Perfect Picnic Spots in London
One thing is certain: when the sun is shining, there’s no better place to be than London – if you’re outside and revelling in the rays, that is! Fortunately, there are lots of gorgeous green spaces in which to throw down a gingham blanket and enjoy a long, hot summer afternoon. Here’s our pick of perfect picnic spots.
Please note: as London relaxes restrictions following the coronavirus crisis, there may be certain restrictions on green spaces and gardens – for some locations, booking in advance may be required. Please check with the relevant venue before visiting to avoid disappointment.
View from Primrose Hill. Photo Credit: Alexander Svensson/Flickr
Primrose Hill, NW3
Simply put, Primrose Hill is one of the most idyllic spots for an al fresco lunch or dinner. First of all, there’s the location: in the heart of vibrant North-West London, Primrose Hill is a short stroll from the tourist attractions of London Zoo, Camden Market and Regent’s Canal, as well as a variety of delicious delis and speciality food shops. This picturesque park is also blessed with stunning views over London – we recommend puffing your way to the top of the hill, where you can bask in some of the most spectacular panoramas in town.
Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park. Photo Credit: Robert Moore/Flickr
Holland Park, W11
Though not as famous as some of London’s Royal Parks, Holland Park is one of the capital’s finest green spaces. Packed with attractions, from sculpture to sport (the park includes tennis courts, football pitches, and more) to the gorgeously exotic, Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park has everything you could need for a great day outdoors: encompassing buzzy, busy spots in which to socialise, as well as tucked-away, serene spaces to relax quietly within.
Japanese Gardens, Kew. Photo Credit: Sue Lowndes/Flickr
Kew Gardens, TW9
The world-famous Kew Gardens need no introduction – suffice it to say, within the beautiful botanical gardens there are a plethora of perfect picnic spots. Wander around and lose yourself in horticultural heaven as you view the many displays and seasonal blooms dotted throughout the venue; or recline in comfort at the designated picnic area close to Brentford Gate.
Victoria Park. Photo Credit: Sludge G/Flickr
Victoria Park, E9
Often known as the ‘People’s Park’, Victoria Park is the epitome of cool. Expect to see plenty of hipsters sipping coffees, sailing, or even skateboarding at this fantastic park, which is situated in trendy East London. A really varied space, Victoria Park has two lakes, a boating pond, a playground, and a Chinese pagoda – as well as a number of attractive picnicking spots. At certain times of the year, the park also plays host to some of the most popular urban festivals in London (so keep your eyes and ears peeled!)
View from the Horniman Museum. Photo Credit: Tomline43/Flickr
Horniman Museum and Gardens, SE23
A really unique treat in South-East London, the Horniman invites us to ‘explore the world from global culture to natural wonders’. And though the Horniman’s many indoor collections and exhibits are well worth a look, we’re also firm fans of the gardens – particularly in terms of picnicking potential. The 112-year-old bandstand, with its sunny terrace, is an ideal place to settle down during the warm weather; alternatively, there’s the Dutch Barn (a covered picnic area), which offers shelter during times of cloud and rain. Once you’ve eaten your fill, enjoy the nature trail or step inside the free museum for a dose of culture.
Richmond Park. Photo Credit: Heather Smithers/Flickr
Richmond Park, TW10
Though Richmond is one of the most popular Royal Parks – if not the most popular – it’s also one of the biggest, making it relatively easy to find a quiet area for a relaxing picnic. Encompassing over 2,500 acres of beautiful woodland and a wide variety of exciting wildlife (over 600 deer, as well as birds, insects, and more), there’s always lots to see and do.
Phoenix Garden. Photo Credit: Dániel Bagó/Flickr
Phoenix Garden, WC2H
One of London’s hidden gems, the Phoenix Garden is an astonishingly beautiful space that’s easy to miss: a community garden right in the heart of the West End (a stone’s throw from Theatreland and Shaftesbury Avenue). Perch on your blanket and put your feet up after a busy day of sight-seeing or shopping; or pop in for a picnic before a night out on the town.
St Dunstan in the East. Photo Credit: Peter Trimming/Flickr
St Dunstan in the East, EC3R
An amazing space set within the ruins of an ancient church (part of which was designed by famous architect Christopher Wren), St Dunstan in the East is one of London’s best-kept secrets. After the church was destroyed during the Blitz, the decision was taken not to rebuild – but, instead, to turn the grounds into a stunning public garden. Today, St Dunstan in the East remains an oasis of calm in a City of London location – a worthy recipient of a Landscape Heritage Award in the 1970s, and a wonderful place to enjoy a peaceful picnic and decompress away from the hustle and bustle.