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Lincoln's Inn Fields, summer 2018
Photograph: Alena Veasey/

4 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

Leonie Cooper
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Edited by
Leonie Cooper
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott

Does it even count as summer if you don't, at some point, cook some meat (or halloumi) over a tray of piping hot 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 (but sadly not iconic grill spot London Fields anymore, which used to get so packed and smoky on a balmy day the council literally had to ban the BBQ). However, you can still heat 'em and eat 'em elsewhere in the capital. Here are the spots in London where it’s totally chill to grill. 

Please note: Owing to the increased fire hazard during periods of particularly warm weather, local councils have been known to issue temporary bans on barbecues in parks where they are usually permitted. Please check local council websites before firing up the grill. 

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do outside in London

London's best BBQ spots

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

1. Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn

Central London parks aren’t just for stuffing sarnies into your face at lunchtime. You can barbecue in Camden parks (from 18 April 2023 and 19 September 2023) 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 (another Camden spot, no less) welcomes fair weather feasting. Drool over your barbecued banquet, while enjoying views of the city skyline. 

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. Remember, here you'll only allowed to have a reusable charcoal bbq, with disposable ones banned. 


4. 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 (portable) barbie. If you need supplies, look no further than Phoenicia, an amazing Mediterranean food hall five minutes walk away, for healthy barbecue inspiration.

Explore London without the barbecue smoke

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