10 best picnic spots in London

London is one of the greenest major cities in the world. Our summers may be dotted with showers but when the sun is out, so are the people. We’ve rounded up the 10 best picnic spots in London for National Picnic Week, from the vastest to the most secret nooks and crannies only known by locals. Explore London’s greenery with your picnic basket this year and discover the great outdoors beyond the garden.

Victoria Park
Victoria Park in the East End of London opened to the public in 1845. Quieter than the more central parks, this is a London-favourite, with a number of historic artefacts, decorative gardens and wild natural areas as well as many open grass spaces for picnickers.

Kyoto Garden
In the heart of Holland Park, the 54 acres of what used to be the grounds of early 17th century Cope Castle, renamed Holland House, lies the Kyoto Garden. It was designed and built by an eminent Japanese Garden designer and his team to celebrate the Japan Festival in London in 1992 and its beautiful and peaceful arrangement has remained a favourite spot to walk, explore and eat.

Primrose Hill
One of the best things about the green space of Primrose Hill are the views. Located on the northern side of Regent’s Park, its summit allows clear and panoramic views of central London. With a dinner picnic followed by the sunset or lunch-time gazing and grazing, it’s one of the best and most relaxing ways to take in London.

Crystal Palace Park
For something different, head to Crystal Palace Park. This large green space in South London has plenty of places for picnics and lots going on. As well as a lake, sports centre, concert hall and museum, dotted around the park are full-size models of dinosaurs built during the 19th century, lurking between the trees.

Greenwich Park
The most historic of all Royal Parks, Greenwich Park dates back to Roman times and was enclosed in 1427. It is a large park, with much open space perfect for the picnic rug, but also has highlights  such such as the National Maritime Museum and The Royal Observatory for some after-lunch activities.

National Trust Morden Hall Park
Entry to the park surrounding Morden Hall is free, and the grounds are beautiful. With a river, wildlife and a rose garden, there are plenty of picturesque spots to settle down, and look out for the open air theatre or cinema events in the summer to which you are encouraged to bring along your picnic.

Temple Gardens
Within the precincts of the Inner Temple just off the Strand lies a three-acre garden, its wide lawns, populated with a rare and unusual collection of trees, sweeping towards the river and bounded by spectacular herbaceous borders. It is a little-known haven of tranquility in the heart of London and is open to the public from 12.30-3.00 each weekday.

Richmond Park
Richmond Park is the biggest enclosed space in London. It is a National Nature Reserve and has become renowned for the Red and Fallow deer that wander its plains. Richmond Park is varied in landscape from woodlands to open grass, and there are plenty of places to lay out your rugs.

Cannizaro Park
If beautiful greenery and flower displays are a must-have for your picnic, then Cannizaro Park is worth a visit. It is located to the south of Wimbledon Common and is known for its ornamental landscaped gardens with ponds and sculpture. The gardens surrounding the formal 18th century house at the park’s centre (now a hotel) are open to the public and make for a beautiful post-lunch exploration.

Streatham Common
Streatham Common is a fantastic open green space, much less crowded than the more central parks. As well as the historic common, there is also an adjacent formal garden, the Rookery, laid out on the site of one of Streatham's historic mineral wells. The gently sloping lawns of The Rookery are used as an open-air theatre in the summer.


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Annabel Sheen

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