The South West London Gardener

5 of the Best London Gardens to Visit

Kensington gardens and palace

When thinking of London, your first thought probably isn’t luscious green fields surrounded by an abundance of nature and wildlife. 

But maybe it should be. 

London is home to some of the biggest and best gardens not just in the UK, but throughout Europe.  

And the best thing about them is that they’re packed with variety, so whatever kind of place you want to visit, there will be a garden perfect for you. 

At The Southwest London Gardener, we are passionate about working in London and love nothing more than visiting some of the great green spots around the city. 

And we want you to enjoy them too. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five different gardens and just what they can offer. 

Let’s take a look. 

For the Views: Sky Garden

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The name of this garden is very apt. 

Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden, standing at a whopping 160 metres tall. 

While this isn’t your traditional garden, it is still a great place to visit, thanks mostly to the stunning views over the London skyline. 

While there are bars, restaurants, and regular entertainment, this doesn’t take away from the natural element on show. 

Designed by landscape architecture practise GIllespies, there is an abundance of Mediterranean and South African greenery working alongside other plants to provide an all-year-round flower display that looks great. 

Admission is free so next time you’re wondering what to do, why not pop down to Sky Garden and enjoy a garden and much more. 

For the Flowers: Kew Gardens

Boasting 500 acres of woodland and the world’s largest seed conservation project, there’s a reason Kew Gardens is one of the most famous gardens in the world. 

This garden opened it’s gates to the public in 1759, and in 2003 was awarded the honour of being labelled a UNESCO World Heritage site

So, what can you do on a day here? 

Well, the space is so vast and the features so plentiful, you’re sure to not run out of great ideas. 

There are over 50,000 living plants to take a look at as you stroll through the gardens, as well as some famous structures such as King William’s Temple, The Great Pagoda, and even a treetop walkway on which you can take a bird’s eye view of the wonderful nature below. 

Also known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, this is a must on the itinerary of any flower-lover, and anyone who loves nothing more than taking in the scents and sights of vast fields of flowers. 

All meticulously designed and cared for, it’s a nature-lovers dream. Tickets cost around £15, but with so much to offer, we don’t think it’s a bad price at all! 

For a Long Walk: Kensington Gardens

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Situated next door to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is a huge area that is perfect for an afternoon walk under the sun. 

With Kensington Palace creating the perfect back drop, this vast area contains plenty of features and mapped out walks, such as The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk which takes you on a lovely scenic route through the gardens and is perfect for anyone looking to stretch their legs. 

Whilst not boasting the panoramic views of Sky Gardens, or the abundance of flowers of Kew Gardens, what Kensington Gardens can provide is a spot of solitude.  

With such a large area, it is easy to find a peaceful spot, and there aren’t many places better in London to lay down a picnic and relax. 

But that’s not to say there’s nothing to do.  

The best thing to do is stroll through the garden and see what you find. There are memorials, statues (such as the famous Peter Pan statue), playgrounds, galleries, and much more that you will find as you make your way through this historic park, making this a great day out for all the family. 

For Something a bit Quieter: Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola

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If you’re looking to take yourself away from the tourists and find a spot that is really peaceful, then our next garden may be the ideal spot for you. 

Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola boasts stunning views, great walks, and has the added benefit of not being a major attraction, so you may not have to face large crowds as you wander around. 

Known as one of London’s best-kept secrets, this beautiful spot is located on Hampstead Heath. Previously the private garden of a manor house, this structure was designed by William H Lever, and is a testament to the beauty of landscape gardening. 

That was way back in 1904, and since then, the Pergola has become a haven of wildflowers, historical architecture, and vibrant wildlife. 

There’s a reason people often choose this spot for wedding photos. 

Visually, it is stunning, and provides something different every time you visit. 

Whether it’s in the summer as the plants wrap themselves around the structure, or in winter when snow rests on the top, it’s always a sight to behold, so head down today and enjoy a walk around this delightful garden before it becomes the huge attraction it deserves to be.  

For Something a bit Different: Kyoto Gardens

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If you’re looking for something a bit different, then why not take a trip to Kyoto Gardens. 

This garden is simply beautiful, and if you’re looking for a place that provides a bit of zen, then this is the spot for you. 

Situated in Holland Park in Kensington, there’s a lot to love about Kyoto gardens, especially the free-roaming peacocks that always make for a great sight. 

The garden opened in 1991, and was a gift from Kyoto to symbolise the great relationship between Japan and Great Britain. 

As soon as you step into the garden, it is clear to see the Japanese influence that runs throughout. From Japanese style architecture on the buildings and bridges, to the Japanese Maple Trees and cherry blossoms that grow. 

Five minutes here and you will feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London, and as if you’ve hopped on a plane for several hours and landed in foreign land. 

There aren’t many places where you can so immerse yourself in such a tranquil and calming environment, and entry is free, so next time you’re round our neck of the woods (West London) we would definitely recommend a visit. 

Tips on Visiting These Gardens in London

We hope you like our list of London’s best gardens.  

To make sure you can enjoy them to their fullest, here are three quick tips on how to visit the gardens: 

  • Come Prepared – As I’ve mentioned throughout this blog, these gardens are big. That’s why it is vital you come prepared. If you’re planning a long walk through Kensington or Kew Gardens, make sure you have the right footwear on. If it’s forecast to be a hot day, don’t forget sun crème and water. And if you’re planning on stopping for lunch, a well-equipped picnic is essential. A lovely day out can be ruined if you have to leave early, so make sure you’re packed up and ready for the day ahead to avoid any disappointment. 
  • Get Some Expert Information – As you stroll through the gardens, you’re going to see some wonderful sights. There may be flowers you’ve never seen before or historical facts that you’re missing out on if you don’t find a source of information to fill you in on the details. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. Firstly, keep an eye out for signs. These often tell the story of a place and the flowers and structures within it. If you want a deeper knowledge, why not book onto a tour or find a personal audio guide that can walk you through the garden and answer any questions you may have. 
  • Book in Advance – These gardens can get busy, especially on weekends or school holidays. If you want to make sure you get into the garden, then why not book early. Not only does it ensure you get a place inside, but it is also cheaper to do. Once booked, you can start to do some research into just what is the best things to do at the garden in order to make the most out of your day. And don’t forget, if you’re a National Trust member, you may be able to make some big savings by keeping an eye out for locations that are part of the community. 

The Southwest London Gardener

We are a team of London Gardeners who love working and finding inspiration in the capital

Taking a stroll around these places helps give us new ideas for designs, architecture, and flowers that we can incorporate into your gardens. 

Want to see what how we can transform your outside space? 

Get in touch today for a quick chat and a free no-obligation quote. 

We look forward to speaking with you.