When I think of London parklands, the first few that springs to mind are Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and St James’ Park. All are on top of tourists’ hit list! On a sunny day, these parks are full of picnic goers, tourists, kids, pets – basically a really busy place. So it would be pretty difficult to find some space for quiet time. Don’t get me wrong, these parks are beautiful and are excellent for people watching. But sometimes, you just want to be with the nature without all the hustles and bustles yet not needing to travel too far out. Somewhere for some peace and quiet to wind down from a long week in the office. Well ladies and gentlemen, I have found just the perfect place for you and nicely hidden away in the (almost) heart of London! Read on to find out more…
Let me present you… the beautiful Holland Park!! Located in the West London within Kensington and Notting Hill districts. So it is just a lazy tube ride away. And I can use my Oyster card… Bonus!
There’s something here for everyone! Plenty of green spaces between you and the next person. So pack a picnic and find your corner in the garden. Choose between the zen-esque and tranquility of a Japanese-styled Kyoto garden, bold and structured of the Dutch garden or a beautiful and humble English Rose garden…
How cute are these two ducklings hanging out in the Kyoto garden, posing nicely for me before walking off together! Nawww…
I love this gorgeous view with the water and Bonzai tree. Can you just imagine your heart rates dropping and your mind slowing down just by staring at this?! *click* Wake up guys!! Stay with me here… I still have a few more photos to show you yet… 😝
There’s just something about the sound and the sight of water that projects inner calmness, don’t you think?
Before you literary doze off, walk across to the Dutch garden where evergreen hedges are waiting to greet you. They are perfectly trimmed to frame the seasonal blooms. I have to admit, I was expecting blooming tulips here. But perhaps we might’ve just missed the tulip season?
The lavenders though are in full bloom right now. So until we get ourselves to France’s Provence region for the lavender fields, these will have to do! 🙂
Next stop, the rose garden. Although it is smaller then the others, all the roses are in full bloom right now and they are so pretty!!
If you’ve had enough of the gardens pop into the cafe for a cup of tea or park yourself in one of these gardens and have a snooze… hehe… But we soldiered on to explore the rest of the park.
Behind this wall, is the stage to the open air Holland Park Theatre which plays Opera performances over the summer months. This is also the ruins of Holland House which sadly was bombed during World War II.
Behind A is a wall of murals painted by Mao Wen Biao between April 1994 and May 1995 depicting scenes from one of the garden parties which used to be held by the Earl of Ilchester in the Holland House in the 1870’s. They are so pretty with lots of vibrant colours, definitely worth spending some time admiring the artwork.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s something for everyone here. For young families, there is a fenced-in separate children’s playground. For others, there is a giant chess board, cricket pitch and even tennis courts if you fancy a hit. But most importantly, there are generous grassland for your sunbathing needs since the closest beach is at least 2 hours away! You might be lucky get to make some new squirrel and peacock friends.
A booked dinner for us at the Belvedere Restaurant, which is also inside the park and the food was amazing!! But I will save this for the next post. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading this and feel tempted to go check it out. Beware though, the park closes at 9pm. After this time, the only way to get out is via the Belvedere Restaurant’s carpark. Everywhere else is locked!! We learnt that the hard way!!
Thank you so much for reading!