London is notorious for her ridiculously high price level, so why don’t we take a break from the hustle and bustle of Central London and head to some of the many green spaces that the English capital has to offer?
To spend time chilling in London, I bet a tourist of reasonably sound mind would most definitely go to Hyde Park and other royal parks surrounding Buckingham Palace, where all travel websites or itineraries would suggest, so let’s not talk about those.
Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park
Speaking of travelling in London, Regent’s Park doesn’t usually appear on the top of the list, and is often overshadowed by its counterpart in Westminster. The glorious Kensington Palace and the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park do not, however, eclipse the beauty and charm of Regent’s Park.
The northern side of Regent’s Park lies Primrose Hill. The top of Primrose Hill enjoys a panoramic view of London, and is an ideal spot to catch the sunset.
Sunset at Primrose Hill
Like other parks in London, curious squirrels ramble everywhere in Regent’s Park, and the locals sometimes feed them with nuts and other snacks. A walk in Regent’s Park isn’t complete without visiting the Queen Mary’s Garden. The Queen Mary’s Garden houses a wide variety of roses and is London’s largest collection of roses. The best time to view the blossoming roses is in June. I find autumn, though, is a better time to witness the true beauty of Regent’s Park, when the trees pathway is sprinkled with fallen leaves.
Regent’s Park in Autumn
Just some sheep chilling under the summer sun
Easy accessible via DLR from Canary Wharf, Mudchute Farm is my personal favourite for a sunny day out with family and friends. Being one of the largest city farms in Europe, Mudchute Farm is home to British rare breeds including horses, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats and much more! Some years back, some of the animals were not fenced and visitors could just roam in the grass land like the sheep did. Now, there are short fences that separate the sheep and goats from visitors, but still, we are free to get a close look or touch with them. From my personal experience, the sheep are approachable, but the llamas and alpacas are more of loners and they don’t particularly like being touched. Farm tours can be booked in advance, but an impromptu visit is also possible, just hob on the DLR to Crossharbour or Mudchute.
View of the Royal Naval College from Island Gardens
Just less than a mile south of Mudchute Farm lies Greenwich, a vibrant borough embracing the Royal Observatory, the Old Royal Naval College, and of course, the magnificent Greenwich Park. Island Gardens give a gorgeous and unrestricted view of the Old Royal Naval College from across the Thames. Walking across the century old foot tunnel would grant you access to the impressive and often-appear-in-movies University of Greenwich campus.
Greenwich Park and Canary Wharf
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, sitting on top of Greenwich Park, is the origin of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+0), and the Prime Meridian can be observed with an entrance ticket. Right outside of the Royal Observatory gives a stunning overlook of Greenwich and the modern skyline of Canary Wharf.
Mayfield Lavender Farm
Sunset at Mayfield Lavender Farm
Provence, France is no stranger to lavender lovers. London, despite the lack of plains comparable to the rural parts of England, also has her own smaller version of lavender fields. A bus journey plus a tube ride from Central London would bring you to a lavender farm large enough for you to spend two hours to snap as many pictures as you need to fill your social networks. I guess this picture speaks for itself.
Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London. While it is almost too large and too difficult to navigate for pedestrians, it is an ideal spot for holiday drivers to spend half a day in this insanely huge natural reserve. Richmond Park is of great national importance in history and wild conservation, and for tourists or most locals, what interest us the most are the freely roaming deer within the park vicinity. As a former hunting ground for the Royals, Richmond Park is now still home to more than 600 deer.
Jonathan Chan, a law graduate from the University of Hong Kong, is obsessed with everything British. Because of his adventurous and peculiar way of exploring cliché and sometimes off the beaten path locales, his journeys almost always end chaotically.