Holland Park

Attractions, Parks and gardens Holland Park
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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

Posted:

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

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LiveReviews|17
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Kat
tastemaker

After living in London for 2 years I have always wanted to visit the Japanese gardens in Holland Park. I heard the weather was going to be special and wow it was super sunny and the middle of spring meaning all the beautiful blossom was out in force.

The park itself was really busy and the toilet queue absolutely unrealistic to even attempt but for a full walk around the park you only need a good 45 minutes which will give you time to see everything special in this park.

We brought a mini picnic with us and it was a really delightful spot. Safe to say this is m new favourite park!

Try and grab a visit in spring to see the blossom and tulips.

Marco D
tastemaker

One of the most beautiful parks in London by far. Believe it or not, sadly this was my first time ever to visit Holland Park.

I know it's terrible. Where have I been all this time?

I visited the weekend just gone. It was a beautiful morning well spent in what was the most glorious park in London. You'll find many entrances around the park. If I recall it was the entrance close to the Holland House. It's place full of history, it's almost like entering a garden palace with a magnificent structural design to the exterior.

It was like entering the unknown and discovering what was surrounding me.

Moving onwards, I found a stunning garden. It looked like a maze. Every part of the park was situated perfectly and I feel that there is a meaning behind each path and each section of the park. It gives us a story to think about.

We have the privilege to walk around with the ravishingly, colourful peacocks. I do love peacocks, it was magnificent to be so close to one. Being able to hold a squirrel on your hand and to see what nature really has to offer. It's all very exciting.

The smell of fresh air, the colours of the flowers were appealing to my eyes and the details on the walls and staircases were rather peculiar.

You'll find an alleyway with exquisite paintings on the wall and a rather delightful hut-like house. (Reminded me of Hagrid's hut from Harry Potter).

The Kyoto Garden is a charming, elegant, tranquil, heavenly place. This was probably the best part of Holland Park for me.

Once you enter The Kyoto Garden, you set foot into a whimsical world of inner creativity and the most astounding layout. The stones along the pathway, the Japanese-inspired look to the structural design of the garden brings such an extraordinary beauty to the picture. It was truly a breathtaking sight.

It really does feel like your stepping into a new world. This is not to be missed.

I know that everyone from all ages will love this park. You'll find anyone and everyone of all ages with their adorable dogs. It's wonderful to see all the interaction.

There is also a humongous football pitch and it's extremely close to the newly built Design Museum. There you have it. It's sorted. You pretty much have a day of exploring.

#TOTastemaker

Love MD.

Elisa R
Tastemaker

A piece of fairytale in the middle of west London. With its incredible looking Japanese garden filled with ponds with tremendous fish and majestic peacocks, it’s the perfect spot on a sunny day. There are some lovely Snow White looking buildings in the park too and some small galleries for art fans – who will also enjoy the sculptures scattered in the park. If you happen to be a Pokemon Go fan, gosh will you be ecstatic: it’s filled with Onixes and other super rare creatures waiting to be caught. Finally, even the walk up to the park will be pleasant as it’s filled with beautiful mansions.

Izzy K
Tastemaker

It took me over 11 years, but I finally visited Holland Park today. What I love about London parks, is that there’s always the cultivated and organised part with lawns mowed and clean pavements, but if you want something a little bit more wild and raw, you will always find it. Holland Park is no exception. I thought I’ve seen all London palaces so far and had no idea I’d find another one hidden in the greenery today. I expected something more from the Kyoto Garden, it’s really small, but still very pretty and offers tranquillity that I needed today. If you’re lucky, you may meet a peacock and a few fatty squirrels. If you’re there, you need to visit the new Design Museum nearby. The building is amazing!

Kritt N
Tastemaker

It may not be as well-known as the other parks in London, but Holland Park in Kensington ranks, at least to my mind, one of the best parks in London.


Not many parks in London can boast having exotic birds that freely roams around the gardens or squirrels that feel so at ease around humans. Some were virtually giving me their best 'Blue Steel' when I dared to get up close and personal with the little fellas for a portrait. Pack treats for them on your visit.


Yet to be discovered by the masses, Holland Park is a peaceful 53-acre site. It’s a large park but no so large as to make one feel overwhelmed by the size of it all. There’s weren’t many people around either when I visited. It's the perfect place to de-stress and grab some fresh air. You can easily lose themselves in your own thoughts on your strolls.


Onsite, there are cafes and restaurants, sports facilities including tennis courts in one corner, ecology centre, Holland House and terrace. There’s a lot to explore and plenty to do in the park for the whole family to enjoy too.


What I enjoyed most is the utterly serene atmosphere of the Japanese Kyoto Garden in the centre of the park. It’s an excellent recreation of the famous Japanese garden with a waterfall, a large pond with exotic fishes swimming around. It’s the perfect escape for peace and quiet.


Holland Park easily reached by either Holland Park and High Street Kensington station. Easily often overlooked in favour of the other renowned gardens in London, this public park in West London, easily ranks as one of the best parks in London.

Emily

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.