Three Lesser-Known London Parks to Escape to
Parks? In this weather? You may ask. Yes. London parks are the best in the winter. Grab your favourite coat. Grab a coffee—or other indiscriminate hot drink. And get amongst the season.
‘The Parks— that’s what I miss the most’. This was my nan’s answer to what she missed most about London. This answer has always stuck with me. And it has led to an appreciation for our capital’s green spaces.
How many parks do you think London has? 100? 1000? The answer: London is home to a staggering 3,000 parks. Now, we all know one or two of London’s famous parks: Hyde Park, St James Park and Kensington Gardens. But what about the smaller, offbeat ones? Below are three of these that can be explored, digested and conquered in an hour or so.
Located in Lambeth, Ruskin Park offers 36 acres of green space for you to wander— including: a pond, formal gardens and a Victorian bandstand. The park is named after John Ruskin: famed poet, art critic and thinker who lived nearby from 1823 to 1871. The park neighbours King’s College Hospital, and this displays an interaction of urban and green space that is a feature of all great London parks.
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is one of the east-end’s hidden gems. The park is a local nature reserve and a historic cemetery; uniquely, these two spaces are not separated, but exist together. The woodland has a number of trials for you to navigate, and on your walks, you cannot help but notice the play of wildlife and the graves. There is something distinctly London about the park. It is a memorable amble.
I like to think of Telegraph Hill as a microcosm of Greenwich Park. The park is the smallest of the three, yet this small-scale only exaggerates the spectacular views that the park offers: a panorama of London’s cityscape. The hillside park also seems to be a favourite amongst dog walkers— so if you, somehow, tire of the view of the city you can turn your eye to the dogs. The Hill Station Community Cafe sits at the corner of the park. You can pop in there to get the coffee that we mentioned earlier.