London’s Hidden Gardens

England’s capital city is richly served by a tapestry of beautifully designed and maintained Royal Parks. It also has many other natural spaces, meaning that around 47% of London is green!

One organisation has even put a value on this “priceless” green space. Apparently, London’s parks and other pockets of greenery have the equivalent of £91 billion of economic value.  That’s because they are so important to health, social resilience and tourism.

For many London visitors, the joy is to journey on roads less travelled, to find the city’s hidden gardens.

Here are just six of London’s green spaces that generally only locals know about.

Chelsea Physic Garden

This intriguing title refers to a little oasis of calm and tranquillity tucked behind walls, on the banks of the River Thames. It’s the oldest botanic garden in London and home to over 5,000 species of medicinal, edible and herbal plants.

The original purpose – when it was planted in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries – was to teach apprentices which plants healed and which ones poisoned. Being by the river meant plants from around the world could be transported there easily.

This makes it a fascinating spot for anyone interested in gardening, but also wonderfully soothing as a hidden green space too.

Phoenix Garden 

This is also away from the busier routes and locations, providing the perfect spot for quiet contemplation or a relaxed picnic.

It is situated off Charing Cross Road, so it is popular for lunch time breaks from nearby offices. However, its lovingly maintained conservation makes it a wonderful green retreat for everyone to enjoy. You can even hire it for private parties.

Camley Street Natural Park

This urban oasis of plant life is currently the subject of major investment and will be re-opened in Spring 2019 with a brand new visitor centre.

It will be well worth a visit during your London holiday or business trip next year.  Sandwiched between two of London’s busiest railway stations and the Regent’s Canal, Camley Street Natural Park provides a patchwork woodland, grassland and wetland habitats. It includes ponds, reedbeds and marshes teeming with wildlife – including butterflies and birds.

Japanese Roof Garden

Okay so this one is not so much green space, as tranquillity space.

As you wander the city’s wonderful streets, you will be largely unaware of the glorious gardens above your head. Londoners have been creative in carving themselves space to relax and breathe on hotel, office and apartment buildings.

The Japanese Roof Garden at SOAS University of London is the perfect example.  A short walk from Merino’s colonnade properties.

On the garden’s granite water feature is the character for Forgiveness, which is the theme of this beguiling spot.  It was crafted by using Japanese garden design ideas, adapted to thrive in the British climate.

It’s a wonderful place to visit for meditation while in London. It also houses artistic activities for its neighbouring Brunei Gallery and outdoor theatre performances.

Rembrandt Gardens

Continuing the link between nature and art, the Rembrandt Gardens in Little Venice are well worth a visit too. One of the attractions is well thought out seating, that provides the perfect vantage point for a picturesque canal side.

This decades old green space has delighted locals for some years, but it gained its current name and some interesting tulip plants in 1975, when the City of Westminster was linked with the City of Amsterdam in Holland.

St. Mary’s Secret Garden

With a title like that, this beautiful and accessible community garden had to be on the list.

One of the things that makes this spot in Hackney, London, so special though, is that it is lovingly maintained by gardeners who have special needs. It is also a safe, friendly place for people in the local community to enjoy inclusion, alongside the joys of gardening.

For more local information and insights, please contact the team at Merino Hospitality.  We are always happy to share out knowledge and love of the city, with guests at our discrete and private serviced accommodation in central London.

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