Time to relax in these idyllic locations.
London may seem like it’s all hustle and bustle, no relaxing; and while that may be true, there’s still plenty of quaint spots where you can find a small moment of tranquillity. Throughout lockdown, in particular, spots tucked away will have proved a vital part of the city to many a Londoner, as we all realised it was the little things that often got us through the day. Whether it was walking into the woods to catch the first sprouting of bluebells, or simply sitting on a secluded bench to read a book when the sun decided to show its face – we all have places that provide us a much needed boost. Here are a few of those that lie scattered around London.
Richmond Park has been a godsend for many during lockdown for those who need a walk among nature to clear their heads and get away from those four walls. Plus, you know, who doesn’t like seeing all the deer? And, deep in the park sits the Isabella Plantation; a quaint, sheltered forest area covered in beautiful plants and shrubbery. Taking a seat here and admiring the bright plants and colourful ducks is sure to give you a dose of peace to see you through the week.
Nestled away in Holland park is a charming and tranquil Japanese garden that will sweep you away upon entry. Waterfalls, peacocks, beautiful trees and schools of fish swimming in the pond can be found at the Kyoto Garden, which has served as a perfect stress relief for Londoners (boy, do we need it) since 1992.
On paper, hanging in the midst of an abandoned church might seem, well, a little too horror movie. But, we can solemnly swear that the ruins of St Dunstan’s in the East have the complete opposite effect. Sitting among the square surrounded by plants and the historic building provides a healthy dose of tranquillity, huddled away from the fast-paced surroundings of the city. I mean, just look at it…
If boasting the famous “heath” wasn’t enough, we can also highly recommend Hampstead’s other underrated, extremely calming spot that is the pergola. Here, you’ll be able to wander among the swathes of rundown splendour with plenty of overgrown and natural surroundings. It changes with the seasons, but each period has its own magical, quaint feel to it.
It’s still just about bluebell season, so why not make it your mission to walk among the sweet colours in one of these quiet forests around the capital? If you’re feeling blue, it’s surprising how much the beauty of the plants can do to reverse just that.
Even if there are people around, you can still find your moment of stillness at one of your favourite cafés. Since it’s Mental Health Awareness week, we’ve picked out the lovely Head Room Café in Golders Green which aims to bring awareness and access to mental health support. Sit quietly for a coffee and a piece of cake if the rush of the working week is getting too much for you. You’ll likely feel better for it.
Travelling is helpful and relaxing to many of us, but that option has been largely snatched away over the past year. But, you can find ways to transport yourself away to far off land, such as stepping into the Barbican’s indoor rainforest. From May 24, the spot will be opening for visitors once more, and as you’re stood among the tropical plants in the conservatory, you’re bound to feel at peace.
When people think of the ultimate restorative locations, they tend to think spots by the sea pretty fast. Get down to one of these brilliant beaches near London for a day out in the golden sands to experience true relaxation.
A walk down the quaint, busy area of the old Parkland Walk railroad track will have you in touch with the vast industrial history of the country, as well as calmed by the beautiful natural surroundings.
Walthamstow boasts London’s newest AND biggest nature reserve and it’s completely worth your time. Getting lost among the stunning paths by reservoirs and among the weeping willows is sure to provide a serene moment for just about anyone. Sit here with a takeaway cuppa and just watch the world go by.
Similarly to sitting by the sea, staring out into the lake is usually recommended as a calming measure to clear the mind of stress. Even if the area is busy, gazing out onto a body of water tends to do wonders for finding a rare moment of stillness inside your mind.
Now, a cemetery may not top everyone’s lists for a tranquil spot, but there’s a reason this historic location is frequented by so many Londoners. It’s popular for being a great place to wander around taking in the jaw-dropping surroundings of the graves and mausoleums. Plus, you’ll be among the graves of some the greats, including George Eliot, Douglas Adams, Karl Marx and Christina Rossetti.