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London’s first floating park is now open to the public

Alexandra Sims

The Garden Bridge may have been given a big ol’ thumbs down from Sadiq Khan, but now there’s a new leafy oasis in the city that’s actually been built without any hoo-hah. London’s first floating park is officially open to the public so you can get your green fix while bobbing on top of the Grand Union Canal in Paddington Basin.

From today you can head to the pocket park and eat your lunch on the open lawn surrounded by beds full of nectar-rich flowers, or ogle at ornamental floral centre pieces and stroll over the water on a series of decked platforms and walkways. Garden designer Tony Woods, who led the project, constructed the park from interlocking pontoons made from recycled materials, which provide a covered space for events and installations, as well as a wildlife island filled with plants to encourage birds and water fowl to feed and nest there. 

This is also a park fit for the twenty-first century, with wi-fi access throughout and a mooring spot with self-drive electric boats, so you and a gang of your best pals can explore Paddington, Camden and Little Venice by water. The park is planning some exciting events over the summer, including a pop-up gin and cocktail bar opening in time for World Gin Day (June 10) and a programme of fitness classes from June 12-18. So, watch this space for more floating fun. 

Floating Pocket Park, Merchant Square, W2 1JS. Nearest tube: Edgware Rd. 

Dulwich Picture Gallery is opening its shiny new pavilion this weekend


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