The 12 Best Parks In London

Among its towering skyscrapers and miles of concrete jungle, London has an abundance of parks. In fact, it’s one of the greenest cities in the world; 40% of it is made up of public spaces where you can picnic with mates and enjoy being out in nature. Including its historical grounds, royal gardens and trendy fields in east that flood with locals cooking BBQs as soon as the sun comes out, we’ve compiled a guide to London’s best parks.

Hampstead Heath

Famous for more than just Harry Styles-spotting, Hampstead Heath is a gorgeous wild park full of woodland and meadows. It spans over 800 acres, plus has swimming ponds that become very busy in summer and stunning views of the capital atop Parliament Hill. What’s more, it even inspired C.S. Lewis to write the Chronicles of Narnia and features in John Keats' poetry. How's that for being a muse? Whether you’re bringing a date here on a romantic stroll or taking your four-legged friend for a wholesome Sunday walk, this area is a city staple.

Hampstead Heath Parks In London | DesignMyNight

What a rel-heath: from ponds to hill-side benches, there's plenty to get excited about. 

Clapham Common

A favourite among locals who bring alfresco to eats to its lawn, this is one of the oldest and largest public spaces in the capital. Keen runners and tennis players flock here to break a sweat, plus you can even apply to Lambeth Council to get a fishing permit for the ponds. Clapham Common dates back to 1086 when it was mentioned in the well-known Domesday Book and dubbed ‘common land’ because it supported the livestock of nearby manors. Today it’s a very different story and is a much-loved green space donning a Victorian bandstand, netball courts and a paddling pool.

Clapham Common Parks In London | DesignMyNight

There's nothing common about this pretty green space.

Kensington Gardens

One of London’s eight royal gardens, this beauty was imagined by Queen Caroline in the 18th century. Originally exclusively part of the palace, it's now open to the public. It’s a truly gorgeous, well-maintained area that’s home to a sculpture of Peter Pan down by the Long Water and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground and Walk. Among vistas and lush flower trails, there’s plenty to do at Kensington Gardens, whether it’s visiting the iconic palace or making your way over to the Serpentine Gallery to view some art.

Kensington Gardens Best London Parks | DesignMyNight

Only a short walk from High Street Kensington, this garden is worth the visit.

London Fields

Walk through London Fields on a sunny evening and you’ll see East Londoners out in full force, gliding down cycle paths on their Lime bikes, as well as offering a glimpse into the world of callisthenics and taking a four-pack, a blanket and a book to an unsuspecting patch of grass. The Hackney green land covers 31.3 acres and is home to a pretty 50m Olympic-sized lido that packs out in the summer and is within proximity to Broadway Market and popular boozer Pub on the Park.

London Fields Best Parks In London | DesignMyNight

This is one of the best parks in London for a picnic. 

Holland Park

Wander deep into the heart of Holland Park and you’ll soon stumble upon a tranquil waterfall, framed by bonsai and delicate cherry trees. The Kyoto Garden is a major draw to the Notting Hill location, as well as the blissfully unaware peacocks that strut its grounds. What remains of the old Jacobean Holland House (after the damage it suffered in World War II) is now the backdrop to summer open-air operas, which you can book alongside Il Portico picnic hampers.

Holland Park Best Park In London | DesignMyNight

Spend a day off in Kyoto here. 

Gunnersbury Park

You might recognise this West London area from an array of TV shows, as well as being the music video location of Liam Gallagher’s ‘Once’. Fame aside, Gunnersbury Park’s existence was first recorded in 1347 and, over the years, its house has been acquired by princesses and lived in by the Rothschilds. Since 1929, it’s been home to a museum with a collection spanning over 50,000 archival items. In the summer, you can take a pedalo out on the lake and watch one of the many concerts that take place, with the likes of Boygenius, Limp Bizkit and The Darkness having previously graced its lawn.

Gunnersbury Park In London | DesignMyNight

This park borders Acton, Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing.

Battersea Park

Battersea Park is a 200-acre, listed, Victorian park that fronts a beautiful riverside promenade and a miniature zoo where you can meet the likes of monkeys and meerkats. It’s also home to the Pump House Gallery, a restored Grade II-listed building that used to supply water to the lakes. A magnet for sports enthusiasts (thanks to its top-notch facilities) and firework display attendees alike, it’s a gorgeous, historical spot that comes with views of the Power Station and is on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Battersea Park London | DesignMyNight

A scenic running route. 

Crystal Palace Park

Designed by Joseph Paxton in 1851, Crystal Palace Park remains a popular destination for leisure and entertainment to this day. It’s seen motor racing circuits open on its grounds and fires engulf the palace. Grade II-listed (including its full-scale model dinosaurs), it draws revellers in from across the city to conquer its maze and watch gigs at its concert bowl. Legendary artists such as Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones have played here, and this year, South Facing festival will welcome many more famous artists to serenade visitors.

Crystal Palace Park South London | DesignMyNight

Make some prehistoric friends and see some live music at Crystal Palace Park. 

Hyde Park

Without a doubt, Hyde Park trumps the best parks in London lists with 350 acres of Grade I-listed greenery and an events roster that includes the iconic Winter Wonderland and British Summer Time festivals. It was established by Henry VIII when he took some land from Westminster Abbey and has since been the centre of significant cultural moments, from suffragette speeches to Pride marches. The Lido is located on the south bank of the Serpentine and is the location of the oldest swimming club in Britain.

Hyde Park Best Parks In London | DesignMyNight

Take a pedolo out before treating yourself to an ice cream from a riverside cafe. 

Richmond Park 

Picture this: it’s a Sunday and you’re looking up the best parks in London for walks in a bid for a little bit of mother nature after a slap-up roast. Enter Richmond Park, the largest site of special scientific interest and an important area of wildlife conservation. Created as a deer park by Charles I, it’s now Grade I-listed and home to an array of beautiful trees and the Georgian mansion, Pembroke Lodge. Steeped in history, it features books, art, films and now your afternoon stroll.

Richmond Park London | DesignMyNight

See if you can spot some deer at this wildlife conservation.

Regents Park (And Primrose Hill)

When it comes to famous parks in London, this stunning landscape has it all. Home to the picturesque Primrose Hill, sporting breathtaking city views and glimpses into the monkey enclosures of London Zoo, it covers over 5,000 acres. Once described as a ‘wonderland’ by Sylvia Plath, it features pretty floral displays found in Queen Mary’s and Avenue Gardens, as well as the capital’s largest outdoor sports area. Regents Park is the perfect setting to have a date, a sunset picnic or to find creative inspiration while casting your eyes out across the capital.

Regents Park North London | DesignMyNight

You'll be climbing up that hill to get some stellar views. 

Greenwich Park

Filled with herb gardens, orchards and wildlife, Greenwich Park is an incredibly historic hotspot that’s within walking distance of the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House. Across the years, it has welcomed ancient Romans, Anglo Saxons and Tudors, all of whom have, at some point, wandered up to the summit of One Tree Hill to see soaring views of London’s skyline. Whether you’re passing through from visiting Cutty Sark or are an astronomy fan heading for the Peter Harrison Planetarium, it’s well worth ticking off your park bucket list.

Greenwich Park London | DesignMyNight

Greenwich Park is located near many fascinating city attractions. 

In the mood for more green spaces? Check out our guide to London's best gardens and sign up to our newsletter for all the latest.