14 best parks in London

Explore the capital's delightful green spaces and parks, from boating in Hyde Park to deer-spotting in the countryside of Richmond Park.
A deer in between trees at Richmond Park in London.
Spot deer on a visit to Richmond Park in London. © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.

Discover incredible London wildlife, beautifully designed gardens and plenty of space for summer picnics and refreshing winter walks in London's best parks.

For more outdoors inspiration, check out this extensive list of green spaces in London, the best London picnic areas and 101 things to do outdoors across the capital.

1. Hyde Park

Take a leisurely stroll, zip around on a bicycle, row a boat or swim in the Serpentine at Hyde Park. Whichever way you choose to explore this huge and centrally located park, there's plenty to see and do, with thousands of trees, a lake, a meadow, rose gardens and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

2. Regent's Park

Spectators watch a theatre performance at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park in central London.
Catch a performance at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park. © David Jensen.

Stop and smell the roses in the beautiful gardens at Regent’s Park. Renowned architect John Nash designed the park in the 1810s, and it spans 160 hectares (395 acres). Alongside stunning formal gardens, this London park has a boating lake, playgrounds and the largest outdoor sports area in central London. The Open Air Theatre stages performances of plays, comedies and musicals.

3. Richmond Park

Admire hundreds of free-roaming deer, ancient trees and rare wildflower species at beautiful Richmond Park. Covering 1,010 hectares (2,500 acres), this Royal Park boasts stunning views from the top of the hill that are protected by law. Seek out the Isabella Plantation, hidden within the park grounds, to capture the Instagram-ready evergreen Japanese azaleas.

4. St James's Park

Channel your inner royal as you ramble through St James's Park. Surrounded by three royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace, it's also next to Horse Guards Parade and the tree-lined Mall. Visit the lake at 2.30pm to see the famous pelicans being fed fresh fish before stopping off for a hot drink at St James’s Cafe.

5. Victoria Park

Head to Victoria Park, or "Vicky Park" if you ask a local, to explore the canals, ponds and a pavilion in the capital's first public park. The large open green spaces play host to big music festivals in the summer, as well as plenty of places for sport, picnics and relaxing. 

6. Greenwich Park

Man sitting on a bench in Greenwich Park with the Royal Observatory in the distance on a sunny day.
Stroll the grounds of Greenwich Park and visit the Royal Observatory. © Visit Greenwich.
Stop off in Greenwich Park for breathtaking views over the river Thames and Canary Wharf. The Prime Meridian Line runs through the park and is marked on the grounds of the Royal Observatory.

7. Hampstead Heath

Escape the hustle and bustle of central London a mere 6.5km (4 miles) away in Hampstead Heath. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill for magnificent views or admire the wisteria in the romantic flower and vine-covered walkways of the abandoned Pergola and Hill Gardens. 

8. Kensington Gardens

Albert Memorial at Kensington Gardens in London surrounded by trees with autumn foliage.
Enjoy the beautiful grounds of Kensington Gardens. © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.

Take a stroll through the gorgeous Kensington Gardens, a Royal Park that's home to Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue, beautiful flowers, green grass for picnics and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

9. Clapham Common

Jog around Clapham Common, one of London's largest flat open spaces, or simply relax in the sun by one of the three ponds. Check out the skate park, cosy pubs, tennis courts, grass pitches and bandstand that keep south Londoners entertained. 

10. Lee Valley Regional Park

Cycle along the paths or take a stroll in Lee Valley Regional Park. Stretching 42km (26 miles) along the river Lee, past Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire, this huge park has plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife, relax or play.

11. Battersea Park

Talk to the animals at the Battersea Children's Zoo or walk along the grand riverside promenade in Battersea Park. Take in the magnificent fountains, admire the Peace Pagoda and even rent boats on the lake in the summer. This huge south London park boasts plenty of play areas, plus the four-storey Pump House Gallery.

12. Bushy Park

Stroll down Chestnut Avenue to Hampton Court Palace or see trees full of mistletoe in Bushy Park, the second largest of London's Royal Parks. You can also find the Baroque-style Upper Lodge Water Gardens and the 17th-century Diana Fountain in these historic grounds.

13. Crystal Palace Park

Victorian-era dinosaur sculptures surrounded by greenery in Crystal Palace Park in London.
The dinosaur sculptures are a beloved feature of Crystal Palace Park. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Discover Victorian-era dinosaur statues, get lost in one of the UK's largest mazes, or simply explore the many ponds, playgrounds and green spaces that Crystal Palace Park has to offer its visitors.

14. Danson Park

Sail around the lake or take the kids to the waterpark for a splash of fun at Danson Park. This green space is a great family destination, with a peaceful rock garden and and the Grade I-listed Danson House.

For more outdoor adventures around the capital, check out the top things to do in London. The city has activities to enjoy, including sporting events, outdoor theatre and entertainment, and outdoor cinemas.

If you're exploring the capital with children, discover the 101 best things to with kids in London.