain at the entrance, which flows into the 'Green Dock', a 400-metre long sunken landscaped garden.

Victoria Park

(Nearest station: Hackney Wick)

A wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With 218 acres of beautiful parkland Victoria Park is one of the greatest assets of the East End. It has two lakes, ornamental gardens and an animal enclosure.

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