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Hidden gems – spots for a perfect London picnic

Published on July 4, 2022 by Rebecca Hinshelwood

How do you make the most of the warm Summer months in London? Both Londoners and visitors leap at the chance to east outside when Summer comes around. While London is home to a host of luxury restaurants with terrace dining, sometimes you want something a little more low key. So we look at those hidden gem spots for a perfect London picnic. 

Secret Gardens

Central London is by no means a concrete jungle. If you know where to look, these little pockets of green make for a delightful urban picnic. 

Phoenix Garden

Tucked behind the Phoenix Theatre in the West End, this is a community garden run by local volunteers. It’s designed to encourage local wildlife with plenty of greenery and ponds. The gates are open in the middle of the day for a tranquil lunchtime picnic.

Drury Lane Garden

This diminutive space just off Drury Lane is ideal for families looking for somewhere quiet in the city. There’s a small play area and leafy shade, with benches and walls for the grown ups to rest!

St George’s Gardens

Formerly two burial grounds, this secluded space in Bloomsbury is a peaceful spot for a quiet lunch, with plenty of places to sit. 

St Dunstan-in-the-East

This city garden sits amongst the ruins of a Grade 1 listed church. Nearby Tower Hill is always busy so this quiet setting is ideal for a picnic with a historical feel.

Alternative Parks

At the height of the season, London’s well known parks can feel as busy as the streets. So why not head to the less central destinations which offer beautiful landscapes for a long and leisurely London picnic with plenty of space.  

Brockwell Park

The other side of Brixton to Clapham Common, Brockwell Park is spacious, leafy and full of attractions. With a lido, sandpits, a BMX track and miniature railway, this London park is a great place for a celebration picnic that spans generations.  

Alexandra Palace Park

North of Hampstead Heath, Alexandra Palace Park might feel like a trek to get to. However, the rolling landscape is worth the effort with stunning picnic views. Full of activities for families, this is a popular meeting spot for picnic catch ups. 

Crystal Palace Park

Formerly the home of the Victorian Crystal Palace, this out of town park is steeped in history. From the historical dinosaur statues to the sphinx stonework, there are so many different sections that it feels like several parks in one.

Waterside Retreats 

There’s nothing quite like a picnic by the water, so here are some of the lesser visited spots to enjoy some waterside calm.

Furnival Gardens

This Thames-side park is in Hammersmith and only really feels hectic on Boat Race day. There’s plenty of grass to stretch out on, or grab one of the benches to look out over the river. If you’re short on supplies, there are conveniently pubs all around. 

Thames Barrier Park

Going East this time, and overlooking the Thames barrier is Thames Barrier Park. Its serenity belies the attractiveness of the gardens, though. There are fountains, a sunken garden, and a cafe.

Camley Street Natural Park

This recently regenerated semi-wild area is next to the Regent’s Canal and sits right behind Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. There’s woodland, grassland and wetland, so for a quiet picnic and nature walk it’s the perfect spot.

Secluded Spots

Of course, there are quiet corners of London’s more central parks, too. With so much space, it’s just a case of knowing which beaten path to wander from!

The Hill Garden and Pergola

Over the road from Hampstead Heath you’ll find the Hill Garden and Pergola. There are stunning views over the heath from this spot, and a beautiful and romantic surrounding of the wisteria covered pergola.

St John’s Lodge Gardens 

Just beyond the inner circle path in Regent’s Park is St John’s Lodge Gardens. Access is via a small gate, and once in you can enjoy comparative quiet on one of the many tucked away benches. 

Cutty Sark Gardens 

Over the road from Greenwich Park, and sitting alongside the river, Cutty Sark Gardens is surrounded by cafes for convenient sustenance and tends to be quieter than the area directly around the Cutty Sark itself. 

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