Between endless days spent in lockdown and social media blackouts, 2020 is starting to take it out of us. Stressed out with city living? It’s time to get acquainted with our furry, feathered friends. From alpacas in city farms to pelicans in the West End and giraffes in green spaces, this is our pick of the best London parks to see wild animals in London.
St James's Park
Nestled in the heart of Central London, St James's Park is not only within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, but also a great spot for animal lovers. Pelicans have been a mainstay since the 1660s, with over 40 in the leafy green space. Whether you’re an avid bird watcher or just came to get out of the house, make sure to check out Duck Island Cottage’s best-known winged residents; Isla, Tiffany and Star.
We might be pointing out the obvious here, but Richmond Park is a great place to see wildlife in London. Home to over 600 red and fallow deer, the National Nature Reserve is ideal for a calming retreat. If that’s not enough, then there’s over 100 species of bird and around 750 butterflies, as well as rabbits, mice and more. Be sure to explore the gorgeous 40-acre Isabella Plantation while you’re at it.
Wondering where to see animals in East London? Mudchute Park should be at the top of your list. We’re talking 32 acres on the Isle of Dogs; complete with a fully working farm, petting zoo, duck pond and equestrian centre. As for the furry lot? There’s everything from sheep to alpacas at one of the biggest inner-city farms in Europe.
Thought that the animals in London Zoo would be cooped up now that lockdown has taken over? Think again, because the Regent’s Park sanctuary is still here for your urban safari needs. Uncover the not-so-secret footpath for your chance to catch a glimpse at giraffes, camels, monkeys and many more – all at a distance and without having to pay a penny.
Once part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens are among the Royal Parks of London. While you can’t visit the Serpentine Galleries or historic palace, you just might spot a few parakeets. A little time with these green parrots is sure to shake up your socially-distant trip outdoors.
Straddling Finsbury Park, Highbury, Dalston and Stoke Newington, Clissold Park is a proper North London gem. Not only is there a paddling pool and two lakes, but you’ll also find an aviary and animal enclosure. Expect birds, goats and a small herd of fallow deer that’ll transport you from N16 to further afield.
Kentish Town City Farm
Our guide wouldn’t be complete without one of London’s best city farms and this one’s really been keeping us going during the pandemic. While you can’t visit in person, Kentish Town City Farm is keeping us entertained with online activities featuring sheep, goats and even kittens. Like what you’re seeing? Donate to their fund which helps to feed and care for the animals during lockdown.