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10 Unmissable Gardens In The Heart Of London

Posted on November 03, 2015 by James

London isn't just about tall buildings and busy streets. look at some of the most beautiful gardens right in the heart of London. Peace and tranquility in the heart of the Big Smoke...

1. Kensington Gardens

Photo: Kensington Gardens. Photo supplied by Oblique Exposure

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Kensington Gardens is a magnificent 242 acres and is one of London’s eight Royal Parks. The Gardens are a joy to explore and you’ll no doubt be impressed at the sheer magnitude of the park’s trees amidst the wondrous flowerbeds.

When exploring the Gardens make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, as well as the park’s famous Albert Memorial and the Peter Pan statue. If you fancy even more culture, you can also visit the Serpentine Galleries, which are also housed within the Gardens.

2. Kyoto Garden

Photo: Kyoto Garden. Photo supplied by Rebecca Kinsella

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The wonderful Kyoto Garden can be found within Holland Park. The Garden is Japanese themed and was donated in 1991 by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto. The Garden was designed by a celebrated Japanese garden design artist in order to celebrate the Japan Festival which was held in London in 1992.

The Garden is extremely well taken care of and has a number of beautiful waterfalls and ponds by which you can relax with a book. The Garden is also a fabulous place to visit if you want to see some spectacular views of London, especially throughout the spring and autumn months.

3. The Roof Gardens

Photo: The Roof Gardens. Photo supplied by Kensington Garden Service

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The Roof Gardens took a total of two years to build after being designed in 1936 by landscape architect Ralph Hancock, who was commissioned by Trevor Bowen, the vice president of John Barker & Co.

Exploring these gardens will keep you busy, for they are separated into three parts: the Spanish Gardens, the Tudor Gardens and the English Woodland. Walking around the bright and colourful Spanish Gardens will fool you into feeling you are strolling along in the Med, whilst the dramatically styled Tudor Gardens will send you back to a different era.

The English Woodland section is, as you would expect, the perfect representation of the English countryside. This section is also where you will find lots of birds, including Mandarin and Carolina Wood ducks as well as flamingos!

4. Victoria Embankment Gardens

Photo: Victoria Embankment Gardens. Photo supplied by Geograph

The Victoria Embankment Gardens were opened in 1865 and designed by Sir Joseph Bazelgette. They provide weary commuters and the capital’s tourists with a welcome haven away from the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets.

When visiting the Gardens be sure to visit the corner where the famous Watergate is located, as well as taking care to note the beautiful statues, such as the Lady Henry Somerset statue of the girls with begging bowl, and also the poet Robert Burns’ memorial.

5. Hyde Park

Photo: Hyde Park. Photo supplied by West Central London Green Party

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Hyde Park is another of London’s Royal Parks and one of the most popular, with millions of people visiting it every year. A large park, at 350 acres, you will be able to keep yourself entertained for hours, walking alongside the Serpentine Lake, debating at Speakers’ Corner and relaxing to the sounds of the water falling from the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

As well as taking time to explore the Park’s landmarks, you can also enjoy a wealth of activities, such as boating on and open swimming in the lake, cycling, horse riding and a game or two of tennis.

6. Chelsea Physic Garden

Photo: Chelsea Physic Garden. Photo supplied by Victoria's Backyard

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Located right alongside the Thames, the Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. Its aim was to provide the Society’s apprentices with a place where they could study plants and their medicinal qualities.

Eventually becoming one of the most important epicentres for the study of botany and plant exchange, the Garden is well worth a visit, not least for its history but also for its beauty.

7. Queen Mary's Gardens

Photo: Queen Mary's Gardens. Photo supplied by Victoriarector.

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Queen Mary’s Gardens were named after King George V’s wife and were opened in 1932. The Gardens are renowned across the world for its rose garden, which was completed in 1934. The rose garden has the largest collection of roses in London, with some claiming there are around 12,000 roses planted here.

Strolling through these Gardens will expose you to a number of different varieties of rose, including the ‘Royal Parks’ rose, as well as a variety of other treasures, including the Delphinium and Mediterranean Borders, and the Begonia Garden. Why not take a picnic and have a wander around the Gardens, taking a seat at any one of the numerous benches for a rest as needed.

8. Alexandra Park

Photo: Alexandra Park. Photo supplied by Exterior Architecture.

Alexandra Park was opened 150 years ago by Alexander McKenzie. It is 196 acres of wonderful woodland, grassland and landscaped gardens, all of which you should allocate time to explore. The Park also gives you the opportunity to go boating on the lake, show off your skills on the pitch and putt course, or just relax at any one of the atmospheric cafes.

The views from the Park are absolutely stunning and are amongst the best panoramic views you will get in London so this Park is definitely not to be missed. It is also the perfect place to go for a picnic, so keep in mind you may want to take a blanket to sit on!

9.Jubilee Gardens

Photo: Jubilee Gardens. Photo supplied by Jubilee Gardens Trust.

The Jubilee Gardens can be found situated next to London’s South Bank and plays host to a large number of visitors throughout the year. The Gardens were originally created in 1977 in order to celebrate the Queens’ Silver Jubilee but were given a multimillion pound makeover in 2012 shortly before her Diamond Jubilee.

The Gardens were transformed from a simple green space to a new area of lush greenery, with many flower beds, granite pathways and seating. Nearly 100 trees were also planted and a modern playground was installed too so they are a perfect place to spend the day with your family.

10. Italian Gardens

Photo: Italian Gardens. Photo supplied by 3 Days in London.

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The Italian Gardens can be found on the north side of the Kensington Gardens. The Gardens are 150 years’ old and generally thought to have been commissioned by Prince Albert as a gift to Queen Victoria. The Gardens are very elaborate, featuring Portland Stone and Carrara Marble so be sure to take along your camera!

As you explore, take time to note the level of detail that must have gone into the carvings of the Tazza Fountain and the stone urns, which feature a swan’s breast, a woman’s head, a dolphin, an oval and a ram’s head. This is definitely a place where you can while away the hours so, as well as your camera, don’t forget to take a book, some music or a few friends with you.

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