There’s nothing quite like getting away from the craziness of life in the capital than by taking a wander through one of its many gardens. And luckily for us, we’re not exactly short of them here in our lovely capital city. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of 15 of the best London gardens for you to explore. Don’t forget to pack a book!
1. Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
Kicking off our roundup of the best London gardens you can visit is the Chelsea Physic Garden – London’s official ‘secret garden’ which is a green oasis tucked away beside the River Thames and which holds a unique collection of 5,000 different plants.
It also holds the prestigious title of being London’s oldest botanical garden, and this year it’s marking its 350th anniversary. They’ve recently restored their glasshouses, so it’s a really great time to visit this one!
📍You’ll find the Chelsea Physic Garden at 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4HS.
🚇 Nearest station is Sloane Square.
2. The Garden of St. John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park
Robert Weir Shultz classed this garden as ‘fit for meditation’ all the way back in 1889 and, if it was enough to calm the soul in the 19th century, we’re pretty sure it’ll ease our minds now. Ornamented with lots of exquisite stonework and sculptures, you could easily get lost in the beauty of this corner of Regent’s Park.
The garden features a sunken lawn with hedge borders leading up to the St. John’s Lodge itself where you can get a view of the top of the villa, and maybe a cheeky glimpse through the hedge. Lined with benches on either side, it allows you to hunker down on a sunny day with a book or for a meditative moment, just as Robert Weir Shultz intended. We for one can certainly get on board with that!
📍You’ll find The Garden of St. John’s Lodge at Regent’s Park, Chester Road, London, NW1 4NR.
🚇 Nearest station is Regent’s Park.
3. Queen Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park
Another one of London’s gardens based in Regent’s Park, this one is definitely for all you flower lovers out there, as it’s home to the largest collection of roses in London – a whopping 12,000. It’s kitted out with Mediterranean Borders, a Begonia Garden and strategically-designed shrubberies — but just be careful when you’re trying to snap that perfect shot for Insta (we know you won’t be able to resist).
📍You’ll find Queen Mary’s Garden at Chester Road, London, NW1 4NR.
🚇 Nearest station is Regent’s Park.
4. Myddelton House Gardens, Enfield
Boasting an impressive eight acres, this beautiful garden was created in the late 19th century by Edward Augustus Bowles, one of Britain’s most famous self-taught gardeners and botanists. With a lake, a Victorian greenhouse and lots of pretty crevices, nooks and crannies to explore, this garden is well worth the trip up to the Lee Valley.
There are also a plethora of unusual plants on show here, and throughout the year, the gardens also play host to a range of events, including live music and theatre on the lawn plus seasonal guided walks.
📍You’ll find Myddelton House Gardens at Bulls Cross, Enfield, EN2 9HG.
🚇 Nearest station is Turkey Street.
5. Kew Gardens, Kew
Another one of our favourite London gardens is none other than the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew – officially the UK’s favourite and most Instagrammable garden in which to visit – and who are we to argue? It’s official!
This world-renowned spot is made up of over 50,000 living plants which can be discovered in a variety of different environments, ranging from the famous Arboretum to the Alpine rock garden – and it actually holds the title of being the world’s largest botanical garden. Not bad right? Pay a visit to the ten-story Chinese Pagoda, come face to face with a venus flytrap in the Temperate House or get a head for heights up atop the vertigo-inducing Aerial Walkway. Get your tickets here.
📍You’ll find the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB.
🚇 Nearest station is Kew Gardens.
6. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Dalston
This community garden runs along the old Eastern Curve railway line that used to link Dalston Junction with the goods yard and the North London line. Now it’s a lovely green space dotted with wooden benches and a pavilion for events such as yoga, volunteer gardening and live music. Wholesome or what?
📍 You’ll find Dalston Eastern Curve Garden at 13 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF.
🚇 Nearest station is Dalston Junction.
7. Eltham Palace & Gardens, Eltham
Perhaps one of London’s biggest hidden gems and tucked away in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, this extravagant spot was once a Medieval palace before it became a Royal Tudor residence. Then, in the 1930’s, it was transformed by the eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld into a kooky, Art Deco-style mansion.
As well as the mighty (and still standing) Mediaeval hall at this palace, you’ll be able to try on a whole host of period costumes, take a wander around the beautiful Rock Garden with its waterfalls and rose beds, see the purpose-built home of Mah-Jong, the Courtaulds’ beloved pet lemur, or even catch a candlelight concert here!
📍You’ll find Eltham Palace & Gardens at Court Yard, Greenwich, London, SE9 5QE.
🚇 Nearest stations are Mottingham and Eltham.
8. Syon House & Gardens, Brentford
Syon Park is one of the last great manor houses of London but it’s their expansive gardens and conservatory that will win you over. Take a stroll around the park’s gardens, arboretum, parklands and meadows to take in some of the rare collections of wildlife and plants.
They’ve filmed everything here from the likes of The Madness of King George, Gosford Park, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story and the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring Emma. So you’ll be walking in some pretty impressive footsteps at this one!
📍You’ll find Syon House & Gardens at Syon Park, Brentford, TW8 8JF.
🚇 Nearest station is Syon Lane.
9. Kyoto Japanese Garden at Holland Park, Kensington
Nestled right in the heart of leafy Holland Park lies a charming, hyper-Instagrammable, oasis of calm called the Kyoto Garden. The park was a gift from the city of Kyoto, honouring the friendship between the countries of Japan and Great Britain.
Central to it all is the famous waterfall, which trickles into a pond with koi carp swimming around. But there’s plenty more to see than just this water feature, with winding cobbled pathways, traditional Japanese stone lanterns, and more. There are even some resident peacocks here, who pose for photographs to anyone who comes across their path, and you can also spot numerous other species of wildlife here too – including Eurasian jays and, if you’re lucky, grey herons.
📍You’ll find the Kyoto Japanese Garden at Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UA.
🚇 Nearest station is Holland Park.
10. Charlton House & Gardens, Greenwich
With three walled gardens to choose from, there’s plenty to see and walk around at this free green space at Charlton House, which is one the UK’s finest examples of a Jacobean manor home and was built all the way back in the early 17th century. Expect cute courtyards, ponds and everything pretty in-between. There’s also a long list of events and tours in case you want to make a proper day out of it and, really, we can’t blame you to be honest. Don’t miss out on checking out the art exhibitions here too!
📍You’ll find Charlton House & Gardens at Charlton Road, London, SE7 8RE.
🚇 Nearest station is Charlton.
11. Culpeper Community Gardens, Islington
Another one of the best London gardens here is Culpeper Community Gardens, a peaceful oasis set right amongst the buzz and bustle of the city, which is managed by and for the local people.
But it’s also open to the public to enjoy a gorgeous slice of greenery and a variety of plant-life right in the middle of one of London’s most popular areas. There are ponds, paths and lots of plants here, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a Summer picnic.
📍 1 Cloudesley Road, near Angel station, N1 0EJ
🚇 Nearest station is Angel.
12. Hill Garden & Pergola, Hampstead
The Hill Garden began its life as a Victorian folly, but it has since become London’s very own fairytale location. It is a beautiful, landscaped garden which was the private garden of a now demolished manor house. Right by the pergola, it offers expansive panoramic views over the rolling green hills of Hampstead Heath, and of course, you can’t miss checking out the pergola.
It was commissioned by Lord Leverhulme, who made his fortune selling soap. One summer’s eve in 1904, he decided that his nearby mansion needed an extravagant terrace, to host garden parties and lazy summer nights. So, being filthy rich, he decided to build it. Who can blame him hey?!
📍You’ll find the Hill Garden & Pergola at Inverforth Close, North End Way, London, NW3 7EX.
🚇 Nearest stations are Hampstead and Golders Green.
13. St-Dunstan-In-The-East, City of London
Now we absolutely love this one here at Secret London. And to be honest – who can blame us!? It’s a little slice of tranquillity right in the heart of the City of London. After being ruined by the Great Fire of London and being bombed during The Blitz, the Anglican Church wasn’t then forced to abandon it.
However, in 1967, it was then converted into a public park, and the Church’s loss became London’s gain. Trees grow through windows and vines wind themselves around walls of St Dunstan in the East, whilst palm trees make for a positively tropical addition. All in all, it’s a gorgeously green spot and the perfect place to while away a few hours and grab some R&R.
📍You’ll find St-Dunstan-In-The-East at St Dunstan’s Hill, London, EC3R 5DD.
🚇 Nearest stations are Tower Hill and Fenchurch Street.
14. Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Canary Wharf
Taking an amble around this serene rooftop garden right in the heart of Canary Wharf is arguably the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of life within the working district. It’s a beautiful little spot, where funky geometric windows offer great views back over Canary Wharf. To be honest, it was expected given that the architects responsible also count the Gherkin, City Hall, and the British Museum’s swanky roof amongst their creations. The plants are just as delightful, too, encompassing trees, shrubs, and flowers from all over the globe.
📍You’ll find the Crossrail Place Roof Garden at Crossrail Place, London, E14 5AB.
🚇 Nearest station is Canary Wharf.
15. Chiswick House & Gardens, Chiswick
Rounding off this list of the best London gardens is the magnificent Chiswick House & Gardens – and you really can’t go wrong with a wander round this charming locale on a sunny day. The gardens were restored to show the original vistas, garden buildings and statues that were placed here when the gardens were originally formed back in the 18th century. Plus, there are also dog shows, exhibitions, open houses and even a music festival here every September! Winner, winner.
📍You’ll find Chiswick House & Gardens at Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London, W4 2RP.
🚇 Nearest station is Chiswick.
So there you have it, a roundup of the very best London gardens for you to while away the hours and enjoy some real peace and quiet. So take along a book, bring a pair of sunnies and kick back and relax!