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The Royal Parks of London

The UK has some of the best national parks in Europe. In a previous blog post, we looked at the national park of Northumberland in the north of Britain. Yet, the chances are a traveller might only have time for a stop over in London. If you are staying in the city and still crave the great outdoors, don’t worry because London has eight Royal Parks.

Aerial view of Hyde Park
Aerial view of Hyde Park

Image credit: Wikimedia

Located in the centre of London is Hyde Park covering 350 acres. Positioned in Westminster this park, although not the most picturesque, is the most famous of the Royal Parks. It was originally used by Henry VII for hunting deer and is now a great place for travellers to London to get away and relax in the centre of the city. Over the years the park has held many music events. It is also the site of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens in the City of Westminster in London
Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens

Image credit: Wikimedia

Located to the immediate west, and often confused as being part of Hyde Park is Kensington Gardens. For nature lovers the Gardens are a truly stunning piece of landscape with marvelous avenues of trees lining the paths. Literature fans should also lookout out for the Peter Pan statue.

Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens

Image credit: Wikimedia

St James’s Park, London’s oldest Royal Park, is well known for its lake with two small islands named West Island and Duck Island. Tourists flock to the park every year to see the wild life including a colony of pelicans that were donated by a Russian Ambassador in 16th century.

St James's Park Lake – East from the Blue Bridge
St James’s Park Lake – East from the Blue Bridge

Image credit: Wikimedia

It might not have the lakes, playgrounds and buildings of the other Royal parks, but Green Park makes up for it with its lush nature. Consisting almost entirely of mature trees the smallest Royal Park is the perfect place to unwind in the center of London.

Diana Fountain in Bushy Park
Diana Fountain in Bushy Park

Image credit: Wikimedia

Bushy Park is the second biggest Royal Park and is situated in the London Borough of Richmond near Hampton Court. The Park is notable for the iconic Diana Statue, honouring the roman Goddess Diana. The beautiful statue sits in the middle of a small pool of water.

Greenwich Park Vista
Greenwich Park Vista

Image credit: Wikimedia

Greenwich Park is known for being the home of the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum. The Royal Observatory was where the Greenwich Mean Time was founded. Tourists can visit the old building and learn about Britain’s astronomy history. The National Maritime Museum is one of London’s most iconic buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum details the history of Britain and its strong relationship to the sea.

Regent's Park Lake, London
Regent’s Park Lake, London

Image credit: Wikimedia

Regents Park is a beautiful space located in the northwest of London. The park is located next to the London Zoo and visitors can often here the sounds of the animals floating over the park. The Park has recently become well known for the Hub Sports Facility, which is the largest outdoor sport facility in London. Everyday one of the UK’s world famous sports is played on the famous greens of the park.

Two deer at Richmond Park, London
Two deer at Richmond Park, London

Image credit: Wikimedia

Last of the eight Royal Parks, and the biggest, is Richmond Park. This stunning piece of English greenery is well known as being a deer park with over 650 red and fallow deer. The Park is well loved by walkers who can spend a day lost among its beautiful scenery.

Getting to the parks is easy. The London underground provides access to all parks in the city, with many of the stations named after them. The two parks at Richmond will require a short extra bus ride to get to them or you can take the national rail to Richmond Station. If you are coming from one of London’s airports you can get a direct underground line in. Travelers or residents with cars will find that airports cater to their needs with many offering four kinds of car parking, where international travelers can also pick hire cars up from the various valet options. Alternatively you can drive to London but you should be aware that the city center has a congestion charge.

Britain has a beautiful countryside and we recommend every traveler come and see it, but its capital city also has some of the world’s best parks for those nature lovers visiting London.

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