Parks and open spaces in London

Parks and open spaces in London

: "For London as a whole, see the main article London."

London is well endowed with open spaces. Green space in central London consists 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.

Royal parks

The centrepieces of London's park system are the eight Royal Parks of London. Covering over 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land, [" [ 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 Park is just to the north. The remaining (and largest) three Royal Parks are in the suburbs — Greenwich Park to the south east, and Bushy Park and Richmond Park to the south west.

Garden squares

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 Square in Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and Soho Square in Soho.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains 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. [ [ "Your garden square and you"] , Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. URL accessed 20 June 2006.]

Council parks

In addition to these spaces, a large number of council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War, including Victoria Park, Alexandra Park and Battersea Park.

Other green spaces

Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:
*Hampstead Heath,
*Clapham Common,
*Wimbledon Common,
*Epping Forest,
*Trent Park
*Hainault Forest Country Park
*Mitcham Common
*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 Marx and Michael Faraday amongst 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 Palace also has a celebrated garden. All Outer London boroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt. [Greater London Authority - ['s strategic open space network] ]


There are several types of London greenways including The Greenway and the Thames Path.

By location


External links

* [ London Parks and Gardens Trust]
* [ London Landscape Architecture Visitors Guide]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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