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.
Stop and smell the roses in the beautiful gardens at Regent’s Park. Spanning 166 hectares (410 acres), it was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash. Alongside stunning formal gardens, this London park has a boating lake, playgrounds and the largest outdoor sports area in London, plus the Open Air Theatre.
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.
Lee Valley Regional Park
Cycle along the paths or take a stroll at Lee Valley Regional Park. Stretching 42km (26 miles) 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 one of the regular guided tours.
Crystal Palace 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 Grade I-listed Danson House.