With national picnic week (15-24 June) on the horizon, it’s time to dust off the gingham blanket, rinse out the thermos flask and enjoy an al fresco meal with friends. Here’s our pick of the capital’s best spots.
St James’s Park
A beautiful oasis, tucked away among the hustle and bustle of central London, St James’s Park is a magical green space that’s home to a beautiful lake as well as a whole host of pelicans (yes, really!).
You’ll find a million opportunities to get snap happy as you stroll under the trees and alongside the flowerbeds.
Catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace as you make your way around the park’s 57 acres of land.
Looking for the perfect Instagram pap? Head to Duck Island Cottage on the edge of the lake. It’s a picturesque lodge that looks like Miss Honey’s cottage from Roald Dahl’s Matilda.
This is a beautiful place to visit all year round but especially in the summer when Bishops Park truly comes to life. Perfect for families, there’s an abundance of activities to keep little ones entertained including a big playground, mini skate park, a ‘beach’ area with sand and fountains, a pond and a big, green space perfect for tucking into a picnic.
On Sunday’s there’s a weekly Farmer’s Market, which sells delicious foods including breads, olives, meats and hot meals made to order.
Be sure to visit Fulham Palace while you’re here; it’s free to explore and there’s a great café serving up pots of tea, coffee and a cracking selection of homemade cakes.
Crystal Palace Park
With plenty of areas to picnic, Crystal Palace Park makes for a great family day out this summer. Children will love exploring the dinosaur trail, which houses over 30 full-scale dinosaur statues. You’ll also find a small children’s farm, a playground, a maze, a lake and an abundance of outdoor space in which you can run after the kids.
Golders Hill Park
A beautifully landscaped park, Golders Hill is home to a butterfly house, a deer enclosure and a free zoo which has a collection of rare and exotic birds and mammals, including kookaburras, lemurs and more. This wonderful and peaceful park makes for a welcome breather from London’s otherwise hectic pace.
Thames Barrier Park
This riverside park was opened in 2000 and is therefore still relatively ‘new’ to the London scene. Green hedges shaped like waves sit alongside pretty bushes, flowers and shrubbery. There’s a playground and café close by and plenty of green space to enjoy a homemade lunch as you admire a view of the Thames.