There’s no debating that London, concrete jungle though it may sometimes seem, is full to the brim with green spaces and parks. There are countless places for you to put down your picnic rug and tuck into all the picky bits. So what are you waiting for? Grab the blanket, fill the basket, and make the most of these last few days of summer. Here’s our roundup of the best picnic spots in London:
1. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill, with its zigzagging paths and the iconic cityscape of London unfolding before you, easily has one of the best views of all of London. From up here, you can see everything from the London Eye across to the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf; and it’s pretty damn romantic, too. (Perfect for a first date when the weather holds up!)
It’s been an open public space since 1842, holds the status of a Grade-II listed park, and features two of London’s thirteen protected views out towards St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. A pretty good spot for a scotch egg or two then – especially at sunset.
🚇 Nearest station is Chalk Farm.
2. Kew Gardens
What better way to mark a lovely blue-sky day than taking a trip to Kew Gardens? They’ve got the largest collection of living plants at a single-site botanic garden. So, in other words, Kew Gardens is pretty *ahem* bloomin’ impressive thank you very much.
You’ll have to pay to enter, but it’s well worth a visit and you can save some pennies by bringing in your own drinks and grub. Now that’s something we can get on board with…
🚇 Nearest station is Kew Gardens.
3. Soho Square
Smack bang in the heart of town, Soho Square is a lovely little spot which was first constructed back in the 1670s, when it was billed as the ‘most fashionable place to live in London’. It’s now surrounded by multiple media companies and frequented by numerous fashionistas during the week – many of them there for lunch.
A cracking place for people watching, we’d highly recommend coming here for a picnic – though you might have some trouble finding a spot to sit when the sun is shining. There are often performers and live musicians here when the weather’s playing ball, and there are 16 listed buildings dotted about the square, not to mention numerous buzzing bars and restaurants nearby.
🚇 Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
4. Greenwich Park
Officially one of the UK’s most beautiful parks (and in turn one of the best picnic spots in London), Greenwich is a former hunting park of King Henry VIII and is the oldest of the eight Royal Parks of London. Home to spacious boulevards, flower-filled gardens, wildlife-rich meadows and historic spots dating all the way back to Roman times. It’s a peaceful spot that is well worth a visit when you’re in SE10 – particularly if you’re looking to enjoy a picnic.
Famous for its panoramic views of Canary Wharf, the City and the River Thames, it’s also one of the best places in town to watch the sunset (or the sunrise if you’re more of an early bird).
🚇 Nearest stations are Cutty Sark DLR and Greenwich.
5. Hampstead Heath
Now this one really is the stuff of legend – and it’s easy to see why. Spanning 320 hectares, it’s synonymous with rolling hills, excellent views and wildlife-filled woodlands – not to mention those swimming ponds too. This is the park that inspired C.S. Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia after all, so it’s a pretty bloody magical place.
We highly recommend having a ramble here culminating in a delicious picnic – whilst you savour the views of the city below. You’re also within striking distance of some of the best pubs in London – post-picnic pint anyone?
🚇 Nearest stations are Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak.
6. London Fields
A 31-acre park located west of Mare Street in south-central Hackney, London Fields is always pretty lively whenever the sun is shining – especially at weekends. It’s right by Broadway Market – the perfect spot to peruse and pick up some bits and bobs – and there’s a lovely wildflower meadow here too.
It’s another great spot for people-watching, and the lido is just a stone’s throw away if you fancy a post-picnic dip. Just let your food digest of course…
🚇 Nearest stations are Hoxton and Cambridge Heath.
7. Clapham Common
From a beautiful bandstand and a picture-perfect pond (complete with a model yacht club) to wonderful woodland areas for your nature fix, Clapham Common is a delightful spot in, well, Clapham. And there are countless spots for you to put down a rug and tuck into some delicious food.
We’d recommend heading towards the bandstand, which is the oldest one in town, and if you’re lucky you may actually be able to hear some music if you time it right. Dinner A picnic and a show – what a delight!
🚇 Nearest station is Clapham Common.
8. Lincoln’s Inn Fields
The largest public square in London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields was first established back in the 1630’s, and it’s also just a stone’s throw from both Holborn and Chancery Lane tube stations. The present layout dates from the early-19th century, and has not changed significantly since. It’s all manicured lawns, pretty flowerbeds, and wide boulevards for strolling. Perfect for a post-work picnic, it’s hidden away from the busy roads for which Central London is so well known.
There are plenty of shops nearby for you to stock up on all the goods, and plenty of boozers too for when the temperature drops later on.
🚇 Nearest station is Chancery Lane.
9. Battersea Park
Definitely a contender for being one of the best picnic spots in London, Battersea Park in Battersea (where else?) is a charming spot that really has it all. Children’s zoo? Check. Putt in the park? Check. Japanese Peace Pagoda? Check? Endless space for picnics? Check!
There’s also a riverside promenade and a large lake here, so pre- or post-picnic, why not head out for a relaxing amble? There are plenty of pooches here, so keep an eye out when you’re tucking in – the last thing you need is a stolen sandwich!
🚇 Nearest station is Battersea Power Station.
10. Brockwell Park
Spanning a whopping 51 acres, Brockwell Park is a serene spot spanning green, rolling hills, a walled garden and duck ponds. Most of the time, at least. The park does see some changes during the warmer summer months when some of the finest music festivals in town take root in the western fringes of the park.
Even when the music’s playing, it’s a great place for a stroll. And it’s not too hard to avoid tthe crowds. When the sun’s shining, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in town, and there are some great pubs in Herne Hill for a post-picnic pint. There’s also a lido here – great for a dip too!
🚇 Nearest station is Herne Hill.
So there you have it, a roundup of the best picnic spots in London. Whack out those pins, slap on a hat, get all the picky bits, and have yourself a lovely afternoon!