Time to relax in these idyllic locations.
London may seem like it’s heavy on the hustle and bustle while being lean on the relaxing; and though it 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 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. Now in the days of fewer Covid restrictions, they’ve continued to be a lynchpin for many, as we re-adjust to the fast-paced lifestyle of the city.
Whether it’s walking into the woods to catch the first fall of Autumn leaves, or simply sitting on a secluded bench to read a book when the sun decides to show its face – we all have places that hands us a much needed boost. Here are a few of those that lie scattered around London.
1. Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park
Richmond Park was a godsend for many during lockdown for those who needed 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.
2. Kyoto Garden at Holland Park
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.
3. St. Dunstan In The East
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…
4. Hampstead Pergola
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.
5. Head Room Café
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 Day on October 10, 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.
6. Barbican Conservatory
Travelling is helpful and relaxing to many of us, but that option has been largely snatched away for many of the last 18 months. But, you can find ways to transport yourself away to far off land, such as stepping into the Barbican’s indoor rainforest. Pay this spot a visit and, as you’re stood among the tropical plants in the conservatory, you’re bound to feel at peace.
7. Sitting with the sea breeze hitting your face
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, even if it is very, very chilly!
8. Parkland Walk’s old railroad track
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.
9. Walthamstow Wetlands
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 cuppa and just watch the world go by.
10. At basically any lake
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.
11. Highgate Cemetery
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.