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The Best Picnic Spots in London

The Best Picnic Spots in London

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Who doesn’t love a picnic in London? Relaxing in the park while defending yourself from wasps and the classic summer drizzle … Oh the joys of British summertime.

Though, London is filled with so many brilliant picnic spots that wherever you are in the capital, you’re never too far from a patch of greenery that’s perfect for whacking out the picnic hamper and a mountain of snacks.

Ready? Here’s a run-down of my favourite London picnic spots.

 

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Best Picnic Spots in London 

Streatham Rookery 

Located in Streatham Common, The Rookery takes the crown for the prettiest of the picnic parks in London.

This hidden South London gem boasts an ornamental pond, pristine flower beds, and perfectly landscaped lawns that provide the backdrop to a dreamy picnic in the capital. 

The Rookery actually has an interesting history as an 18th-century spa, and the picnic spot is located on top of what used to be fashionable mineral springs.

Forgotten to pack your food or just fancy an impromptu picnic? Head to the onsite cafe to grab yourself a sandwich to eat al fresco.

Address: Covington Way, Streatham, London SW16 3BX

Primrose Hill 

Primrose Hill View

The spectacular views from Primrose Hill alone are enough to make it one of the best picnic spots in London. Set on land previously owned by Eton College, this is a popular place for picnic-ers for obvious reasons.

Head to the very top (it’s worth it, trust me) and crack out the crisps and dips as you overlook the impressive city skyline. 

Top tip: ditch the daytime picnic and head to Primrose Hill in the early evening so you can watch the sunset whilst you munch – a great date night idea.

Address: Primrose Hill Rd, London NW1 4NR

Crystal Palace Park 

Out of all the London picnic spots, Crystal Palace Park is arguably the most unusual – and fun. 

Not only can you chow down as you spot dinosaurs (yes, really), but you’re also literally sitting on a Victorian pleasure ground and the ruins of the 1851 Great Exhibition. 

This is a brilliant spot to bring the kids with a packed lunch – once you’ve had lunch, make your way around Crystal Palace an afternoon of spotting sneaky dinosaur statues that hide between the trees. 

Address: Thicket Rd, London SE19 2GA

Alexandra Palace Park 

Since it first opened in 1863, Alexandra Palace Park has been a haven for those wanting a picnic in London. Helloooo gorgeous views.

The Grade-II palace that overlooks the grounds is also soaked in history, making it a brilliant place to explore while you’re in the area.

And, once you’ve finished your lunch, head to the boating lake and board a pedalo for the ultimate British experience. Cue an afternoon of LOL’s.

Address: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

Richmond Park 

I could go on and on about my love for Richmond Park a leafy oasis filled with wildlife (mainly some cute deer you’ll deffo have seen on Instagram), pretty gardens, and incredible views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Though you can pop here for a quick picnic lunch, it would be a shame to not explore the park properly. Seriously, at 2,500 acres it’s so huge you could easily spend a full afternoon discovering the treasure troves Richmond Park holds. 

Address: Richmond, London TW10 5HS

St James’s Park 

Fancy having a picnic outside of Buckingham Palace? Of course you do.

You probably recognise the flower beds out the front of Buckingham Palace, but wander around to the right side of the palace and you’ll find St James’s Park and plenty of green space where you can picnic.

If you time it just right (AKA get there for around 10:30am) you’ll be able to catch the changing of the guards before you set up your lunch.

Address: St James’s Park, London SW1A 2BJ

Selsdon Woods 

Forests Near London - Selsdon Woods

Officially known as Selsdon Wood (although you’ll be hard-stretched to find a local who doesn’t call it Farleigh Woods), you’ll find this picnic spot just off Old Farleigh Road in Croydon.

As it’s actually 200 acres of tranquil nature reserve, you’ve got plenty of options for picnic locations. It’s one of those places that looks magical all year round – spring sees a blanket of bluebells adorning the woods, whereas in winter it’s THE place to grab a hot choc and take a cosy walk.

You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled while you snack as you could spot up to 100 species of bird, as well as deers, foxes, and badgers pottering around.

Address: South Croydon, Croydon CR2 8TF

Highgate Wood 

When thinking about the best picnic places in London, Highgate Wood should be near the top of your list.

Nestled in North London, this is a woodland area not too far from Hampstead Heath. It’s the perfect spot if you like the idea of a long walk to stretch your legs after your picnic.

Interestingly enough, the area was actually featured in the Domesday books, as it was previously part of the Forest of Middlesex which famously covered London, Hertfordshire, and Essex.

Address: Muswell Hill Rd, London N10 3JN

Hampstead Heath 

The Ponds

Boasting swimming ponds, plenty of picturesque grassland, and amazing walks to discover, Hampstead Heath is a brilliant picnic spot in London.

The best part about Hampstead Heath is that you can choose your view – opt for the pretty London skyline or settle down next to the wisteria-covered Pergola for an afternoon of basking in the sun.

Address: Hampstead Lane, Hampstead Heath, London NW3 7JP

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is not exactly a secret, so expect crowds, but I would argue that this is the best place to have a picnic in London. 

Stretching between Kensington Gardens, Marble Arch, and Buckingham Palace, you’ll have difficulty deciding where to perch in Hyde Park. 

The sheer size and popularity of the park means that this area is always buzzing with people – look out for street performers and large gatherings, especially near the iconic Speaker’s Corner, where the likes of Marx and Orwell addressed the public.

Once you’ve eaten, take to Serpentine Lake for a spot of wild swimming (or head towards Oxford Street for some retail therapy, it’s up to you).

Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2EU

London Fields

Situated in Hackney, London Fields is one of those London picnic spots that transports you far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Enjoy your picnic lunch, head to the London Fields lido for a swim in the afternoon, and then float to The Pub on the Park after for a refreshing pint. A dream day out.

Address: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU

Soho Square

Soho Square

Looks can be deceiving. Yes, Soho Square is on the smaller side of picnic spots in London, but it’s perfectly located five minutes away from Tottenham Court Road tube station and is instantly recognisable by the Tudor gazebo in the corner of the park. 

The best part? You’re on the doorstep of some incredible takeaway food. My favourites are Pizza Pilgrims – the most delicious pizza in London – and Busaba’s Thai offerings. 

Grab yourself a box to go and head to Soho Square. Thank me later.

Address: Soho Square, London W1D 3QP

Regent’s Park

As one of the most famous parks in London, Regent’s Park has a lot to live up to. You’ll be glad to know it does. And then some.

This North London retreat has a whopping 4 children’s playgrounds, a boating lake, and London Zoo casually tucked into one corner, making this one of the most impressive spots in the capital. 

Make sure to allow plenty of time here, as you’ll want to explore.

​​Address: Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY

Peckham Rye Park & Common

Made up of the two adjacent spots Peckham Rye Park and the Common, this next London picnic spot is one of my favourites in the capital.

Not only do you have Peckham waiting to be explored afterwards (and some cracking places to grab your picnic supplies), but you’ve got playgrounds, a fun outdoor gym, and a small-but-perfectly-formed cafe where you can grab a coffee all located within the park.

Address: 34 Straker’s Rd, London SE15 3UA

Green Park

Set behind Buckingham Palace with St James’s Park to the right, Green Park is another peaceful spot that’s perfect for rolling out the picnic blanket and unleashing the snacks.

If you’re looking for a flower-lined park, this is not the one for you – it has been said that King Charles II’s wife demanded that all the flowers were to be removed from the park after she caught him picking flowers for another woman there. 

Though, if you head to the park in spring you will be surprised by the incredible yellow daffodil patches that bloom. 

Address: Green Park, London SW1A 1AA

Kensington Gardens

Sitting immediately to the west of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is another royal park in London where you can picnic with a palace as the backdrop.

Once you’ve lunched, I recommend heading around to the Sunken Garden to see the new tribute to Princess Diana, as well as hunting out the Peter Pan Statue just south of the Italian Gardens.

After you’ve explored Kensington Gardens and all its offerings, you can stroll on over to Hyde Park and begin making your way around that park too.

Address: Kensington Gardens, London W2 2UH

Holland Park

Kyoto Garden

Ok, I may be biased with this one as I strongly believe that Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden is one of the most breathtaking spots in London. But, to be honest, any picnic spot in Holland Park is a feast for the eyes (and, you know, the tummy).

Head towards the Dutch Garden area and you’ll also find plenty of picnic benches where you can eat your picnic surrounded by stunning blooms.

Address: Holland Park, Ilchester Pl, London W8 6LU

Cutty Sark Gardens

For a picnic set on the banks of the Thames, head to the Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich.

You’ve got plenty of cafes nearby where you can get a takeaway coffee, or a couple of supermarkets where you can nab an iconic meal deal (the true British experience). 

There’s the National Maritime Museum to explore afterwards, as well as the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory. Oh, and while you’re there make sure you check out The Painted Hall.

Address: 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, London SE10 9LW

London Picnic Spots: Map 

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