Best parks in London

Explore the city's delightful parks, from boating in Hyde Park to deer-spotting in the countryside of Richmond Park.

Discover incredible London wildlife, beautifully designed gardens and of course plenty of space for summer picnics and refreshing winter walks in London's parks. As well as being perfect for relaxing, London's parks have plenty of things to do and activities to enjoy: sports events; open-air theatre; live music concerts and adventure playgrounds for children, not to mention some of the most breathtaking views the city has to offer.

Below are some of London's biggest and best parks. For further inspiration, see our list of all parks in London.

Hyde Park

Take a leisurely stroll, zip around on a bicycle, row a boat or swim in the Serpentine at Hyde Park. Whichever way you choose to explore this huge and centrally located park, there's plenty to see and do with more than 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, rose gardens and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Richmond Park

Admire hundreds of free roaming deer, ancient trees and rare wildflower species at this beautiful Royal Park. Covering 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres), the views from the top of the hill in Richmond Park are stunning and are protected by law. Hidden within the park grounds, seek out the Isabella Plantation to capture the Instagram-ready evergreen Japanese azaleas.

St James's Park

Channel your inner royal as you ramble through St James's Park. Surrounded by three royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace, it also boasts Horse Guards Parade and the tree-lined Mall. Visit the lake at 2.30pm to see the famous pelicans being fed, before stopping off for a hot drink at the stylish Inn The Park cafe.

Victoria Park

Head to Victoria Park, or "Vicky Park" if you ask a local, to explore the canals, ponds and pavilion in the capital's first public park. Bordering Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, you'll find plenty of places for sport, plus you can dance away to live music at All Points East festival each summer.

Greenwich Park

Stop off in London's oldest Royal Park, Greenwich Park, for breathtaking views over the river Thames and the City of London. The former hunting park is still home to a small herd of deer, as well as the Prime Meridian Line, Royal Observatory, and several cafes.

Hampstead Heath

Escape the hustle and bustle of central London a mere four miles away in Hampstead Heath. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill for magnificent views or embrace #WisteriaHysteria in the romantic flower and vine covered walkways of the abandoned Pergola and Hill Gardens. 

Kensington Gardens

Take a stroll through this beautiful Royal Park in central London, home to Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue, beautiful flowers, green grass for picnics, and the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial playground.

Clapham Common

Jog around one of London's largest flat open spaces, Clapham Common or simply relax in the sun by one of the three ponds. Check out the skate park, cosy pubs, tennis courts, grass pitches and bandstand that keep south Londoners occupied. The common also hosts the annual dance music festival South West Four.

Lee Valley Regional Park

Cycle along the paths or take a stroll at Lee Valley Regional Park. Stretching 26 miles (42 km) along the River Lee, past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire, there is plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife, relax or play. If you're not sure where to start, try the guided tour on the first Sunday of every month.

Battersea Park

Talk with the animals at the Battersea Children's Zoo or take a stroll along the grand riverside promenade in Battersea Park. Take in the magnificent fountains, admire the Peace Pagoda and even rent boats on the lake in the summer. This huge south London park boasts plenty of play areas plus the four-storey Pump House Gallery.

Crystal Palace Park

Channel your inner T-Rex in the dinosaur park, get lost in one of the UK's largest mazes, or simply explore the many ponds, playgrounds and green spaces Crystal Palace Park has to offer its visitors.

Danson Park

Pick a warm day to sail around the lake or take the kids to the waterpark for a splash of fun. Danson Park is a great family destination, with a peaceful rock garden and a wildlife-rich Nature Reserve, plus afternoon tea in the Grade I listed Danson House.