The UK capital may be polluted and grey at the best of times but it’s still famous for its lush green spaces. When the weather IS sunny enough there are plenty of pretty areas to visit in the south west of London!
Here’s our guide to the best of them:
This large open space is one of three commons in the south west alongside Putney Heath and Putney Lower Common. These areas of calm in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Wimbledon, Putney and Kingston-Upon-Thames were created for the benefit of the public as well as to ensure the preservation of natural flora and fauna. The windmill that stands near the centre of the common is famous for being the place where Robert Baden-Powell wrote parts of ‘Scouting for Boys’ some 115 years ago.
Wimbledon Common is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is the largest of the UK capital’s royal parks, occupying some 2,500 acres. Millions of Londoners and tourists visit this area every year. Previously used as hunting ground by Henry VIII, the park also boasts the Palladian splendour of White Lodge and Pembroke Lodge – which used to be the childhood home of philosopher Bertrand Russell and is now a cafe! The park’s also home to hundreds of red and fallow deer that have free range to roam across the park. Oh and don’t miss the Isabella Plantation – a beautiful woodland garden established in the 1950s.
Richmond Park is open from 7:00 am in the summer and 7:30 am in the winter. The park closes at dusk all year round.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is a unique 300 acre UNESCO world heritage site, which combines an array of botanical glasshouses with 250 years of history between them. Situated between Richmond and Kew, there are some 30,000 different kinds of plants to fascinate the green-fingered among us.
Tickets to the Gardens and the exhibition – adults £14.50, concessions £12.50, children 16 and under FREE.
Millions of Londoners and tourists visit Bushy Park every year. Located near Hampton Court Palace, Bushy is the second largest of the capital’s eight royal parks. The mixture of woods, gardens, ponds and grassland make it a great place to enjoy wildlife – there’s also plenty of deer milling about!
If you do pay the park a visit check out the Longford River – devised by King Charles I to create an artificial waterway because Hampton Court Palace was always short of water. It was built by hand, took nine months to complete and cost £4000! The park is also home to the beautiful Diana Fountain – the centrepiece of Sir Christopher Wren’s grand approach to Hampton Court Palace.
Bush Park is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Thumbprint image by @Shaun Ferguson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence