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The classic Londoner’s lament – usually felt when boarding the same bus as an entire class of primary school students or braving the sweaty crush of the Central Line in mid-July – is that peace and tranquillity could be yours only if you got out of the city. But you don’t actually have to travel that far for a bit of peace and quiet if you know where to look.
Unlike other cities with their fancy-pants grid systems and forward planning, London’s haphazard history – it was abandoned as a city in 410AD and only started growing 900 years later – has created plenty of unexpected micro-pockets of calm. It’s less ordered, but it’s also a lot of fun to explore.
With the city’s population forever on the rise, the quest to find places that allow you to draw a breath and get a bit of respite from the relentless onslaught has never been more important. There are tons to choose from, but here’s our pick of the best.