Parks and open spaces in London

The lake in Beddington Park in the London Borough of Sutton in southwest London

There are many parks and open spaces in Greater London, England. Green space in central London consists of eight Royal Parks, supplemented by a number of small garden squares scattered throughout the city centre. Open space in the rest of the region is dominated by the remaining three Royal Parks and many other parks and open spaces of a range of sizes, run mainly by the local London boroughs, although other owners include the National Trust and the City of London Corporation.

Royal parks

St James's Park Lake in Westminster, looking east from the Blue Bridge towards the London Eye.
Main article: Royal Parks of London

The centrepieces of Greater London's park system are the eight Royal Parks of London. Covering 1976 hectares (4,882 acres),[1] they are former royal hunting grounds which are now open to the public.

Garden squares

View of the centre of Gordon Square.

Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden squares, which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public. Notable examples open to the public are Russell Square in Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and Soho Square in Soho.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains over a hundred garden squares whose use is restricted to residents. The upkeep of these squares is paid for through a levy on top of residents' council tax.[2]

Council parks

The bathing pond at Victoria Park. Unused for bathing since the 1930s.

In addition to these spaces, a large number of council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War.

Other green spaces

Highgate model boating pond near Parliament Hill

Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:

They have a more informal and semi-natural character, having originally been countryside areas protected against surrounding urbanisation. Some cemeteries provide extensive green land within the city — notably Highgate Cemetery, burial place of Karl Marx and Michael Faraday amongst others. Completing London's array of green spaces are two paid entrance gardens — the leader is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, whilst the royal residence of Hampton Court Palace also has a celebrated garden. All Outer London boroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt.[15]


There are over a hundred registered commons in London, ranging in size from small fragments of land to large expanses.

Lavender Fields

Lavender field in the London Borough of Sutton

There are two historic lavender fields in the London Borough of Sutton. One, at Oaks Way, Carshalton Beeches is three acres in size and is run as a not-for-profit community project. The other, a 25-acre commercial site in Croydon Lane called Mayfield, is popular with tourists. Situated on the North Downs of Surrey, the locality is ideal for lavender cultivation, owing to the chalky free-draining nature of the soil. It was known as the "Lavender Capital of the World" from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, with global production of the plant centred here and blue fields dotting the area.[16][17]


The Greenway East London

There are several types of London greenways including The Greenway and the Thames Path.

By location

  1. City of London
  2. Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Wandsworth
  6. Lambeth
  7. Southwark
  8. Tower Hamlets
  9. Hackney
  10. Islington
  11. Camden
  12. Brent
  13. Ealing
  14. Hounslow
  15. Richmond
  16. Kingston upon Thames
  17. Merton
City of London City of Westminster Kensington and Chelsea Hammersmith and Fulham Wandsworth Lambeth Southwark Tower Hamlets Hackney Islington Camden Brent Ealing Hounslow Richmond upon Thames Kingston Merton Sutton Croydon Bromley Lewisham Greenwich Bexley Havering Barking and Dagenham Redbridge Newham Waltham Forest Haringey Enfield Barnet Harrow HillingdonLondon-boroughs.svg
About this image
  1. Sutton
  2. Croydon
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Greenwich
  6. Bexley
  7. Havering
  8. Barking and Dagenham
  9. Redbridge
  10. Newham
  11. Waltham Forest
  12. Haringey
  13. Enfield
  14. Barnet
  15. Harrow
  16. Hillingdon

See also


  1., Hansard. Written answers for 7 Feb 2002. URL accessed on 17 July 2009.
  2. "Your garden square and you", Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, UK. URL accessed 20 June 2006.
  3. "Tower Hamlets Council > Leisure and culture > Parks and open spaces > Parks > Victoria Park > Visitor information". web page. Tower Hamlets Council. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  4. "Wandsworth Battersea Park". web page. Wandsworth Council. 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  5. David Bentley (12 February 2010). "City of London Hampstead Heath". City of London. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  6. "London's heaths and commons". Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  7. "Wimbledon & Putney Commons facts and figures". 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  8. "Epping Forest You & Your Dog" (PDF). brichure. City of London. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  9. "Parks & Gardens UK, Trent Park, Enfield, England". web page. Parks & Gardens Data Services Ltd. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  10. "Essex/Greater London Site Name: Hainault Forest" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  11. "Mitcham Common". Mitcham Common Conservators. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  12. "South Norwood Country Park - Children's Play Area Design and Access Statement" (PDF). Croydon Council. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  13. "LTGDC launches vision for London Riverside". Invest Britain UK regional development and inward investment. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  14. "Forestry Commission News Release No. 1656, 1.6 MILLION MORE TREES PROMISED FOR THE EAST OF LONDON". Forestry Commission. 28 October 1998. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  15. Greater London Authority - London's strategic open space network
  16. "Mayfield Lavender".
  17. Carshalton Lavender

External links

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