London is one of the greenest cities in the world. In fact, over 40 per cent of Greater London is made up of public green space, meaning you’re never very far from a park or square. Here, we've collected some of the must visit green spaces in the capital, including many that are close to King’s campuses.
Hyde Park and the Serpentine
Henry VIII acquired Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536, mainly so he could hunt for deer. That’s hard to imagine today as the park’s vast grassy spaces now provide respite for busy Londoners and host incredible concerts and events throughout the year. The Serpentine ponds within offer a relaxing space for a swim in summer, but watch out for the swans!
Victoria Embankment Gardens (Strand Campus)
This stretch of grass along the Northbank provides a welcome retreat for office workers. With impressive flowerbeds, fountains and a bandstand, it’s a good spot to catch a moment of calm.
St John’s Church (Waterloo)
Beside St John’s Church is a small garden that many nearby workers use to take their lunch breaks. The small patch of grass, dotted with mosaic sculptures is a relaxing spot just off a bustling roundabout away from the crowds of the Southbank.
Ruskin Park (Denmark Hill)
This popular Edwardian park between Camberwell, Brixton and Herne Hill is much loved by the communities around it. Take a stroll through the park, or if you’re feeling more energetic make use of the sports pitches within. You might even catch some music from the bandstand if you’re lucky.
Jubilee Gardens (Waterloo)
Right on the river with views of some of London’s most iconic landmarks – the famous London Eye being one of them – Jubilee Gardens, close to King’s Waterloo Campus has vibrant flower beds and a curvy walkway featuring spaces to relax between lectures.
Garden Museum & Courtyard (St Thomas’ Hospital)
A horticulturalists delight, the courtyard of the Garden Museum doesn’t disappoint, with creative flowerbeds, unusual plants and the promise of a good quality coffee.
Leathermarket Gardens (Guy’s Campus)
A welcome green patch near Guy’s Campus, the garden derives its name from the leather market and tanneries that existed here in the early 19th century. The gardens feature beautiful rose beds, with benches aplenty offering a quiet spot tucked away from busy London Bridge.
Lincoln’s Inn Fields (Strand Campus)
This little postage stamp of a park is tucked away between the Royal Courts of Justice and Holborn, close to the Strand Campus and right next to the Maughan Library. A perfect lunch spot, it also houses tennis courts and a café.
Get away from it all in this glorious expanse of country in the city. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill for spectacular views of the city’s skyline, or if you’re feeling brave take the plunge in the Heath’s famous swimming ponds. If you’re still seeking culture, have a look around the pristine Kenwood House, with its perfect lawns and world-class art collection.
St James’s Park
Perhaps the most regal of parks, this well-manicured spot is a short walk from King’s Strand Campus and runs parallel to the Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace. The ponds are home to diverse wildlife, meaning you can often spot a heron or even a pelican.
Images: Wikimedia Commons 2, 3