London parks for the whole family
London is a wildly busy city, populated by over 9 million people. It’s also home to incredible parks with expanses of open green spaces, wildlife and stunning lakes. The trick is finding them. We uncover the 5 best parks in London for a family day out.
If you are looking for a day out in London to see the sights check out our iconic London landmark round up here.
Central London parks
Is there anything more relaxing than a stroll in a beautiful open green park while sipping hot coffee and watching the kids play?
Hyde Park with its wide open planes is a great place for a walk or cycle ride. Enjoy swimming or boating on the serpentine lido, feeding the ducks and swans, or simply take in the views of the lake and Kensington Palace. Top it off with a hot chocolate at the waterside cafe.
If you happen to be visiting around Christmas time, Hyde Park is also the site of Winter Wonderland. Host to fairground rides, sweet stands and food stalls, there’s festive fun for the whole family. Take part in singalongs, comedy and circus acts as well as an open air ice rink. Discover what’s on.
Where: Hyde Park, Central London W2 2UH
Zone: 1, on the Piccadilly line, Hyde Park Corner station
The London Parks for wildlife
Regent’s Park situated nearby the exciting areas of Fitzrovia and Marylebone is another option for those who enjoy a relaxing stroll. The park never disappoints and is a sight to behold. Ornate flower arrangements and marvellous water features really are a little special.
You can run around the perfectly manicured areas of the park or explore the community gardens. There are cute little bridges over pretty waterfalls and rock formations to explore. There is an exceptional play park with sand play for the little ones so this London park caters for many.
For those who enjoy animals and wildlife, the park is full of friendly squirrels and birds of many kinds, including Herons who live by the boating lake. You may even spot the occasional urban fox.
The animal experience can be further explored with a trip to ZSL London Zoo, found within the park. The Zoological Society of London is an international conservation charity. Their vision is “a world where wildlife thrives”, and through their science they are dedicated to achieving this. View a map of the park here.
Where: Regent’s Park, Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
Zone: 1 on the Bakerloo line, Regent’s Park station
Battersea Park is a beautifully scenic London park worth making the trip to. Located in the borough of Wandsworth just south of the river Thames and with a rich history, Battersea park is adorned with relaxing woodland. It’s also home to a beautiful lake and quaint cafe.
Unassuming herons can be found wandering the park and otters, capuchins and chinchillas can be found at Battersea Park zoo.
It’s quite a large park – view the map to help find your way around.
Where: Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
Zone: 2, South London line, Battersea Park station
London parks away from the smoke
Hampstead heath, spanning 320 hectares from Hampstead to Highgate, provides an excellent view of the city. Full of woodland, lakes and wildlife, the open green space is great for a relaxing walk and taking in the scenery.
Although rather hilly in parts, Hampstead heath can also be a great place for a jog away from the city air. It’s a site of many cross-country running events throughout the year.
If you’re a fan of listening to live music while sipping on a glass of wine – (who isn’t?!) – be sure to catch the lakeside concerts organised in the Summer. Set in the grounds of Kenwood House, an English Heritage owned stately home, it’s the perfect summer’s evening setting. Bring along a picnic and blanket, a couple of games to play with the kids, and take in the beautiful views over the hill.
Find upcoming events here – Happy Heathing, as they say!
Where: Hampstead Heath, 6km from Trafalgar Square, North London
Zone: 2, Hampstead Heath overground railway station
Greenwich Park has a history that dates back to Roman times. Beautiful gardens and 183 acre park offers one of the most iconic views of London. With a 17th century landscape, Greenwich Park is easily one of the five best – if not the best – parks in London.
Little ones – (and grown ups too, of course!) – can explore The Wilderness. This is London’s oldest deer park in the south east of Greenwich Park. The Secret Garden wildlife Centre includes a classroom with one-way glass in the windows. View the curious deer in their natural surroundings.
The Pavilion Cafe is particularly welcome – the park is so large, you’ll need plenty of refreshments! They serve breakfast and lunch with freshly baked pastries, muffins and stone-baked pizzas. The cafe is a cosy place to visit in the winter and home to large gardens which are perfect places to relax in the summer.
Find the key spots on this handy map, to help plan your trip.
Where: Greenwich, London SE10 8QY
Zone: 2, Jubilee Line to North Greenwich – then catch the 188 or 129 bus.
There we have it, five of the very best London parks – with acres and acres to explore. Take a few trips to London to try them all. You can even mix it up with visits to delicious restaurants, quirky cafes and a little shopping.