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Looking for hidden parks and gardens in London!

I'm always amazed by how many incredible "secret" or at least not very well-known parks and gardens there are in major cities. I'm assuming London is no exception (I've been there a million times but have somehow always missed them) and I'm hoping someone can offer suggestions for a trip I'm planning there. I'm a big, big flower enthusiast/gardener, so I'd probably be more interested in gardens than parks but I'd love ideas for both. Don't worry that a suggestion is too small! I'd even love to know about community gardens the public can visit if there are any. Basically if it has flowers, I'd like to know about it! Thanks!!!

P.S. I'm also very interested in Victorian architecture so if there's a park or garden that has a lot of it I'd like to see it even if you don't think it's that great. 

15 Answers

top answer by
Eva from San Francisco

This is one of my favorite things about London, too! There's a great place called Camden Arts Centre (link) on Finchley Road, just a few minutes' walk from the Finchley Road Tube (uphill, opposite side of the street). They have a lovely café there, built in a sleek modern addition to the historic building, with big windows that open onto the large garden. The Centre is a sort of museum, with rotating exhibitions and free entry. Highly recommended!

Oh, and coming up in June (14 and 15) is the Open Garden Squares Weekend, an annual event I cannot recommend highly enough! A couple of years ago I did a cycle tour of a bunch of them and it was marvelous––absolutely one of my best memories of living there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Camden Arts Centre (attraction)
10 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Ciara from London

Hi Courtney, have you been to Richmond Park before? It's one of the largest royal parks in London (you can get to Richmond on the tube using the district line). There is a stunning area within the park called the Isabella Plantation which is one of my favourite places. If you go in May-June many of the flowers are in bloom and it has a great "secret garden" kind of vibe.

Also, the Hampton Court Palace gardens make a great afternoon stroll. I think some areas require a ticket but most you can see for free. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Richmond Park (attraction)
  2. Hampton Court Palace (attraction)
8 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Alex from London

Regents Park and Primrose Hill have already been mentioned and are brilliant.  I also think St James' Park is lovely for flower lovers.  Very close to it and just adjacent to the Houses of Parliament there is also a lovely garden by the river.  If you cross over to Lambeth on the southern bank of the Thames and follow Lambeth Palace to its end, you will find the little known but charming Garden Museum which also has quite a good cafe.

Obviously Kew is the mother of all London gardens, and another large one is Hampstead Heath, the North end where Kenwood House overlooks its formal garden.

Last but not least, if flowers spark your interest, you may want to check out the Columbia Road Flower Market on weekends, fabulous atmosphere and a great favourite of the East End.

Have you ever made it to the Chelsea Flower Show btw?

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Regents Park (attraction)
  2. Primrose Hill (attraction)
  3. St James' Park (attraction)
  4. Houses of Parliament (attraction)
  5. Garden Museum (attraction)
  6. Kew (attraction)
  7. Kenwood House (attraction)
  8. Columbia Road Flower Market (attraction)
  9. Chelsea Flower Show (attraction)
5 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Elizabeth from Ottawa

A hidden gem is the Paddington Street Gardens.  It is a wee tiny park just off Marylebone and Oxford that is nice and quiet with flowers, trees, benches, a gazebo and a wonderful small statue of street boy.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paddington Street Gardens (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Belinda from South Carolina

Take the Tube out to Kew Gardens. A day there will show you formal, informal, rose, indoor, tropical, Victorian architecture ... a little of everything for a gardening enthusiast.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kew Gardens (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Caterina from Florence

Hi Courtney,

if you like Victorian architecture you might also like Highgate Cemetery,I know it sounds weird, but I visited the West Cemetery 4 years ago and the guide told me a lot about the graves and the Victorian cemetery (very very interesting). Just consider that the West side of Highgate can be visited only in groups, so check out the official website for details.

Near Highgate Cemetery there's a lot of green + 2 beautiful parks: Hampstead Heath (Hampstead Park) and Waterlow Park (check this out on Google maps).

Another tip: The Regent's Park is astonishing and has already been linked... however, nobody told you about Primrose Hill (that can be easily reached also from Camden Town) from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of London.

Give London a kiss and have a great time there!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Highgate Cemetery (attraction)
  2. Hampstead Heath (attraction)
  3. The Regent's Park (attraction)
  4. Primrose Hill (attraction)
  5. Camden Town (neighborhood)
  6. Waterlow Park (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Fernanda from Sao Paulo

Ohhh!!! Hidden anything is my favorite!:)

You should definitely check out Allen Gardens (it's not here but you can see the address on Yelp it's really near Brick Lane, and has a wonderful grown up playground. 

Also, Stave Hill( it's beautiful and have an amazing view of the city. It's near Canada Water. 

Although I'm a Community Manager for Yelp in São Paulo, I have lived in London for a while and made a list of my favorites places. Here is the link if you want to take a look:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Allen Gardens (attraction)
  2. Stave Hill (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Anton from Greenwich

You might be interested the Rose Garden and the Flower Garden in Greenwich Park and also in the whole of The Regent's Park.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Greenwich Park (attraction)
  2. The Regent's Park (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Eliot from London

I like Postman's Park. I think there was a scene shot in the in the film Closer.,-0.0975962,19z

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Postman's Park (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

The Kensington Roof Gardens aren't really that big of a secret but several Londoners I know haven't managed to get there and there's hardly anyone up there when I go.  Eltham Palace, a short train ride from London is worth going to for the fabulous art deco interior alone but the gardens are also lovely.  While definitely not hidden, there's a lovely garden down on the Victoria Embankment near Charing Cross.  I'm sure you've been to most of the major gardens but I have to tell you that St James' Park was simply stunning last week, it's my favorite garden/park in London.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. St James' Park (attraction)
  2. Kensington Roof Gardens (attraction)
  3. Victoria Embankment (attraction)
  4. Eltham Palace (attraction)
3 thankscomments (3)

answered by

Try St Dunstan in the East Garden - it's a war-damaged church turned into a secret garden near the Tower Of London.

I'll try to think of some more :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tower Of London (attraction)
  2. St Dunstan in the East Garden (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Romy from Tel Aviv

Alexandra Park, in the north of London. 

It's a more sentimental place for me, but it is still a nice small park to walk around in and it also has a palace (Alexandra Palace).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alexandra Palace (attraction)
  2. Alexandra Park (attraction)
2 thankscomments (4)

answered by
John from London

I have to say - in the west of london there are some hidden gems - Bushy Park and Richmond Park

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bushy Park (attraction)
  2. Richmond Park (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
John from San Jose (California)

Get a schedule for "London Walks" online.

answered by

Victoria Park East London

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Victoria Park (attraction)

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