London is a vibrant city – a living, breathing, pulsating animal that both surprises and delights.
But it’s not necessarily known for its green spaces or natural habitats. Sure there’s the majestic Hyde Park, where tourists flock to enjoy a breath of fresh air. And Victoria Park is a hip and happening expanse surrounded by little cafés and bars with a laid-back, lazy Sunday vibe.
But where else can Londoners and visitors alike get their flora and fauna fix? Well anyone who knows London well will also tell you it’s a city of the unexpected, which is why it’s no surprise that there are a number of beautiful green spaces in the Big Smoke… they just take a bit of finding.
Whether it’s nestled on the rooftops of hotels or hidden behind the doorways of country houses, there are in fact lots of privately run and owned spaces that offer a breath of fresh air to anyone who is fortunate enough to hold the key.
Luckily for the rest of us, from Saturday June 14 to Sunday June 15 the Open Garden Squares Weekend gives curious revellers the chance to see these private gardens for themselves. Over 200 gardens will unlock their gates and welcome locals and tourists to explore these magical parts of unseen London.
Spanning a whopping 27 boroughs and held in association with the National Trust, this is a unique opportunity to see gardens of all shapes and sizes, from squares to terraces, allotments to grand designs. Schools, cafés, historic buildings and many, many more types of building and location are opening their gardens up. With the weather getting better by the day – what better way to spend your weekend?
Not only that, the festival also includes the gardens of some very special places. See where the most powerful man in Britain has his barbecues at Number 10 Downing Street, explore the herbs and remedies at The Royal College of Physicians’ medicinal garden and walk the turf that once sat Arsenal’s former stadium at the exclusive Highbury Square.
You can even chat to gardeners and bee keepers to get some tips for your own garden, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of other things to keep you entertained while you wander around some of London’s most breathtaking hidden gems.
Live music, art installations and lots of activities for the whole family will be dotted around, while refreshments will be on hand too (check out The Gin Garden – a pop-up bar in Arlington Square for delicious cocktails!)
So if you fancy seeing an unusual but beautiful side to the capital, take a look at our hotels in London and make a weekend of it.