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eltham palace gardens
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National Trust, English Heritage and other gardens still open in London for lockdown

Pretty perfect lawns, meadows and courtyards for socially distanced strolls

Laura Richards

While you can take in nature gratis on a walk around any of London’s bountiful green spaces, if you want to guarantee a bit of breathing room – and a change of scene from your local park – then consider one of these smart outdoor spots. It might surprise you to learn that many of London’s best-kept gardens are still open despite government restrictions, from wetlands and woodlands under the green-fingered guidance of National Trust experts to manicured lawns and posh ponds on the grounds of English Heritage estates.

Some are free to enter, while others charge you for the pleasure. But the views and a moment of calm should justify the price tag. Check individual websites in advance – in most instances you’ll need to book a time slot in order to ensure safe social distancing throughout the grounds. And don’t expect to enter any of the stately homes during lockdown. But otherwise, grab your trainers and enjoy a wander round the garden at any of the following: 

Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
Monday-Friday and Sunday 10am-3pm
Book ahead: £8.50 (free to members)

Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick 
Daily, 7am-dusk
No booking required: free to enter

Eltham Palace and Gardens, Eltham
Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm 
Book ahead: free

Ham House and Gardens, Richmond
Daily, 10am-4pm,
Book ahead: £5 (free to National Trust members) 

Kenwood House, Hampstead
Daily, 7am-7.30pm. 
No booking required: free to enter

Marble Hill House and Gardens, Twickenham
Daily, 7am-4.30pm
No booking required: free to enter

Morden Hall Park, Morden   
Daily, 9am-5pm
No booking required: free to enter

Osterley Park, Isleworth
Daily, garden 10am-4pm; park 9am-5pm
Book ahead: £5 (free to National Trust members)  

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Daily, 10am–4.15pm
Book ahead: £10 (free to members) 

Syon Park, Brentford
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10.30am-4pm
Book ahead: £6.40

No need for a timeslot at these great London parks primed for a winter walk

Grab some fuel on your travels: these pubs do takeaway mulled wine!

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