Picnic

London’s Best Picnic Spots

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Your guide to picnicking in the city

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So you’ve got your stylish rugluxury hamper and moreish sausage rolls sorted, now you just need to decide where to pitch up. Despite hosting a population of over 9 million people, there are plenty of quiet and idyllic places to picnic in London – from Hampstead Heath to Hyde Park – in which you can make a day out of al fresco dining. See our top picks for the perfect city picnic here…

The Best Picnic Spots in the UK & Ireland

Where to Picnic in London

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

As one of the most prominent and visited green spaces in London, Hyde Park certainly isn’t lacking in picnic spots. Pitch up by the 40-acre Serpentine and enjoy a post-picnic boat ride on the lake, or head to the Rose Garden in the south east of the park where you can dine amongst an abundance of pretty florals. What’s more, you’ll find a number of refreshment points dotted around the park (in case you’ve forgotten to pack a bottle of water amongst the flurry of fizz). royalparks.org.uk

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

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Renowned for its remarkable city views and bathing ponds, London’s 790-acre Hampstead Heath makes for the perfect picnic. Perch upon Parliament Hill Viewpoint for the park’s best panorama of the city where you’ll be able to spot a number of iconic London landmarks, from The Shard to the Houses of Parliament. If you’ve got itchy feet, be sure to take a wander around Hampstead High Street and delight in an ice cream at Venchi Chocolate and Gelatocityoflondon.gov.uk

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens' Temperate House

Where better to picnic than the Royal Botanic Gardens? Richmond’s Kew Gardens deserves an entire day out, with its spectacular Rose Garden (designed in 1948), Cedar Vista, Treetop Walkway and iconic Palm House, Kew’s expansive greenhouse enriched a vast array of world-wide tropical plants. View the Kew Gardens map ahead of your visit to find the perfect spot to park on. kew.org

The V&A’s John Madejski Garden

The V&A

Combine outdoor dining with a visit to The V&A, where you’ll find the perfect picnic spot located in the museum’s John Madejski Garden. Dating back to 1857, the courtyard was formed as the V&A’s surrounding green space made way for the museum’s expansion and the emergence of South Kensington’s structure and establishment. A small slice of green serenity amidst the museum’s grand edifice now remains, ideal for a mid or post-visit picnic. vam.ac.uk

Look Forward: What’s On at The V&A?

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill

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Another green space boasting picturesque views of the city skyline, Primrose Hill is a popular spot for picnickers, renowned for its surrounding pretty pastel townhouses and A-list residences. Perch yourself at the top of the hill where you can munch on your sandwiches and Scotch eggs whilst admiring the city vista. It’s also worth noting that the park is in easy reach of London Zoo, ideal for a post-picnic visit which the little ones will love. royalparks.org.uk

Victoria Park

Victoria Park

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Victoria Park – or ‘the people’s park’ as it’s well renowned – emerged in the 19th century in the hope of improving East London’s living conditions and life expectancy. Today, the Tower Hamlets parkland draws in thousands of picnickers every year with its Regal Boat Hire, children’s play areas and beloved Pavilion Café which overlooks the lake – ideal if you need a hamper refill. towerhamlets.gov.uk

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum

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One of the most majestic buildings in London, The Natural History Museum in South Kensington makes for the perfect picnic backdrop, followed by a visit to the museum of course. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics and dine al fresco on the front lawn. nhm.ac.uk

BBQ Friendly Parks in London

St James’s Park

St James's Park

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Perhaps the most exalted of all the Royal Parks with an enviable position bordering Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park is well worth a visit. It’s here that you’ll find the beautiful Buckingham Palace flower beds, The Queen Victoria Memorial, and The Blue Bridge which boasts impressive views of the palace across St James’s Park Lake. Keep an eye out for park’s resident pelicans – you can catch them being fed beside the park’s charming Duck Island Cottage between 2-3pm every day (unavailable during the pandemic). royalparks.org.uk

Richmond Park

Richmond Park

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A National Nature Reserve and the largest Royal Park, Richmond Park enjoys plenty of prepossessing picnic spots. Pitch up in the Isabella Plantation, a captivating woodland garden adorned with tranquil ponds, Kurume Azaelas (brought over from Japan in the 1920s) and plenty of wildlife. The park is also home to an array of freely-roaming Fallow deer – but keep your sandwiches to yourself. royalparks.org.uk

Featured image: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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