Top 10 Parks in West London
West London is best known for being the home to the rich and famous; the trendy, cultured and cosmopolitan section holds some of the most sophisticated sights and attractions in London. Thankfully, you don’t need a six-figure salary to enjoy some of the best parts of the city sub-section. The top 10 parks in West London are free to access, meaning everyone can experience the lap of luxury while exploring the great outdoors. From Botanical gardens to the surrounds of stately homes to the wildlands of Wormwood Scrubs, there are naturalistic escapes from the smoke to suit all tastes.
If you want to see more than just squirrels and pigeons as you amble through West London Park, Bushy Park, which is just a short walk away from Hampton Court Palace, is the ideal destination. The royal park opened in 1529 and is home to roaming herds of fallow and red deer. Be sure to look for traces of the military camps, which played an integral role in the World Wars, and the remnants of medieval farming systems.
Richmond Park is ideal if you want to spend an entire day in a park instead of an hour or two. The wildlife haven that spans 2,500 acres hosts Georgian Tea Rooms, kiosks, and cafes, serving everything from artisanal coffee to ice cream. If you’re on a budget, pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
If any park in West London stands apart from the rest, it is Holland Park. The 22-hectare park hosts an array of attractions, including an open-air theatre and, most famously, Kyoto Garden, which opened in 1991 to commemorate the long-standing relationship between Japan and the UK. The tiered waterfall, koi carp pond, and stone lanterns are all sights to behold; if you’re lucky, you may even spot a few of the Holland Park Peacocks!
There is always something happening at Chiswick House and Garden, from tours of the grounds to the Duck Pond Markets, where everyone is free to browse homemade and ethically sourced produce. Yet, there is no bad time to head to the award-winning gardens, filled with buildings and statues of great historical and cultural significance. The garden has remained largely the same since it was remodelled in 1930.
While most of the best parks in West London are rich in history, The Chelsea Physic Garden is a fascinating site through its role in developing herbal medicine. The apothecary garden was established in 1673 to grow medicinal plants, which remain firmly rooted in the grounds to this day. Browse the gardens at your leisure or attend a workshop or discussion.
South of the River Thames lies one of the most picturesque landscapes in West London. The ornamental lake is a serene place to let the hours slip away. When you have spent enough time by the waterside, the sculpture garden, rose garden, and Spanish War Memorial are also notable landmarks in Bishops Park. Of course, no visit is complete without stopping by the urban beach, which may not have waves crashing against a shore, but you will still be able to dig your toes into the sand in the warmer months.
Syon Park is always a sight for sore eyes. It is the London home to the Dukes of Northumberland, who have occupied the grounds and maintained their grandeur for over 400 years. As a result, it has been the filming location for swathes of popular TV series and films, including the cultural phenomenon Bridgerton. The Great British Bake Off has also set up its baking tents there. While it is slightly out of the way from Central London, it is still only nine miles from Charing Cross and well worth the visit from Spring – Autumn. Syon Park is just one of the parks which close its gates through the winter.
The Brent Lodge Park and Church Fields are located just north of Uxbridge Road in Ealing. On the grounds, get lost in the Millennium Maze, which is made of over 2000 Yew Trees, and meet the animals in Hanwell Zoo. The conservation centre may not be full of lions, tigers, and bears, but there is a host of smaller animals to marvel at, including Lemurs, Meer Cats, Margay Cats and Capybaras.
At Kensington Gardens, you will get more than just a nature fix. It is a tranquil treasure trove of international art, culture and history. The Italian Gardens, Serpentine Galleries, Diana Memorial Gardens and the Albert Memorial are dotted around the garden across its 265 acres. Due to the expansive nature of Kensington Gardens, which used to be connected to Hyde Park, it is recommended that you reserve at least two hours to explore.
Wormwood Scrubs may not sound like the most idyllic landscape, but interestingly, it is why London comprises 48% green space. The 67-hectare park is a hotspot for visitors looking for a wide-open space to exercise in. There are nine full-size football pitches, baseball diamonds and spots for rugby, Lacross and Gaelic Football. If you prefer to get lost in the long grass and see what wildlife you can spot, you can spend a day exploring and looking out for foxes, hedgehogs, amphibians and reptiles.