Take a breather: The best parks in London

Recommended by the local Cool Cousin community
Norwood Rd, London SE24 9BJ, UK
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The 'park' bit of Brockwell Park isn't exactly a destination in itself, but if you are nearby in Brixton Village or Herne Hill and fancy a bit of a stroll, it's a lovely place to go. Head up to the top of the hill for a stunning panorama of London (like Parliament Hill in North London, but the other way round!) and a visit to the walled garden - a beautiful place full of flowers and benches where you can sit a read a book - as well as the community greenhouses next door. If it's baking hot, head down to the Lido, although be warned that the water isn't heated so unless it's the hottest day of the year, it can be a bit of a chilly swim...
Laura, 33 Manager at Museum of London
Cool Cousin London
Brockwell Park
Erol Goksal
Regent's Park, London NW1, UK
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Regent’s Park is a diverse and wonderful park to be in. Parts of it are dedicated grass football and rugby pitches, where all ages can be found playing there, especially on a Saturday morning. Other parts include the London Zoo, flower gardens, a small outside theatre, and a lake where you can ride paddle boats. The most prominent entrances are from Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood, and Baker Street. If you’re in any of these areas, it’s worth walking through the park. If it’s the summer, stop by one of the mini cafes in the park and grab an ice-cream. During the winter, bundle up, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the crisp London air.
Sydney, 24 Student
Cool Cousin London
Regent's Park
Fabrizio De Tomasi
Clissold Park, Church Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 9HJ, UK
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This park is a little gem! You have everything you need to relax: a huge green space, a paddling pool for kids to play and some tennis courts (you can even spot deers but I have to admit that I am not a big fan of seeing them in an enclosed area)
Elodie, 26 Trend Forecaster
Cool Cousin London
Clissold Park Playground
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Richmond Park, Richmond TW10 5HS, UK
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I genuinely believe London would not be the same without it. Richmond Park brings a mass of much needed greenery to South-West London along with some of the city’s best walks, wildlife and views of the surrounding area. Either pick one spot and relax or roam around as much of the almost 4 square mile park as possible on foot, in a car or cycling. Just keep your distance from the deer!
Will, 24 Actor, Writer & Director
Cool Cousin London
Richmond Park
Holland Park, Holland Park Ave, Kensington, London W11 4UA, UK
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Holland Park is an expansive area with a wide range of activities on offer. From a stroll along the trees, watching chess masters battle out over a cup of tea to peacocks roaming around the gardens. My favourite part is the Kyoto Gardens, a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in recognition of the first Japanese festival held in London in 1992. A truly stunning garden, proper zen!
Samson, 28 Consultant, Foodie & Traveller @ Out of Office London
Cool Cousin London
Kyoto Garden
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London SW11 4NJ, UK
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This is my local park and it's a haven of tranquility, with lots of interesting things to do and see. During the summer you can rent boats to row or pedal around the lake. I love walking around the gardens all-year round, from the Old English garden to the Sub Tropical garden - I'm constantly discovering hidden new gardens here. There are numerous sculptures dotted around, including a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth. And there is a spectacular fountain in the middle of the park, but you have to go off the beaten path a bit to find it.
Jemima, 28 Journalist for Show Media Agency
Cool Cousin London
Battersea Park
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Richmond TW11 0EQ, United Kingdom
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Don't be daunted by how far out of Central London this park is - it's totally worth the trip! Richmond is a really lovely area full of greenery and picturesque streets, and this has to be my favourite park in London. You can spot deer just hanging out and plenty more interesting wildlife. I hear that David Attenborough lives in Richmond - which is clearly proof that it's the best spot for nature in the city. If you're lucky and it's a sunny day, it's the best place to go for a picnic - Bushy Park is the second biggest park in London so there's plenty of space to find a quiet spot to yourself, or perhaps a fun tree to climb.
Nikoo, 30 Artist
Cool Cousin London
Bushy Park
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Stoke Newington, London N16 9HJ, UK
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It's a sunny day and you're in East London. Yes, you could go to London Fields and become one with the hipster festival it has become every Sat/Sun or you could come and relax in the lovely Clissold Park. Here there are deer (fenced off) and a couple other animals (also fenced off), several ponds (unswimmable) and tennis courts (bookable). The great thing about Clissold Park is that due to its size you can really feel you've very briefly escaped London and can relax before hitting all of the clubs later on.
Max, 30 Art & Film Director
Cool Cousin London
Clissold Park
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9 Audrey St, London E2 8QH, UK
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Cuddled next to Hackney Road and Hackney Farm there's Haggerston Park - well groomed peaceful piece of greenery with a lovely little forest walk at the back
Yuli, 28 Digital Designer
Cool Cousin London
Haggerston Park
Tarquin Binary
110 Highgate Hill, London N6 5HE, UK
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This park in Highgate is perfect for walking and feeling quintessentially British. As it's high up there are brilliant views of the whole of London. They have 3 glorious ponds where you can feed the ducks and other wildlife. The park is also home to Lauderdale House, which is an arts centre and they put on free lunch time music perfomances as well as concerts, exhibitions and classes. They have a cute cafe round the back where you can get some lunch or a tea... feels like a Jane Austen book.
Maayan, 35 Event Manager
Cool Cousin London
Waterlow Park
Peter Smyly
Sudbrook Ln, Richmond TW10, United Kingdom
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One of the wildest parks in London, great for picnics and to see wild deer!
Loyse, 38 Actor
Cool Cousin London
The Richmond Golf Club
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Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT
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While the centre is quite expensive, the Wetland’s is a beautiful nature reserve that is worth the entry fee on occasion (around £11 adult, £8 concession). There is an astonishing range of wildlife and natural environments and their conservation of rare birds is something to behold. Great for all ages and perfect for a sunny picnic
Will, 24 Actor, Writer & Director
Cool Cousin London
Wetlands Centre
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United Kingdom
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Some come for the BBQ, some come for the fashion show. This is undoubtedly Londons most fashionable and hipster park, filled with flower gardens, rows of well-aged trees and hundreds of fashionable, beautiful people with boxes filled with vegan gyoza.
Alexandre, 28 Software Engineer
Cool Cousin London
London Fields
Bloomsbury, London WC1B, UK
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Russel Square is amongst many green spaces in London. It isn't large (takes less than 5 minutes to walk through it), but there are lots of areas you can sit down and relax. And unlike some countries, here you can sit on the grass. It has a fountain and an Italian cafe, and there's a little coffee stall just by the North West entrance. You'll see lots of people working out in the morning, at lunch break there are lots of picnics happening, and people throwing frisbees around, and in the evenings loving couples - old and young - stroll their way around the perimeter of the park. Great to take a break from the bustle of the city
Kristine, 35 startup User Experience Researcher
Cool Cousin London
Russell Square
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St Martin's Le Grand, London EC1A, UK
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London's story is one that has began more than a thousand years ago, and will be told for a thousand more. Never is that more true than in Postman's Park, a little garden sanctuary near the hustle and bustle of St Pauls. It's the home of a wonderful and moving tiled memorial to ordinary Londoners who died saving the lives of others. None of the names will be ones you recognise, but in this quiet spot, these men's, women's and even children's heroic acts of self sacrifice are quietly honoured by the ordinary Londoners of today. Go and learn their stories, and remember them.
Philippa, 34 Fundraising, Environmental Charity
Cool Cousin London
Postman's Park
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