Holland Park

Attractions , Parks and gardens Holland Park
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(12 user reviews)
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 (Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park - © Andrew Brackenbury)
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Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park - © Andrew Brackenbury
Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park
 (© Chris McCooey)
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© Chris McCooey
 (Kyoto Garden, Holland Park - © Andrew Brackenbury)
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Kyoto Garden, Holland Park - © Andrew Brackenbury
Kyoto Gardens at Holland Park
 (© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out)
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© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
 (© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out)
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© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
 (© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out)
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© Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
 (© Chris McCooey)
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© Chris McCooey

The history of Holland Park, one of London’s finest green spaces, makes an interesting tale for history buffs and horticulturalists alike. The park surrounds a Jacobean mansion, Holland House, named after its second owner, the Earl of Holland, whose wife was the first person in England to successfully grow dahlias. In the 19th century, Holland House became a hub of political and literary activity, visited by Disraeli and Lord Byron amongst others, but was largely destroyed by bombs during WWII. These days, dahlias are still grown within the 55 acres of Holland Park, which also houses the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens with its koi carp and bridge at the foot of a waterfall. Not to be missed for families is the playground, with its extensive climbing equipment, zip wire, giant see-saw and tyre swing. There’s also a fenced-in separate play area for younger children. In summer, open-air theatre and opera are staged in the park.

Discover more of London's hidden gardens and green spaces

Venue name: Holland Park
Contact:
Address: Ilchester Place
London
W8 6LU
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am-30 minutes before dusk
Transport: Tube: Holland Park/Kensington High St
Price: Free
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|12
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Emily
tastemaker

I didn't know anything about this park until I went there by mistake. It is so unique that it doesn't even look like London. The Kyoto Garden is lovely! This park is perfect for any kind of activity, also for a simple walk between notting hill and high street kensington. It's full of attractions but of quiet ares as well. I love it. 

Chesca R
Tastemaker

I have only relatively recently discovered this park and I am kicking myself for settling for more ordinary mainly grass parks up until now. Although smaller than some of the other London green spaces this park is punching well above its weight in variety, beauty and design. By far my favourite part of the park is the Kyoto gardens. Ive been lucky enough to go to several Japanese gardens in Japan and the planting and tranquility of this garden took me back there. It is an amazing space to re-set, take a deep breath and get back to yourself. 

Sheens86
Tastemaker

Bizarrely one of the most understated parks in London. Came for a picnic and to see the Kyoto Gardens, which were beautifully serene. Words of advice, the peacocks are afraid of no-one and also, spray some insect repellent if you don't want a bite the size of an orange! Also, be on the look out for people Pokemon hunting ... it's like a stampede.

Will J

Amazing opportunity to take a photo of one of the many Holland Park peacocks in the Japanese gardens standing on a small wishing well. Colours blend in well in the background with the vibrant colours of this dapper peacock.

Sarah J
tastemaker

Holland Park has recently become my favourite London park. Although Holland Park underground station is currently closed, it is less than a 10 minute walk from either Notting Hill or Shepherd's Bush underground stations. The Kyoto garden was my favourite, with perfectly placed bonsai trees, a mini waterfall and a pond filled to the brim with koi carp. There was even a peacock wandering around when I visited last week. The slightly overgrown feel instantly made it feel like we weren't in London anymore and it's quite different from the other London parks with its paths and collection of trees and flowers. I think it's a great location for the summer, with different cultural events going on such as operas and children's activities. A definite must-see!

GirlAboutLondon
tastemaker

Think of Holland Park as the boutique version of Hyde Park: prettier, posher, smaller and never heaving.

There's something for everyone in these 54 acres tucked between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill: For the sporty it has a sports field, cricket pitch, tennis courts and outdoor gym equipment.

Animal lover? The park is popular with locals for dog walking. From Labradors to Yorkie-poos, I've seen just about every type of dog breed here. If you forget the poop-bags, take doggy to one of the dog toilets instead.

There's often an abundance of peacocks that love doing their display to show-off their feathers to spectators! Get your timing right and you'll see little chicks running around with their mums too.

Occasionally wild animals such as pigs and cows are brought in to naturally control weeds and turn the soil in fenced-off sections, which makes for hours of great animal-watching.

The rest of the park boasts different little sections- each one a treat to explore.

The Japanese Kyoto Garden is a beautiful and quiet place 'to reflect' and look at koi fish from the bridge on the pond.

Go for a walk through the semi-wild woodland and you'll completely forget you're in central London. Don't be surprised if you manage to get a bit lost!

In summer the ruins of Holland House (yes, Holland Park used to be someone's garden basically) are used to stage the famous Holland Park Opera. One year the seating was then also used for outdoor movie screenings which was fantastic.

For the kids? The new, big and awesome Adventure playground has a mini climbing wall, aerial runway and climbing frames which will tire them out in no time.

Even toddlers have their own playground with sand pits, swings and mini frames.

The park also has a restaurant (well-known Belvedere which has a great value set lunch menu if you don't want to splash out on the a la carte prices), orangery, cafeteria, ecology centre, and, just to balance out the refinement, even a youth hostel and police station!

So whether you want to take the dogs for a walk, kids for a play, enjoy a coffee or just have a stroll, you won't be disappointed visiting Holland Park.

Lisa R
Tastemaker

I visit Holland Park once a year to meet up with a friend and her daughter. Our daughters are now too old, but in previous years have taken advantage of the fantastic selection of events taking place in the Ecology Centre (which I believe has recently been refurbished). This year we all went just to walk and talk. The park is big enough for a good walk round and has woods, ornamental gardens; and a wonderful Japanese garden with a waterfall and quiet contemplation area. There is a playground which would suit children from very young up until teenagers. There is a cafe, but it only has sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee. There are ice-creams to buy alongside the cafe, and they are worth the steep price. There is a more expensive restaurant called the Belvedere, run by Marco Pierre White and an excellent art studio, called the Ice House. There are tennis courts and lots of events happening on a daily basis. Look on their website before you visit for information on these and lots of interesting facts about the history of the park.


Naomi
Tastemaker

My intention for visiting Holland Park was to see the Kyoto Garden which I'd heard and read so often about and safe to say I wasn't disappointed! I've previously visited the Japanese Garden in Monte Carlo, but London's far out-shone theirs, such a beautiful and peaceful place to be. The full springtime bloom at the time of my visit definitely added to the garden's gorgeousness and visiting alone meant I was fully able to appreciate the peaceful vibes and 'space for thought' of the Kyoto Garden, although would also be a perfect location for couples. The rest of Holland Park is definitely underrated too!

Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

This is such a beautiful park and a wonderful place to take a romantic stroll, have a picnic or even take a fun jog. There are so many things happening in this tranquil park - including some rather wily peacocks that roam free - that it's a really fun, varied afternoon out.


Bit it's not as busy as it sounds. You can definitely get a moment of calm in the Kyoto Garden with its big koi pond, waterfall and peaceful atmosphere. I would say to go and read a book there but to be honest, the sound of the water trickling down to the pond where the little fish mouths ripple the surface will distract you so much that you'll have to read the same page five times before you realise you're not going to soak anything in.

Elizabeth Greitzer

Also great areas for kids are the wild forest play area (closed for winter - check back in summer) and the pond and nature preserve which has regular open days. You can walk back in the woods with no buildings in site - and not believe you are minutes away from Kensington High Street. Another recently opened area is the remains of Holland House. When the opera is not set up - you can walk around the grounds and out along a high walkway surveying the park below.