As far as capital cities go London is pretty lucky as far as parks and public gardens go. We have a plethora of open green spaces, commons, parks and squares that are wonderful in the sweltering heat. Obviously the bigger parks such as Regents Park, Hyde Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath are popular choices when it comes to meeting up for a picnic with their good transport links, central locations and plenty of room for everyone without sitting on a strangers lap!
But what about those smaller not as well known locations? Here we look at those spots that we are almost loathed to tell you about where you can throw down the picnic blanket and enjoy your alfresco dining with a difference.
Right next to City Hall and Tower Bridge Potter’s Field is a great place for a family picnic. There are the sweetest fountains that spring out from the pavement that kids love to run through. Trees offer plenty of shade, the grass is perfectly kept and you’re guaranteed of seeing at least one TV news team interviewing or presenting for the day’s news. And you’ll probably see Boris Johnson arriving/leaving his office The gardens have wonderful flowers and there’s always something cultural happening on the promenade. Plus, M&S is round the corner too, in case you run out of sparkling pop and hummus!
Tooley Street, Southwark, SE1 2AA. Nearest tube: London Bridge
Just down river from the ever popular Richmond, Teddington Lock not only offers a calming Thames outlook but also enough shade, grass, and a few tables to set up the perfect picnic. Watch the water traffic go by as you take in the sun.
Teddington Lock, Teddington TW11 9NG. Nearest station: Teddington Mainline
Waterlow Park was bequeathed to the public by Sir Sidney Waterlow as a ‘garden for the gardenless’ and consists of three ponds, tree-lined walkways, mature shrub beds and herbaceous borders, ornamental bedding, expanses of lawn, 6 tennis courts an infant playground and a play area. Our favourite place to while away a sunny day is by the middle pond and with the play areas, there is something for all ages.
130 Highgate Hill, Highgate, London N6, Nearest tube: Archway
Horniman Museum & Gardens
The Horniman Gardens is a unique site of 16 acres of award-winning, beautifully maintained formal and natural landscapes, from delightful rose and sunken gardens, herbaceous borders, and ethno-botanical planting, to enchanting wild flower displays and a number of unique sundials.
100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ, Nearest Station: Forest Hill
Fulham Palace Gardens
The gardens of Fulham Palace are amongst the most important in the country and include woodland, meadow, lawns and an 18th-century walled garden – a secret spot with a knot garden of herbs, a wisteria pergola and orchard. This is perfect for children and feels like you have got out into the countryside. What’s more if you need anything extra for your picnic there is a cafe that also runs a BBQ outside during summer.
Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London, SW6 6EA, Nearest Tube: Putney Bridge