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
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.Read More
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, the London park has a boating lake, children's playgrounds and 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.Read More
Admire 630 free roaming deer, ancient trees and rare wildflower species at this beautiful Royal Park. Covering 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres), Richmond Park has 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.Read More
Walk in the footsteps of monarchs at regal St James's Park. Surrounded by three royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace, it also boasts Horse Guards Parade and the Mall – the setting for countless ceremonial parades. 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.Read More
Explore the canals, ponds and pavilion at London's first public park. Known locally as "Vicky Park", Victoria Park borders on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and has its own tennis courts and sports grounds. Dance summer days away at some London's biggest events in the park, including the annual Lovebox and Field Day music festivals.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
9. Lee Valley Regional Park Free
Cycle along the paths or take a ramble at Lee Valley Regional Park. Stretching 26 miles (42 km) along the River Lee, from East India Docks, past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire, this scenic park has plenty to offer with 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.Read More