Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean our time outside has to be. 2020 has been a strange year, and with the rise of home working and children spending less time at school, it has become more important than ever before to soak up some of the great outdoors.
Spending time outside allows people to access an array of health benefits, from improving memory and de-stressing, to fighting depression and anxiety. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re planning on visiting the British capital this autumn or winter, we’ve rounded up our top five picks for natural spaces nearby.
The below sites allow you to see London as you’ve never seen it before by taking in some fresh air, slowing down the pace of your trip, and truly enjoying the glorious outdoors.
Abney Park cemetery, Stoke Newington
Abney Park cemetery has it all: culture (being one of the Victorian ‘magnificent seven’ garden cemeteries in London), peace and greenery in a woodland memorial park and Local Nature Reserve.
The park is free to access throughout the year, and offers guided walks and educational experiences. At the time this article was being written, Abney Park was open, but asking visitors to respect social distancing rules and adhere to government guidelines.
Primrose Hill, Camden
Primrose Hill is bursting with character. From the top of this grassy hill, you can enjoy spectacular views across London, one of the six protected viewpoints in the city. The summit is almost 63 meters above sea level!
Primrose Hill is particularly beautiful in the colder months, especially when the frost arrives! Primrose Hill Park was open at the time of this article being written, but please respect their rules on social distancing to enjoy a safe and relaxing visit.
Ham House and Garden
Ham House and Garden describes itself as a “unique 17th-century treasure trove”, and it’s difficult to disagree with that characterization.
The house sits on the banks of the River Thames and holds a spectacular collection of art, but it’s the gardens that are arguably an even greater attraction. There’s a productive kitchen garden with heritage crops, a maze-like ‘Wilderness’, summerhouses, and gorgeous spots for a picnic.
To visit, book in advance to secure your slot.
Kyoto Garden, Holland Park, Kensington
A stone’s throw away from Shepherd’s Bush and Kensington High Street tube stations, the Kyoto Garden inside Holland Park is not to be missed. Opened in 1991 as a gift from the city of Kyoto, Japan, the garden is very popular – filled with tranquil waterfalls, a pond full of koi carp, stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees, and more.
St Katharine Docks, Central London
St Katharine Docks is central London’s only marina, and it makes for a fabulous day out on the north bank of the Thames, immediately downstream of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. This prestigious landmark is full of rich history and innovation, and is a home for communities, businesses, and tourists. Explore the vibrant docks, known to some as London’s best-kept secret.
Are you looking for somewhere to stay in central London? One option – Dorsett Hotel, City – makes particular sense, given that it’s conveniently close to St Katharine Docks.
So, what are you waiting for? London is truly beautiful in the autumn and winter, and the current moment is a surprisingly opportune time to visit, with the city not being quite as bustling as it was prior to the pandemic.