Parks and gardens in London that you need to visit this summer
22nd April 2022
London is full of green spaces and spring is the perfect time to explore its beautiful gardens and parks. Discover wildlife, community gardens, and enjoy the warmer temperatures with a delicious picnic.
These amazing areas are supported thanks to National Lottery players. Looking for inspiration beyond London? Explore some of the best National Lottery funded picnic locations in the UK.
Kew Gardens, founded in 1759, with over 50,000 living plants and London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular attractions to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Get lost inside world climatic zone greenhouses like the tropical Palm House, Temperature House, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, and the Waterlily House.
Other highlights include the 18 metre high Treetop Walkway where you can admire the fauna and flora of the gardens from a height; the Great Pagoda in the Japanese gardens; Kew Palace, the former summer residence of King George III, and the Marianne North Gallery where you will find a collection of more than 800 botanical art paintings.
Kew Gardens has received multiple National Lottery grants, including a £14.7m grant in 2013 for the restoration of the historic Temperate House. This investment resulted in the creation of an inspiring public display for visitors, and helped to raise awareness about the importance of plants, through learning and scientific programmes with community groups.
Brockwell Park in South London is a historic park situated on a hill, with ornamental ponds, a walled ‘Old English’ garden, meadows and a XIX century clock tower.
Originally a private residency, it was opened to the public in the 1990’s. It has many historic buildings and a wide range of outdoor sports facilities, from Brockwell Lido; a popular 30’s style outdoor swimming pool, to tennis courts and a basketball court.
The park is well-known for the diverse community groups that play an active role in the development of the area, including the Brockwell Park Community Greenhouse - a community garden run by volunteers that helps people to learn about conserving the environment and wildlife and encourages organic gardening and food growing. The group runs different activities including garden volunteering, school visits, workshops and much more.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the park had received a grant of £6.3 million for the Restoration of Brockwell Hall - Letting the Past Enhance the Future project, which will enable the building to be used for community events and activities, weddings, exhibitions and more.
Hampstead Heath Park
Hampstead Heath, in North London, is one of the most beloved green spaces of the city. The park has a remarkable range of natural habitats, meadows, wide expanses of grassland, and ancient woodland. It is well-known for its amazing views of the city; Parliament Hill is the perfect place to watch the sunset over London’s skyline while having a picnic.
It has a range of public sports facilities - from swimming ponds, an athletic track, playgrounds, and countless sports pitches. Don’t forget to visit the stunning Pergola located in the hill garden, one of the most instagrammable locations in London.
In 2008, the park received a grant of £46,300 from the National Lottery to improve local facilities and work with the local community.
Colliers Wood Recreation Ground Community Garden
Found in South London, Colliers Wood Recreation Ground is an excellent example of a community park used for social interaction, relaxation, and recreation that provides sports facilities and educational opportunities for everyone.
The park is an important space for the local community and is the home of the Colliers Wood Residents Association of Parks and Green Spaces, a group of local volunteers that look after the park. From running activities with children to encourage their understanding of the environment, to organising litter picking sessions, the association has created a wonderful community at Colliers Wood.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the organisation received a grant of £6,324 for the Colliers Wood Community Garden Project. This allowed them to deliver gardening sessions to the wider community in order to improve a variety of wildlife spaces, and to encourage local people to take up gardening.
Greenwich Park, in Southeast London, is at the heart of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site and is considered the oldest Royal Park of the city. In the 15th century its 183 acres of green space were used by the monarchy as a hunting ground, but now everyone can wander through its wooded areas, enjoy its 17th-century stunning gardens, and admire one of the most iconic skyline views of the capital.
Highlights include the Prime Meridian, the reference point for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and the ancient tree avenues that were once the favourite spots of historic British royalty. As an insider tip, one of our favourite locations in the park is the peaceful Flower, Herb and Rose Garden -the perfect place to chill out after a stressful day in the city. Plus, if you are hungry, don’t forget to try one of the delicious snacks at the Pavilion Café.
Thanks to the support of a £4.5 million National Lottery grant, Greenwich Park is currently undergoing a four year restoration project called Greenwich Park Revealed. This will restore, protect, and share the historic and natural landscape of the area, as well as develop new visitor and training facilities and create new volunteering opportunities for the local community.