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Nunzio Prenna

Natural London: five gardens to enjoy some calm in the city

Choose pleasure and take a pitstop to enjoy these five luscious gardens and leafy park spots

By Time Out in association with Galaxy

Is there anything more pleasurable than a quiet moment surrounded by nature? Taking a moment out of your busy day to breathe in deeply, take in the beauty of the world around you and organise your thoughts can help de-stress. It’s a good thing, then, that London isn’t short on gloriously green parks. And while the big-hitters like Hyde Park, Clapham Common and Victoria Park are all stunning, it’s the hidden oases, both inside and outdoors, which make up some of the capital’s best leafy spots for a sit and a think. So choose pleasure and treat yourself to a calming moment amongst nature.

Choose pleasure in these five gardens and green spaces

Hill Garden and Pergola
Flickr / Laura Nolte

Hill Garden and Pergola

Attractions Parks and gardens Hampstead

Popular and sprawling, Hampstead Heath isn’t necessarily the perfect spot for some secluded alone time. Instead, visit this surprising remnant of faded grandeur on the West Heath where you’ll be able to truly find some pleasure. There are impressive gardens overgrown with vines and wisteria, but it’s the raised walkway with its overhanging canopy that makes this spot magical, spiriting you away from everyday life. Soak up the stunning views of the Heath and Hampstead Hill Gardens, indulge in a sweet treat (Galaxy® wholeheartedly recommended) and let yourself relax.

Brown Hart Gardens

Brown Hart Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Mayfair

Stumbling onto Oxford Street to find yourself swept up in a sea of tourists, shoppers and fellow sweaty busybodies is the perfect moment to choose pleasure instead of stress. Make your way just south of Bond Street Station where you’ll find a spot of calm in the shape of Brown Hart Gardens. This raised terraced garden is home to pockets of plant life amid benches and a cute café if you’re feeling parched. A real gem in the midst of London’s most hectic shopping area.

Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Crossrail Place Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf isn’t more than the concrete jungle that it’s ultra-modern tube station and skyscrapers suggest. It now also boasts one of London’s dreamiest spaces: the Crossrail Place Roof Garden. Built above what’s soon to be Canary Wharf’s stop on the Elizabeth Line, this indoor park is thrillingly futuristic, with a latticed timber roof that opens at the centre to let the light in. The greenery is wonderfully overgrown and the polar opposite of the office blocks that surround it.

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Dalston

Flanked by the hipster paradises of London Fields and Victoria Park, it’s Dalston’s Eastern Curve Garden that offers a much-needed shot of tranquillity when you’re keen to escape the heave of the hectic junction. Step through the green wooden door and breathe deep, grab one of the benches dotted in and amongst the shrubbery and a cuppa from the cafe to take some much needed you-time.

Feature_londonparks_CREDIT_Phil Fisk.jpg
© Phil Fisk

The hidden garden in Brockwell Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Herne Hill

You might have hit up Brockwell Park for the Lambeth Country Show or this year’s Field Day festival but scout around on a regular weekend and spend some time in the hidden garden near the western edge of the park. Once the kitchen garden for Brockwell Hall, this enchanting but overlooked spot is vibrant with plants, flowers and secluded benches - a reminder that even in middle of London’s chaos there’s still serenity to be found.

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