Which secret gardens in London are open for a quiet picnic?

London, the bustling capital of England, has a myriad of surprises up its sleeve. Despite its frenetic pace, the city is also home to serene spots that offer a tranquil respite from the city's hustle and bustle. Of course, one might think of the well-known Hyde Park or the popular Regent's Park when imagining a picnic in London. Yet, the city holds many secret gardens, often hidden amidst sprawling urban landscapes, that present the perfect spots for a peaceful, idyllic picnic.

This article will uncover these lesser-known spots, providing you with all the details you need to plan your next picnic in a secret garden of London.

The Hidden Gem: Phoenix Garden

Nestled in the heart of London's West End, the Phoenix Garden is amongst the city's best kept secrets. As you step into this urban sanctuary, you'll be greeted with an array of blooming flowers and flourishing greenery, an ideal backdrop for a tranquil picnic.

The Phoenix Garden is a community garden that offers a quiet retreat from the city's noise and traffic. Here, amidst the aromatic scents of various plants, you can enjoy a quiet picnic while soaking in the serene ambiance. It is relatively unknown to tourists, which adds to its charm and ensures that you can enjoy your picnic in peace.

The Enchanted Hideaway: Kyoto Garden

The Kyoto Garden, hidden in the depths of Holland Park, transports you to the heart of Japan with its stunning Japanese-themed landscape. It is a place where the East meets the West, within the confines of the city of London.

Stepping into the Kyoto Garden, you will be greeted by the sight of a tiered waterfall cascading into a pond filled with vibrant koi carp. The garden is adorned with native Japanese plants and stone lanterns, perfect for a serene picnic. Although picnics are not allowed within the Kyoto Garden itself, the surrounding Holland Park provides ample space for you to lay down your picnic blanket and enjoy the view.

A Royal Retreat: Queen's House Gardens

For those seeking a picnic spot with a historical twist, the Queen's House Gardens, attached to the Queen's House in Greenwich, is a fantastic option. Built in the 17th century, the Queen's House is a former royal residence that boasts stunning gardens.

The Queen's House Gardens are meticulously maintained, presenting a picturesque setting for your picnic. The gardens are open to the public and house various sculptures and installations, adding an artistic touch to your picnic experience.

Nature's Haven: Camley Street Natural Park

Located just a stone's throw away from the busy King's Cross station, the Camley Street Natural Park is a wildlife haven in the heart of the city. This two-acre nature reserve is a verdant oasis amidst the concrete jungle, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic.

Enjoy your picnic amidst a variety of habitats, including a pond, marshland, and woodland, each teeming with diverse wildlife. It's not uncommon to spot water birds, butterflies, and even hedgehogs during your visit. This natural park provides the perfect escape from the city, without actually needing to leave London.

The Secret Spot: The Roof Gardens

Located high above the busy streets of Kensington, The Roof Gardens offer a unique setting for a London picnic. This rooftop oasis, one of London's most secret gardens, is spread across 1.5 acres and is home to an array of exotic flora and fauna.

Separated into three themed gardens - the Spanish Garden, Tudor Garden, and English Woodland - each offers a unique backdrop for your picnic. The most appealing factor is the flamingos that live within these gardens, adding an element of surprise to your picnic experience.

Now that you're privy to these secret gardens, plan your next picnic in one of these hidden gems. Whether you prefer a historical backdrop at the Queen's House Gardens or an urban retreat at Phoenix Garden, London has a secret garden to suit everyone's taste. Don't forget to check the opening time on their respective website before you visit, as some of these gardens may have specific visiting hours.

Visiting London's secret gardens not only provide a peaceful picnic spot but also allows you to explore the city's hidden treasures. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your picnic basket and get ready to discover London like never before.

A Historic Hideaway: Fulham Palace Gardens

Stepping into the Fulham Palace Gardens is like stepping back in time. This secret garden is part of Fulham Palace, a historic building that was once the residence of the Bishops of London for over a thousand years. Located in southwest London, this hidden gem offers a tranquil retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.

The garden itself features a variety of beautifully landscaped areas and is home to a myriad of plant and bird species. The highlight of the garden is perhaps the walled garden, which offers a secluded spot for picnickers. Here, you can enjoy your meal amidst a colourful, fragrant display of flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

Additionally, the Fulham Palace Gardens boasts an array of ancient trees, including a 450-year-old evergreen oak, which provides ample shade for picnickers on sunny days. It's a charming and peaceful spot, perfect for those who want to unwind with a picnic while soaking in a bit of London's history.

The nearest station to Fulham Palace Gardens is Putney Bridge, making it an easily accessible destination for your next picnic. Before visiting, don't forget to check their website for specific opening hours and any special events that might be taking place.

The Urban Oasis: Barbican Conservatory

The Barbican Conservatory is an urban jungle nestled within central London. This secret garden is the second largest conservatory in London and houses over 2,000 species of plants and trees. The conservatory offers a unique picnic spot amidst a tropical setting right in the heart of the city.

Inside the conservatory, you'll find a diverse range of plants from around the world, including olive trees, towering palms, and vibrant exotic flowers. There's also a pond filled with colourful koi carp, adding to the overall tranquil atmosphere.

The Barbican Conservatory is the perfect place to escape the city without actually leaving it. This tropical haven is an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic, with the sounds of water and bird calls creating a soothing backdrop. However, it's important to note that picnics are only allowed on certain days, so be sure to check their website for specific details.

Despite being located in central London, this secret garden remains largely unknown to tourists, making it a serene spot for a quiet picnic amidst a lush, tropical setting. The nearest station is Barbican, making it incredibly easy to reach this urban oasis.


In conclusion, London's secret gardens offer a perfect escape from the city's fast-paced life, presenting idyllic spots for a peaceful picnic. These gardens, each unique in their charm and backdrop, range from historic hideaways like the Fulham Palace Gardens to urban oases like the Barbican Conservatory.

Whether you prefer picnicking amidst the tranquillity of a Japanese-themed landscape at the Kyoto Garden, indulging in an alfresco meal surrounded by flora and fauna at the Camley Street Natural Park, or dining with flamingos at The Roof Gardens, London's secret gardens offer something for everyone.

So, pack your picnic basket and set off on an adventure to discover the city's hidden gems. These secret gardens not only provide the perfect spot for a picnic but also offer a unique opportunity to explore a different side of London. Enjoy the serenity, soak up the history, and immerse yourself in the vibrant landscapes that these gardens offer. After all, there's no better way to discover London than through its secret gardens.

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