Queen Mary’s Gardens is one of the highlights of this extensive park. In summer, there are more than 12,000 roses in bloom making a stunning display. The park also hosts an open-air theatre from May to September, and is home to London Zoo.
Boating, tennis and horse riding are available at Hyde Park. It is also the site of Speakers’ Corner, where, on a Sunday morning, people come to share their opinions on a variety of subjects.
With the Diana Memorial Playground and its huge pirate ship, Kensington Gardens is a popular spot for families. It is also home to Kensington Palace and the rather elaborate Albert Memorial, commemorating the death of Prince Albert in 1861.
St James’s Park
With famous monuments on its doorstep, St James’s Park makes an attractive promenade between tourist sights, and the Blue Bridge over St James’s Park Lake offers views of Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, and the London Eye in the distance. The park is the peculiar home of three pelicans, which are fed between 2.30pm and 3pm each day by the park rangers.
In fine weather, Green Park is a popular spot to watch the world go by from one of the famous striped deckchairs. The park is at its prettiest in spring when thousands of daffodils are in bloom.
Quirky yet serene Holland Park features a beautiful Japanese garden complete with a waterfall, a pond filled with koi carp, and its own resident peacocks. There’s also a playground and a large area of woodland.
Out of central London, there are some stunning and wilder parks. Richmond Park, in south London, is vast with deer wandering freely and has a distant, though impressive, view of St Paul’s Cathedral through a telescope from the top of King Henry’s Mound. Greenwich Park is also home to deer and has a superb view of London and its skyscrapers. Hampstead Heath, to the north, is a rugged spot, also with sweeping views of the city from Parliament Hill.