- Parks and open spaces in London
: "For London as a whole, see the main article
London is well endowed with open spaces. Green space in
central Londonconsists of five Royal Parks, supplemented by a number of small garden squares scattered throughout the city centre. Open space in the rest of the city is dominated by the remaining three Royal Parks and many other parks and open spaces of a range of sizes, run mainly by the local London boroughs, although other owners include the National Trust and the City of London Corporation.
The centrepieces of London's park system are the eight
Royal Parks of London. Covering over 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land, [" [http://www.royalparks.gov.uk/about/ About us] ", The Royal Parks. URL accessed on 3 June 2006.] they are former royal hunting grounds which are now open to the public. Four of these — Green Park, St. James's Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens— form a green strand through the western side of the city centre, whilst a fifth, Regent's Parkis just to the north. The remaining (and largest) three Royal Parks are in the suburbs — Greenwich Parkto the south east, and Bushy Parkand Richmond Parkto the south west.
Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public. Notable examples open to the public are
Russell Squarein Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fieldsin Holbornand Soho Squarein Soho.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelseacontains over 100 garden squares whose use is restricted to residents. The upkeep of these squares is paid for through a levy on top of residents' council tax. [ [http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/gardensquares/general/default.asp "Your garden square and you"] , Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. URL accessed 20 June 2006.]
Other green spaces
Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:
Hainault Forest Country Park
South Norwood Country Park
They have a more informal and semi-natural character, having originally been countryside areas protected against surrounding urbanisation. Some cemeteries provide extensive green land within the city — notably
Highgate Cemetery, burial place of Karl Marxand Michael Faradayamongst others. Completing London's array of green spaces are two paid entrance gardens — the leader is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, whilst the royal residence of Hampton Court Palacealso has a celebrated garden. All Outer Londonboroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt. [Greater London Authority - [http://www.london.gov.uk/thelondonplan/images/maps-diagrams/jpg/map-3d-3.jpgLondon's strategic open space network] ]
There are several types of
London greenwaysincluding The Greenway and the Thames Path.
* [http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/london.gardens/ London Parks and Gardens Trust]
* [http://www.gardenvisit.com/landscape/london/lguide/landscape-architecture-sites.htm London Landscape Architecture Visitors Guide]
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