Top 10 Picnic Spots
What better way to seize a sunny moment than an impromptu picnic? Blessed with changeable weather as we are, we're here to help you make the most of sporadic sunshine with a list of our favourite London picnic spots. Quick, get out there while you can!
For its sheer size and proximity to central London, Richmond Park was always going to be at the top of our list. If you want to get away from it all and surround yourself by the closest thing you'll get to the countryside in London, this is the place for you. Over 2000 acres of parkland await you, your picnic rug and your date.
Right in the heart of London lies the lovely Regents Park. Given its central location it does get pretty busy, so we suggest making your way to the oasis of peace and tranquility that are the gardens of St John's Lodge. The house itself is private (bought by the Sultan of Brunei in 1994) but the gardens are maintained by Royal Parks and are open to the public.
Yes, there's more to Fulham Palace Road than lines of queuing traffic, for tucked away behind it is the beautiful Fulham Palace, a little known west London gem. Nestled on the edge of the Thames, this wonderful palace also has beautiful gardens which, open from dusk till dawn year round, make the perfect place for a romantic picnic.
Remember Natalie Portman and Jude Law in the film 'Closer'? For a city style picnic lunch head to Postman's Park and peruse the Watts Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice - a memorial to ordinary people who died saving the lives of others. The tablets, each describing incredible acts of bravery, are both thought provoking and rather uplifting and will certainly give you something to talk about over lunch.
A short climb up Primrose Hill provides a picnic with a view - in fact one of the best views of London that we know. This location oozes romance, so make sure your picnic is up to scratch and get ready for a corker of a date.
Another central option for the city picnic, the Kyoto Gardens of Holland Park provide a peaceful escape complete with pond and waterfall - tranquility in the heart of London.
Inspiring the likes of Constable, C S Lewis and Keats, you'll be in good company if you take to Hampstead Heath for your picnicing needs. Head to Parliament Hill if it's views you're after, or perhaps to the wooded swimming ponds if you're feeling adventurous…
Benefitting from a spectacular restoration project (completed June 2010), there's never been a better time to visit these beautiful and historic gardens. Inspired by the 'Grand Tour' of Italy, there are stunning vistas, grand lawns, hidden architectural masterpieces and hundreds of meandering pathways to explore.
One for all you Eastenders, 'The People's Park' is London's oldest public park and has provided a haven of greenery to East London for generations. Seek out The Old English Garden for a peaceful and lazy afternoon of picnicing.
10. Epping Forest
True, it's a bit further out of town, but the 6000 acres of Epping Forest provides London's largest public open space and is definitely worth a bit of extra effort. Why not make a whole day of it - with mile upon mile of parkland, forest and meadows, you're not going to get bored in a hurry.
My husband and I made it to the Kyoto Gardens at last on the weekend. Just gorgeous (wished I had packed a picnic!!!).
The Tropical Garden in Battersea Park is also great for picnics - plus you can go for a row on the lake afterwards which is fun!