One of my biggest fears when deciding to move to London was giving up my relationship with Mother Nature. Although I wanted to experience London life and everything it has to offer, I didn’t want to give up being able to get in touch with the country and seaside whenever I pleased.
Since making my way around London for the past 4 years I can wholeheartedly say that there are so many green spaces that can make even the biggest nature lovers feel satisfied. When the sun comes out, the masses flock to the beautiful open parks and there’s a sense of togetherness that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the world. Kite-flying, football, rounders, picnics, ice-cream – the best way to spend any weekend (when it’s not raining!).
Although parks are generally enjoyed during the the summer months, I have learned to love getting outside in nature all year round. A crisp December walk around the park with a takeaway coffee keeping me warm is one of my favourite things to do. Below is a handful of my favourites:
My first exposure to the wonders of London’s parks was in my first rented accommodation in Wandsworth Common. Naturally, I found London quite overwhelming in my first few years and this common felt like a safe beautifully-enchanting oasis for me to wander around, listen to my music, whilst admiring all the adorable dogs I wanted to steal. I only have fond memories of this common because it well and truly allowed me to get away from London when I really needed to. Staring over the peer on the pond stretching out after a jog put me in an almost meditative state. It was here where I realised that I don’t have to live in Cornwall to have those peaceful nature feels.
I’m going for Hyde Park as my next favourite park in London. It’s MASSIVE, so central to the madness of London, and so insanely beautiful and tranquil (in some places). How can one park be that all at once?! In summer you can go pedal boating around the Serpentine, you can ride horses around the tracks, you can even listen to the opinions of many from all walks of life at Speakers Corner. In Winter you can feast on bratwurst, get merry on mulled wine and enjoy the magic of Winter Wonderland. If the weather is dry, Hyde Park can make a seriously good free day out.
When the Christmas season is in full swing Winter Wonderland is one of those spectacular events that you can go back to year after year. I’ve visited in the day and in the night, and think the evening creates a particularly festive atmosphere that gets even the biggest humbugs a little bit excited… Twinkling lights, the smell of the Bavarian bratwursts cooking in mass and maybe one too many steins in the beer tent – a winter evening well-spent!
Right at the end of the District Line is the another one of London’s largest green spaces – Richmond Park. It’s housed in the picturesque town of Richmond that Sir David Attenborough describes as ‘his favourite place on the planet’.
Whilst in the park, you can spend hours roaming up and down the different pathways and tracks in search for it’s famous deer. If you’re lucky enough to spot them, you’ll be mesmerised by their alluring beauty. A wintery Sunday stroll past a herd of deer is one of those ‘wow – I can’t believe we’re only 15 minutes from London’ moments.
Do you have a favourite park in London? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂