London's Parks and Gardens
A tourist guide to London Parks and Gardens with information on parks and gardens in and around London

Battersea Park: You probably never knew that an inner city park could have this much variety,  It is situated on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Chelsea. Opened in 1858 by Queen Victoria, the park was seen as a way of keeping the lower classes in order by giving them plenty of space for healthy recreation. The park has excellent views across the river towards Chelsea.

Open from 8am to dusk.

Chelsea Physic Garden: The Chelsea Physic Garden was established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in London, England. Founded in 1673 as a research apothecary and to study medicinal values of plants. Chelsea Physic Garden has been active in scientific research even today. This garden is well worth a visit just for the rock garden which was the first ever constructed in England. Entrance is free with the London Pass.

66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS, UK  Open: 11am - 6pm Closed Saturday

Green Park: is one of the Royal Parks of London. Covering an area of about 53 acres (21 hectares), it lies between Hyde Park and St. James's Park. Green Park has no lakes nor any statues or fountains and consists entirely of wooded meadows.

Next to Buckingham Palace Open: 24 hours

Hyde Park: The park covers 142 hectares (350 acres). There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more it is easy to forget you're in the middle of London. The park also offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding.

Open: 5am to Midnight

Kew Gardens: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these magnificent London gardens with their amazing glasshouses and galleries are an important historical legacy. The Gardens cover an area of 300acres and lies on the south bank of the Thames River between Richmond and Kew.

Open Daily 9.30am - 6.30pm weekdays / 7.30pm weekends, Bank Holidays

Kensington Gardens: One of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. Covering an area of 275 acres. Kensington Gardens is planted with formal avenues of magnificent trees and ornamental flower beds. The Gardens are particularly popular for sunbathing and picnics in fine weather. .

Open: Daily 6am to dusk.

Lee Valley Regional Park: Spreading south over 26 miles from Ware to the River Thames, this waterside park is mined with historic and natural surprises. The park follows the course of the River Lea (Lee) along the Lea Valley from Ware in Hertfordshire through Essex and North East London, through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to East India Dock Basin on the River Thames. As well as bird reserves and ecology parks, you can visit Trinity Buoy Wharf, at its southernmost tip, which has an experimental lighthouse built in 1864, while the largest surviving tidal mill in Britain, dating from 1776, can be found at Three Mills Island.

There's miles of traffic-free cycling routes across Lee Valley Regional Park covering 10,000 acres in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. If you don't have a bike, don't worry, there's cycle hire at Broxbourne Old Mill and Meadows in Hertfordshire.

Primrose Hill: The 61 acre grassy hill has fantastic views over London. It has become increasingly popular with the young and the famous.

St James's Park : With its royal, political and literary associations, St James's Park is at the very heart of London and covers 23 hectares (58 acres). With a lake harbouring ducks, geese and pelicans. St James's is also home to the Mall, the setting for many ceremonial parades and events of national celebration.

Open: 5am to midnight

Watch this space! We'll be back with a comprehensive list of all of well known parks and gardens and some not so well known parks of London.

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