HONEST MUM’s TOP 5 LONDON PARKS
For 2017, I've teamed up with The Royal Garden Hotel to share my insider’s family guide to London from perfect parks to the most-watchable West End shows the kids will love, curating my favourite things about my favourite city every month.
To kick off 2017 with the healthy start we’ve become accustomed to at this time of year, I want to encourage you to get outside in my Top 5 Parks in London post. These stunning parks and gardens are the emerald jewels in our capital's crown, perfect for spring runs, summer picnics, autumnal strolls and revitalising winter walks.
They can be enjoyed all year round, are free and open to all. Enjoy!
Just a hop, skip and a jump from the Royal Garden Hotel are the lustrous Kensington Gardens. One of the city's most popular tourist attractions, you can easily while away an entire day there discovering the many attractions within the regal grounds such as the Diana Memorial Playground, the Peter Pan statue, Albert Memorial and Kensington Palace which is open to visitors all year round. My children love the sandy play area when we visit and it's our must-visit stop off on our strolls.
Make sure you check out the beautiful Italian Gardens and the Serpentine Gallery for awe-inspiring contemporary art too whilst you’re there. The park is open from 6 am until dusk every day and the nearest tube stations are: Lancaster Gate & Queensway; Bayswater (District Line); and High Street Kensington (Circle and District Lines).
Possibly London's most iconic outdoor space, this Royal Park covers a magnificent 350 acres just to the West of Oxford Street. Never a dull moment, you can embark on all kinds of fun activities from horse riding to boating, and tennis in its courts. There are also several must-sees within including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers' Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
Hyde Park is of course, home to the unmissable family attraction Winter Wonderland which is open between Nov and January housing ice-skating, fairground rides, a Santa's Grotto and many other festive wonders for all the family to enjoy. Unmissable wintry fun!
The park is open 5 am until midnight all year round and the nearest tube stations are: Lancaster Gate (Central Line); Marble Arch (Central Line); and Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line).
Holland Park is a must-visit park for families with the most exciting playground which features extensive climbing equipment as well a zip wire, giant see-saw and tyre swing. The only downfall is that it’s so incredibly fun there, you'll struggle to tear the kids away at the end of the day!
For adults, the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens are definitely worth a visit and do keep your eye out for the open-air theatre and opera during the summer months that make for a dazzling al fresco experience.
The park is open 9am - 11pm and the nearest tube station are Holland Park (central line) and Kensington Olympia (district line).
The Regent's Park is the largest grass area for sports in Central London with pitches for football, rugby, lacrosse and cricket.
It is of course home to London Zoo and your kids will relish in meeting the animals who live there from lions to giraffes and my personal favourite, penguins!
Once you've finished walking on the wild side, make sure you check out the park's stunning array of gardens and fountains before heading up to Primrose Hill to refuel over pizza, hot chocolate and cake. Pretty much the perfect day in my book!
The Regent's Park opens at 5am daily (closing times vary with the seasons). The nearest tube stations are: Regent's Park (Bakerloo line); Great Portland Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle & Metropolitan lines); Baker Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Bakerloo lines); St John's Wood (Jubilee line) and Camden Town (Northern line).
The world’s most famous botanic garden, Kew Gardens is a recognised world heritage site. Explore the grounds’ flourishing flora set out over 130 hectares and discover tropical delights in the garden’s greenhouses. The giant water lilies in Water Lily House make for the most ah-mazing sights.
The Treetop walkway is the best way to explore the grounds, serving up spectacular views from way up high. There’s so much for kids to do too from the bee garden to the badger sett - a fun day out is 100% guaranteed there!
Kews Gardens are open from 10am all year round (closing times vary with the seasons). The nearest tube station is Kew Gardens (district line).