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5 London parks you can barbecue in this summer

Sun’s out, buns out. We pick the London hotspots where you’ve got a green light to grill

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Listen up: London Fields always got packed and seriously smoky on a balmy day – and it’s had an impact on the park. Because of damage, rubbish and air pollution, barbecue use was suspended in 2019. At the time of writing barbecue use was still suspended. 

Does it even count as summer if you don't, at some point, cook some meat (or haloumi) over coals? Grilling in the great outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures, and you don’t need to head out of the city to indulge in a barbecue. Just make sure you don't scorch the grass and put your rubbish in the bin when you’re done, okay?

Most of London’s lush green spaces are reserved for picnics only, but there are some major parks and local gardens where you’re officially allowed to fire up the BBQ. Here are the best spots in London where it’s totally chill to grill. 

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do outside in London

London's best BBQ spots

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn
Photograph: Alena Veasey/Shutterstock.com

1. Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn

Central London parks aren’t just for stuffing sarnies into your face at lunchtime. You can barbecue in most Camden parks and this huge flame-friendly public square (the biggest in London, no less) is no exception. Work off the meat with a post-picnic tennis match. 

Waterlow Park, Highgate

2. Waterlow Park, Highgate

Grill the day away on this gentle grassy slope. Dubbed a ‘garden for gardenless Londoners’, this scenic north London park welcomes fair weather feasting. Drool over your barbecued banquet, while enjoying views of the city skyline.

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Russell Square, Bloomsbury
© Gordon Rainsford

3. Russell Square, Bloomsbury

Russell Square might be better known for lost tourists and academics on their lunchbreaks than baps and burgers, but it’s also a prime central spot for summertime smouldering.

 

Burgess Park, Southwark
Photograph: Kurt Pacaud/Shutterstock.com

4. Burgess Park, Southwark

Sausages with a view of The Shard? Yes please! Burgess Park is a grand green space stretching from Camberwell and Walworth to Peckham and the Old Kent Road, with scenic lakeside barbecue areas. Always grill responsibly – scorched grass and litter isn’t a good look. 

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5. Cantelowes Gardens, Camden

Cantelowes Gardens is a secret suntrap away from the Camden crowds. There’s a skate park, play area and plenty of grass for firing up the barbie. If you need supplies, look no further than Phoenicia, an amazing Mediterranean food hall, for healthy barbecue inspiration.

Explore London without the barbecue smoke

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