It might not be the most perfect weather for a picnic, but the rule of six is in place, so we’ll take it. Where is the best place to dine al fresco in the city, we hear you ask? Fear not, we’ve put together a round-up of our favourite parks and outdoor spaces, so pack up your picnic basket and blankets and enjoy a family picnic at one of these sunshine spots.
Sitting at sixty metres above sea level, Primrose Hill is a hot spot for a picnic with a view. Forming part of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill’s panoramic city views make it very popular summer hangout. When the sunshine gets a little too much, grab some refreshments at The Honest Sausage or The Garden cafe. If you’d like to make a day of it in Regent’s Park, spend a few hours in London Zoo where there are always plenty of family activities taking place.
One of the oldest Royal Parks, Greenwich park is bound to be an old favourite. Set up camp at the top of the hill to enjoy river and city views. Catch glimpses of the small herd of deer who’ve made their home in park. Discover the secrets of the Royal Observatory and stand on the meridian line. Expect live bands from the bandstand and while away a few hours watching the children play in the playground.
A solid favourite amongst south Londoners, Richmond Park is a fantastic picnic spot. With a whopping 2,500 acres of park, you’re never in any worry of being too close to fellow picnickers so can enjoy a secluded family picnic just about anywhere in the park. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Richmond deer and the rest of the wildlife in this beautiful green space.
Hampstead Heath is one of our absolute favourite green spaces in London. Breathtaking views, a zoo, a butterfly house, a lido, an athletics track, playgrounds for the kids — it’s no wonder Londoners love Hampstead Heath. Home to Parliament Hill and Golders Hill Park, this park gives you a feeling of having left the city when really you’re still in the heart of it.
Located on the south bank of the River Thames, Battersea Park is home to a plethora of wildlife including herons, stags beetles, frogs, and waterfowl. Add some excitement to the day out with a Go Ape experience or relax with a round of mini golf. The park is also home to a children’s zoo, which offers mini and junior keeper experiences for your children to get really hands on in the zoo. Picnic in Battersea park and then venture into the zoo and learn something new.
These royal botanical gardens are renowned around the world and not just because they’re the perfect place for a picnic. This World Heritage site is home to treetop walks, tropical glasshouses, cafes and restaurants, art galleries and a beautiful lake. Learn about tropical climates and plants in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Let the kids explore in the indoor and outdoor tree houses and spend some quality time together picnicking and discovering the wildlife at Kew.
Boasting 350 acres of London Park, Hyde Park is a hop, skip and a jump away from Oxford Street but it’s so huge that it’s pretty easy to forget you’re still in the heart of the city. Go boating, cycling, skating or simply sitting around enjoying the sunshine and family picnic. Don’t forget to visit the Diana Memorial Fountain and Speaker’s Corner (if it’s Sunday) to pick up some words or wisdom, we hope.
If you’re familiar with classical English literature, you’ll probably have caught mention of St James’ Park. The park, famed for its pelicans and other wild birds, is located in Westminster and not far from Buckingham palace. The children will love the playground and the green space to blow off steam. You’ll love the scenic landscape and cityscape views.
Located in the heart of Chelsea, Holland Park has everything you could ask for in a park. It’s large enough for a quiet family picnic, has beautiful gardens to wander about in, including a Japanese garden donated by Kyoto back in the 90s, and is home to a fantastic ecology centre. Head down to Holland Park for events and workshops for children to take part in and learn about nature.
Further afield: Nonsuch Park
Between Cheam and Ewell Village, Nonsuch park is a favourite park in the Greater London area. With so many species of flowers, birds and wildlife, this beautiful and thriving park is perfect for a picnic. It’s situated in front of Nonsuch Mansion House, which was built by Henry VIII though never finished in his lifetime. There’s a cafeteria so be sure to pick up some cool icy treats here!