Top picnic spots in London
Visit London during the summer and you’ll find plenty of parks and idyllic green spaces for a traditional English picnic in the sunshine. If you’re holidaying with the family, a picnic is guaranteed to be a winner. It’s also, of course, much more affordable than a restaurant meal. So pop into a local deli or market to pick up some foodie treats and head down to one of our favourite London picnic spots for an al fresco feast.
If you’re looking for a picnic with a view, then put London’s oldest Royal Park, Greenwich Park, at the top of your list. Head for the top of the hill and gaze out across the Thames and London skyline while you munch. If you want to make a day of it, pop into the Planetarium or Maritime Museum and wander through the grounds of the university.
Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR)
Hampstead Heath and Kenwood
During the summer months, you’ll find picnickers anywhere on Hampstead Heath’s 790-acre green expanse. The most popular spots, however, are close to the bathing lakes and on the grassy area in front of Kenwood House. Pick up provisions in Hampstead High Street or in South End Green and round off your meal with an ice-cream from the Kenwood café.
Nearest station: Hampstead (underground) and Hampstead Heath (overground)
Golders Hill Park
Close to Hampstead Heath, Golders Hill Park is a big favourite with local families thanks to the playground, small animal enclosures and rolling lawns. Young children will also love the Victorian stumpery and the Butterfly House. Meanwhile, the big attraction for adults is the Hill Garden and Pergola.
Nearest station: Hampstead or Golders Green underground
Highgate Woods is another north London institution that finds itself teeming with picnickers at the first sign of sunshine. The kids will love the two playgrounds but there are also woods to explore and dens to build.
Nearest station: Highgate underground
St. James’s Park
A picnic in one of the central London Royal Parks is a welcome break in the middle of a heavy sightseeing day. St. James’s Park is the ideal stopping point between visits to Buckingham Palace, Westminster and Piccadilly. There are deckchairs for lounging and if you get your timing right, you might even catch feeding time for the resident pelicans (2.30pm and 3.00pm, next to Duck Island Cottage).
Nearest station: St James’s Park
Regent’s Park is best known for its stunning rose garden, boating lake and Open Air Theatre – a must-do experience for any visitor to London during the summer. If you’re staying at one of our apartments in Marylebone, pick up provisions at the award-winning La Fromagerie in Marylebone where mouth-watering cheeses sit alongside charcuterie and other seasonal produce.
Nearest station: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street
Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks so there’s no problem finding your own spot for a picnic. It has a wilder feel than many of the other Royal Parks, with freely roaming deer and open grassland. Head into the heart of the park where the Isabella Plantation is a gorgeous flower garden with picnic-friendly lawns.
Nearest station: Richmond Station (National Rail or underground).
Best known for its open-air summer opera season, Holland Park is also home to the beautiful Japanese Kyoto Garden, with maple trees, peacocks and koi carp. Pick up a picnic and some English sparkling wine at the gourmet grocer Jeroboams. Then find a spot close to the Jacobean Cope Castle, part of which is used for the opera venue.
Nearest station: Holland Park, High Street Kensington