I love London. Every time I wonder around the city, it surprises me over and over again. It might be overcrowded and the air pollution is disgusting but think about all those green areas – lovely squares, parks and woods – all around London. Even if you work in a jungle of buildings in central London, you can still find a peaceful place for your lunch break. Let me show you 9 lovely green oases in and around central London.
- The Phoenix Garden (WC2H 8DG)
The Phoenix Garden is a community garden, which is maintained using sustainable techniques and an innovative approach to wildlife gardening. It is a tiny green oasis in a tourist heavy area, between Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square underground stations.
- The Calthorpe Project (WC1X 8LH)
A lovely little garden in King’s Cross area, with a vegetarian café opened on weekdays and serving meals with organic vegetables grown in the garden.
- St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden (EC3R 5DD)
The Church of St Dunstan was originally built around 1100. It was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London and in the Blitz of 1941. After that, it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan’s but to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970. This green oasis is busy on weekday lunchtimes and peacefully quiet and empty at weekends.
- Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden (EC1A 7BA)
In the Middle Ages this was the site of a Franciscan monastery and today’s garden is on the site of the Franciscan Church of Greyfriars (1225). Numerous well-known people, including four queens, were buried in the old church, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The present garden was laid out on the site in 1989. This is a great place to spend your lunch break if you work near St. Paul’s station.
- Cleary Gardens (EC4V 2AR)
Cleary Garden is a beautiful terraced garden, being just a few minutes’ walk from the Millennium Bridge. You hardly find a seat during the week on a lunch time but it’s nice and quiet on weekends, especially at the back of the garden.
- Camley Street Natural Park (N1C 4PW)
Located near always buzzing King’s Cross and St. Pancras Station, this urban nature reserve is a true oasis for both people and wildlife. It is hard even to believe that you are in a city when surrounded by wild plants and ponds.
- New River Walk (N1 2QL)
There is a designated walking route (28mi/45km) along the canal called the New River Path. The New River Walk is a curvy and green towpath in Islington, which I highly recommend to visit on Saturday afternoon after you enjoy a 2-hour free (based on donations) live music at the Union Chapel (12-2pm). Keep in mind, that the New River Walk is divided by Willow Bridge road, so when you come out of one bit, just look for another entrance to the second bit of this lovely path.
- Crossrail Place Roof Garden (E14 5AB)
Have you ever been to Barbican Conservatory? Well, this indoor garden on top of the Crossrail station in Canary Wharf is much more worth to visit. Plants from East (such as bamboos) and from West (such as ferns), and a gorgeous glass roof will make you relax instantly. That is easily one of my favorite places in London.
South East London
- Red Cross Garden (SE1 1HA)
Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) has restored the original layout of this beautiful Victorian garden, which originally laid out by Octavia Hill in 1887. Little quiet garden with a pond and a view to the Shard.
I would love to know what are your favourite green spaces in London. Let me know in the comments section below.