The fabulous spring weather and an Easter long weekend is perfect timing to get out into the sunshine and enjoy a quintessentially English picnic. London is blessed with many green open spaces and parklands from Hampstead Heath, Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill and Hyde Park to Richmond Park, Epping Forrest and Kew Gardens there is a plethora of green spaces to throw your rug but here are five hidden gems to consider for your next alfresco dining experience.
This medieval church was bombed during the blitz and rather than rebuild the church or pull it down and lose the history, it was turn it into a public garden. It is the perfect oasis in the city for an escape at lunchtime though it does fill with office workers during the week.
St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC4, Nearest Tubes: Tower Hill/Monument
Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park
This formal Japanese water garden within Holland Park was built in 1991 to celebrate the London Japan Festival and incorporates a koi carp pond, waterfall, fountain, bridge and stone temple. The serenity will wash away your worries and it is ideal for a more formal adult affair.
Abbotsbury Road, West Kensington, London W11 4UA, Nearest tubes: Kensington Olympia/Holland Park
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.
Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London, SW6 6EA, Nearest Tube: Putney Bridge
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: Forrest Hill
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
[pictures: foxandfeathers; David on LRM; diamond geezer; nikoretro;portang]