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London gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take in the splendour of nature at the city's prettiest public gardens

© Charlie Hopkinson
 

Whether you're on the hunt for horticultural magnificence or just fancy a wander and a cuppa, London's public gardens offer perennial pleasure. Read our guide and uncover some of the city's glorious green spaces.

Our pick of London's public gardens

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens represents the pinnacle of our national gardening obsession. Head straight for the nineteenth-century glasshouses, filled to the roof with plants – some of which have been here as long as the enormous glass structures themselves.

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Kew, Surrey

Chelsea Physic Garden

Founded in 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden contains England's oldest rock garden. The garden's proximity to the Thames ensured that it enjoyed a microclimate that made it possible to grow non-native plants, including the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in England. There's a shop where you can buy unusual plants and a café that serves very good cakes.

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Outer London

Chiswick House and Gardens

Walled gardens have been on this site since the late 1600s but the once grand kitchen garden lay neglected from the 1920s until it was rediscovered a few years ago and restored. The surrounding parkland offers acres more green space to explore.

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Chiswick

Fenton House

Terrace walks, a formal lawn and a sunken rose garden grace the northern part of this garden, which adjoins a seventeenth-century merchant’s house. More unusual, though, is the 300-year-old orchard where some 30 varieties of English apple are grown.

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Hampstead

Syon House and Park

Syon House's landscaped park is by Capability Brown and among the additional attractions in the 200-acre grounds are an excellent garden centre, a trout fishery, the London Aquatic Experience, an indoor adventure playground and a miniature steam train.

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Richmond, Surrey

Geffrye Museum gardens

Just as the Geffrye’s period rooms trace the development of the British domestic interior from the sixteenth century to the present, its ‘garden rooms’ illustrate changing planting styles across half a millennium.

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Haggerston

Comments

3 comments
Leah Mullen
Leah Mullen

My favourite London gardens are at Eltham Palace -- the grounds (and moat!) of this incredible estate are just astounding, especially in the summer.

Kensington Roof Gardens
Kensington Roof Gardens

Hi Maggie, So glad you have such fond memories of The Roof Gardens. The gardens are indeed open to the public, please call us on 0207 937 7994 and we will advise you of the opening times for the period you wish to visit. We look forward to welcoming you back to the gardens. Regards The Team

Maggie O'Regan
Maggie O'Regan

When visiting London as a small child in the 1950's my mother always used to take us to the Roof Gardens restaurant for afternoon tea. I remember there being an unexploded (presumably de-activated!) bomb on display. Are the gardens open to the public as I'd love to visit them again?