Best parks in London

Take a break and explore the city's delightful parks, from Hyde Park to the countryside of Richmond Park.

From sunbathing and picnics in the summer, to brisk, refreshing walks in the winter, there's always a reason to visit one of 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 breathtaking views.

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

1. Hyde Park

Huge and centrally located, Hyde Park is one of London's best-loved parks with more than 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow and rose gardens. Take a relaxing stroll or move faster by cycling, skating or skateboarding on one of the designated paths. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is also located in the park.

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2. Regent's Park

Regent’s Park spans 166 hectares (410 acres) and was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash. It includes stunning rose gardens and has the largest outdoor sports area in London, with facilities for football, softball, rugby and cricket. There are also wild bird species and waterfowl, plus the Open Air Theatre.

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3. Richmond Park

This beautiful Royal Park is famously home to around 650 free roaming deer. Richmond Park covers around 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) with great cycle paths (from flat to challenging routes), riding stables, two golf courses and power kiting. The views from the top of the hill are so stunning, they are protected by an act of Parliament.

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4. St James's Park

Regal St James's Park is surrounded by three Royal palaces. Spanning 23 hectares (58 acres), the park has a lake which is home to its famous pelicans. You can watch them being fed at 2.30pm. It also boasts Horse Guards Parade and the Mall – the setting for countless ceremonial parades – and the stylish Inn The Park cafe.

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5. Victoria Park

Known locally as "Vicky Park", Victoria Park was London's first public park and borders on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. As well as canals, ponds and a pavilion, it also has tennis courts and a sports ground. Some of London's biggest events are held at the park, including the annual Lovebox and Field Day festivals.

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6. 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.

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7. Hampstead Heath

It's easy to forget you're just four miles from the hustle and bustle of central London on Hampstead Heath. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views. It's the perfect spot for flying a kite, romantic walks or simply relaxing with a picnic and watching the sun set over the city. Read More

8. Clapham Common

One of London's largest flat open spaces, Clapham Common is naturally popular with joggers. There is plenty of room to relax in the sun, as well as three ponds, a skate park, cosy pubs, tennis courts, grass pitches and a bandstand to keep south Londoners occupied. The Common also hosts the annual dance music festival South West Four.

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9. Lee Valley Regional Park

Lee Valley Regional Park stretches 26 miles (42 km) along the River Lee, from East India Docks, past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire. This huge park offers green spaces, nature reserves and ample opportunity for sports. If you're not sure where to start, try the guided tour on the first Sunday of every month.

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10. Battersea Park

Battersea Park is a huge park in South London. There's plenty for families to enjoy including play areas and the Battersea Children's Zoo. You can take a stroll along the grand riverside promenade, take in the magnificent fountains, admire the Peace Pagoda and even rent boats on the lake in the summer.
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11. 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.

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12. Bushy Park

Visit the historic Bushy Park, the second largest of London's Royal Parks, and discover a wealth of wildlife, grassland, ancient trees, woodlands, ponds and streams near Hampton Court Palace.

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13. Crystal Palace Park

Head to Crystal Palace Park, a large green space where you can find ponds, playgrounds, beach volleyball, swimming pools, an athletics track and, uniquely, dinosaurs in south London. Read More