How Many Royal Parks Are There In London?


London’s Royal Parks are amazing. Not only are they free, but they all offer something a bit different from contemporary art to historical monuments as well as regular park activities like throwing a frisbee with your mates. Considering how populated and precious real estate is in London, it’s amazing how much has been protected against development. All we can say is, God, save our gracious Queen, what a generous lady hey. Anyway, let’s get stuck into the parks.

London consists of eight Royal Parks. There’s something for everyone.

Royal ParkLondon RegionBest For
Hyde Park
The Green Park
Kensington Gardens
St James’s Park
CentralPicnics & Fun
A Stroll
History & Art
The Mall
Regent’s ParkNorth WestThe Zoo
Richmond Park
Greenwich Park
Bushy Park
South WestWildlife
Royal Observatory
Wild Deer

Each park has something different to offer so we’d recommend working your way through the list. As well as the activities that are on offer daily, the parks are also the location for various events as well that occur throughout different times of the year. Here we go…

Hyde Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5 / 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Hyde Park

This is THE park in London. We would say the equivalent to Central Park in New York. This enormous park covers 350 acres. The park has a lot to offer, whether you fancy a picnic or experience some of the activities on offer, it’s a park that everyone can enjoy.

Where is Hyde Park and how to get there?

  • Address: London, W2 2UH (note however the postcode is just for guidance as the park covers a large area).
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Lancaster Gate (Central Line), Marble Arch (Central Line), Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line, Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line).
  • Other attractions nearby: Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, Victoria & Albert Museum, Electric Cinema.

When is Hyde Park open?

  • Opening Times: 5:00 am 12:00 pm all year round

What does Hyde Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • Diana, Princess of Wales Fountain – A HUGE memorial fountain for the late Lady Diana.
  • The Rose Garden – Stunning flower beds – a great place to take stunning photos.
  • Speaker’s Corner – The oldest speech platform in the world.
  • Music & Festivals – Hyde Park hosts musicals and food festivals all year round.

Popular Activities in Hyde Park

  • Swim in the Serpentine
  • Cycling
  • Boating
  • Tennis
  • Horse riding
  • Playgrounds

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

Hyde Park is in a brilliant location as far as traditional London tourist attractions go including Buckingham Palace. It’s also located right next to Kensington Gardens (which was formerly part of Hyde Park) and 5 minutes away from Green Park too.

Harrods, probably the UKs most prestigious superstore selling everything from bars of chocolate to life sized stuffed animals is within half a mile of this park.

Regents Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5 / 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Regent’s Park

Another huge park, located in northwest London, this one covers 395 acres. This one is known to have the largest outdoor sports center, offering various activities as well as beautiful gardens. It’s a great place for a family day out and there are lots of attractions for children.

Where is Regent’s Park and how to get there?

  • Address: Chester Road, London NW1 4NR.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Regent’s Park (Bakerloo line), Great Portland Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle & Metropolitan lines), Baker Street, (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Bakerloo lines), St John’s Wood (Jubilee line), Camden Town (Northern line).
  • Other attractions nearby: The Sherlock Holmes Museum, Madame Tussauds, Lord’s Cricket Ground, The British Museum, Camden Market.

When is Regent’s Park open?

MonthOpening Times
January5:00 am – 5:00 pm
February5:00 am – 6:00 pm
March5:00 am – 7:00 pm (GMT) and 8:00 (BST)
April, August5:00 am – 9:00 pm
May – Jul5:00 am – 9:30 pm
September5:00 am – 8:00 pm
October5:00 am – 7:00 pm (BST) and 5:30 (GMT)
November – December5:00 am – 4:30 pm

What does Regent’s Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • Queen Mary’s Gardens – World famous gardens with hedges that look like people!
  • London Zoo – The UK’s biggest and most famous Zoo.
  • Primrose Hill – A skyline view of London.

Activities

  • Four children’s playgrounds
  • Boat & pedalo hire
  • Sports pitches for cricket, football, rugby, and softball
  • Courts including tennis and netball courts
  • Running track and trim trail

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

Regent’s Park is located in a pretty interesting place in London. whilst it’s probably the main attraction it’s not far from the BT Tower, once the tallest building in the UK.

The Magic Circle (the home of the world’s prominent magical society) is within walking distance from Regent’s Park. Hosting magical shows, as well as having a magical museum. It sounds amazing right! This is worth checking out.

Richmond Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5 / 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Richmond Park

This is London’s largest park covering 2500 acres! If you’re into nature, conservation and wildlife this park is for you. You’ll get to see hundreds of deer roaming around.

Where is Richmond Park and how to get there?

  • Address; Richmond, London, TW10 5HS (note however the postcode is just for guidance as the park covers a large area).
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Richmond Station (District line).
  • Other attractions nearby: Richmond Theatre, York House Gardens, Ham House.

When is Richmond Park open?

Richmond Park is open 24 hours a day to pedestrians except during November and December where opening times are 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.

For vehicles however, the park is open from 7:00 am in the summer and 7:30 am in the winter to dusk.

What does Richmond Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • Top UK site for ancient trees & wildlife.
  • Isabella Plantation – Lush wild gardens – worth checking out.

Activities

  • Cycling
  • Horse riding
  • Power kiting
  • Golfing
  • Fishing

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

Richmond Park is London’s largest of the Royal Parks and given that, some of the best things you can do in the area are…actually in the park itself. Don’t worry though, there is plenty to do whilst you’re there.

If you’re feeling athletic, try doing a whole lap of the park, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. You can also go on a horse-drawn carriage ride. If you’re looking to do something special whilst you’re there, there is a Michelin star restaurant tucked away in the forest to make your experience more special.

Our recommendation would be Petersham Nurseries. It’s a stunning location, and in the spring it’s decorated with flowers. It actually feels like you’re abroad.

St James’s Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5 / 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to St James’s Park

Despite being one of the smaller parks, around 57 acres, this park still has a lot to offer. Resident to hundreds of pelicans, they have made this park their home since 1664. This is where Trooping the Colour occurs once a year on the Queen’s birthday.

Where is St James’s Park and how to get there?

  • Address: London SW1A 2BJ.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: St. James’s Park (District and Circle Line), Charing Cross Station (Northern, Bakerloo, and British Rail lines), Westminster (Jubilee, District and Circle Lines), Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee Lines), Victoria (Victoria, Circle, and District, British Rail lines).
  • Other attractions nearby: The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, Downing Street, Churchill War Rooms, The Guards Museum, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament.

When is St James’s Park open?

  • Opening Times: Daily, 5 am to midnight.

What does St James’s Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • The Mall – The site of so many historical Royal processions from Queen Victoria to Prince William.
  • The Blue Bridge which has spectacular views across St James’s Park Lake to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye.

Activities

  • The Mall
  • Horse Guards Parade
  • Pelican sightseeing
  • The Blue Bridge
  • Duke of York Statue
  • Buckingham Palace Flowerbeds
  • Queen Victoria Memorial

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

  • The Mall
  • Horse Guards Parade
  • Pelican sightseeing
  • The Blue Bridge
  • Duke of York Statue
  • Buckingham Palace Flowerbeds
  • Queen Victoria Memorial

Greenwich Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/ 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is an awesome park. Serving as a bit of a back garden to the Greenwich Observatory which sits at the top of the park, it’s the perfect location for a summer’s day, for couples, groups of friends and families too.

Its views are some of the best in London as well, overlooking The Thames, The City of London and the Isle of Dogs. It’s perfect for a sunset or a sunrise viewing spot. A must-visit park for sure!

Where is Greenwich Park and how to get there?

  • Address: Blackheath Gate Lodge, London, SE10 8QY.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Greenwich Station (Jubilee Line to North Greenwich).
  • Other attractions nearby: Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, Greenwich Market,

When is Greenwich Park open?

  • Opening Times:
SeasonOpening Times
Winter (Nov-Feb)6:00 am – 6:00 pm
Spring (Mar-May)6:00 am – 8:00 pm (BST) (9:00 pm in May)
Summer (Jun-Aug)6:00 am – 9:30 pm (9:30pm in Aug)
Autumn (Sep-Oct)6:00 am – 8:00 pm (7:00pm in Oct)

For up to date travel and opening time information visit the official Royal Parks.org website.

What does Greenwich Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • The Rose Garden – Wander through the beautiful rose beds.
  • The Wilderness Deer Park – Check out the wild deer and local wildlife.
  • Greenwich Park Tennis Centre – No membership required – Great fun for the day.
  • General Wolfe Statue – Memorial Statue worth checking out, a gift from the Canadians.

Activities

  • Play tennis
  • Have a picnic
  • Climb up the hill

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

Greenwich Park is great, but its location is even better. You can easily spend a whole day in and around the park.

Check out the Cutty Sark, which is a merchant ship dating back to 1869. The ship is suspended in the air allowing you to walk around it and under it to see the whole thing. They’ve got lots of entertainment that they put on such as guided tours with actors as well. Here’s a link to the official Royal Museums Greenwich for more information, including opening times.

Then you have the Greenwich Market, which is bursting with a variety of things that you can buy. From street food to Antiques to fashion, there are market stalls to suit the masses. You can literally wander around for hours.

For more information about things you can only buy in London, check out our article here.

Kensington Gardens

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/ 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Kensington Gardens

This park is one for you history buffs. As well as housing Kensington Palace, these gardens are most famous for being the main residence of Lady Diana. They’re great for a wander around.

Monuments include a statue of Queen Victoria, which was sculpted by her daughter, the Elfin Oak which is a carved up tree stump. It is 900 years old though, so worth checking out for your curiosity alone. There is also a statue of Peter Pan, covered with mice and rabbits.

The park is good for swimmers and boat rides too. It’s not bad for kids either. The Diana Playground is good for kids too. There is a large ship that kids can climb over too. It’s a calmer alternative to Hyde Park and a short walk, so worth taking a wander for sure.

Where are Kensington Gardens and how to get there?

  • Address: Park Lane, London W2 2UH.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Lancaster Gate or Queens Way.
  • Other attractions nearby: National History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albery Hall.

When do Kensington Gardens open?

  • Opening Times:
SeasonOpening Times
Winter (Nov-Feb)6:00 am – late (around 10pm)
Spring (Mar-May)6:00 am – late (around 11pm)
Summer (Jun-Aug)6:00 am – late (around 11pm)
Autumn (Sep-Oct)6:00 am – late (around 11pm)

For up to date travel and opening time information visit the official Royal Parks.org website.

What does Kensington Gardens have to offer?

Attractions

  • Kensington Palace – The home of the Late Lady Diana.
  • Serpentine Galleries – Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery.
  • Albert Memorials and Peter Pan – Worth walking past.
  • Diana Playground- Great for kids.

Activities

  • Perfect place relax and unwind.
  • Get tips on growing plants through allotment on site!

Cafes & Restaurants

  • Palace Cafe – Great for a coffee and a snack, but not a large lunch

Anything else?

Kensington is an upscale neighborhood, famed for its expensive property prices and famous residents. Without traveling too far away from Kensington Gardens, you’ll find The Natural History and Science Museums, churches (St Mary Abbots) as well the Royal Albert theatre. So there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Bushy Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/ 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to Bushy Park

This is one for you wildlife fans. Bushy Park is known for its free red and fallow deer roaming around the park and its fishing. Its actually made up of four parks.

It’s got some stunning gardens, a big bronze fountain dedicated to Lady Diana and some interesting birdlife too. The gardens are also used for cricket and rugby training so if you live locally, feel free to get involved!

Where is Bushy Park and how to get there?

  • Address: Hampton Ct Rd, Hampton,London, TW12 2EJ.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Teddington/Hampton Wick/Hampton Court.
  • Other attractions nearby: Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court Maze and Richmond Park.

When does Bushy Park open?

  • Opening Times:
SeasonOpening Times
Winter (Nov-Feb)6:00 am – Dusk (Sun Set)
Spring (Mar-May)6:00 am – Dusk (Sun Set)
Summer (Jun-Aug)6:00 am – Dusk (Sun Set)
Autumn (Sep-Oct)6:00 am – Dusk (Sun Set)

For up to date travel and opening time information visit the official Royal Parks.org website.

What does Bushy Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • Watch the roaming herds of deer.
  • Check out the Bronze Diana Fountain.
  • The Upper Lodge Water Gardens – A collection of small pools and fountains.

Activities

  • Tennis
  • Bowls
  • Fishing
  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Swimming in an open-air pool!

Cafes & Restaurants

Anything else?

As far as Royal Parks go it’s fair to say that Bushy is more rural, probably better suited to families. That said there is still a lot of fun to be had. Bushy Park is walking distance from Richmond Park and Hampton Court Maze and Palace.

The Magical Garden is also a major attraction for kids and surrounding lakes and rivers make it great place to just go for a walk in the peace and quiet.

The Green Park

Trip Advisor rating: 4.5/ 5, click here to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Welcome to The Green Park

If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat that’s still in the heart of London, The Green Park is the park for you.

To be honest, this park is one that you can just pass through whilst on your trip to London. If you live locally, it’s great for your morning jog. Green Park has no lakes, no buildings, no playgrounds, and not that many monuments.

Rumour has it that the reason this park doesn’t have any formal flower beds is that back in the 17th century, King Charles II’s wife caught him picking flowers for another lady, and ordered them all to be removed. Whether that stopped Charles going to other gardens, is a mystery. Let’s face it, he probably did.

Where is The Green Park and how to get there?

  • Address: Next to Green Park station, London W1J 9DZ.
  • Nearest Tube Stop: Green Park Station, (Picadilly Line).
  • Other attractions nearby: Houses of Parliament, River Thames, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace.

When does The Green Park open?

  • Opening Times:
SeasonOpening Times
Winter (Nov-Feb)5:00 am – 12:00 pm
Spring (Mar-May)5:00 am – 12:00 pm
Summer (Jun-Aug)5:00 am – 12:00 pm
Autumn (Sep-Oct)5:00 am – 12:00 pm

For up to date travel and opening time information visit the official Royal Parks.org website

What does The Green Park have to offer?

Attractions

  • The Royal Air Force Bomber Command Memorial.
  • Canada Gate – The main grand entrance to the park.
  • Canada Memorial – a memorial for the thousands of Canadians that served in both World Wars.

Activities

  • A stroll or a jog.
  • Lunch in the park.

Cafes & Restaurants

Green Park doesn’t have any restaurants but here’s a recommendation of a cafe nearby.

Anything else?

Whilst Green Park, is relatively bland in comparison to the other Royal Parks in London, there’s plenty going on in the surrounding areas. It’s right next to Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the River Thames.

There’s always plenty going on around these areas. we would recommend going on a river cruise in the evening. Not only do you get to see all of London’s iconic sights at night like Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, but you can also treat your self to a four-course meal and Jazz music.

For more ideas of things to do in London, check out our article here on How to enjoy London like a Local here, where we cover the non-obvious but best places to check out in the capital.

Royal Parks Event Planner – Where you Must Visit and When

Royal Parks are host to the number of events that occur throughout the year. It’s that something a bit different if you’re looking to get out and try something new. Take a look below at what events occur.

Royal ParkEventWhen?
Hyde ParkWinter Wonderland
Royal Gun Salutes
Live music, comedy acts, film
November- January
Various depending on the occasion
Various depending on the performance
Regents ParkOpen Air TheatreMay – September
St James’s ParkTrooping the Colour
The Beating Retreat
June
June
The Green ParkRoyal Gun SalutesVarious depending on the occasion

Some Interesting Facts about London’s Royal Parks

Greenwich Park – has been the location of many films. Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Hugh Grant, and Angelina Jolie have all shot scenes in this park.

Kensington Gardens – the park was originally part of Hyde Park but later separated in 1728 by Queen Caroline.

Bushy Park – The Longford River which passes through this park was built as an artificial waterway to give water supply to Hampton Court for King Charles I in the 17th century.

St James Park – The oldest Royal Park opened in 1892.

Hyde Park – the park was founded by Henry VIII in 1536 for hunting, but then later opened to the public in 1637.

Why does London have so many Royal Parks?

Many of London’s parks were hunting grounds for Monarchs of the past (mostly by King Henry VIII) including Hyde Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

Whilst all of these parks were amassed individually but have been maintained as part of the Royal Estate partly to keep London green.

In fact London is one of the greenest cities in the world because of the parks.

1 day in London, 1 Park to go to which one would we pick?

If you have one day in London, you have to pick the park that has the most going on but it doesn’t take too much time to travel too.

Assuming you would want to stay centrally, Regent Park would be our park of choice. That’s because its home to London Zoo, has some beautiful gardens as well as historical monuments but is also very central, allowing you to experience the rest of London pretty easily.

Who are the Royal Parks Foundation?

The Royals Parks Foundation is a charity that was founded in 2017 so relatively recently. They manage the eight parks we mentioned above. Combined, the parks cover an impressive 5000 acres across London!

The Royal Parks are open every day of the year and are free to visit. As these parks are located centrally and around London, they’re only a stone’s throw away if you want to escape the city life.

Not only a popular place to relax and have a picnic, but the parks also offer a range of activities and opportunities to see wildlife in their habitats. A great place to spend some quality time with your friends and family and with the numerous playgrounds dotted about in many of the parks, they’re hugely child-friendly too.

In fact the parks are so popular, they have 77 million visitors every year! Now that’s a lot of people.

Which Park is the Best?

Which park you want to visit really depends on what you want to do. One thing is for sure is that London’s parks have got an awesome variety of things to do, with something to suit everyone. So decide what you want to do, and pick a park.

One thing that’s common to all of the parks is the history around all of parks. All of them have a story. And what’s also fantastic is that most of the Royal Parks offer walking tours among other activities throughout the year. You can check to see what’s coming up here on the Royal Parks website.

Which park is your favorite? We’d love to hear your thought, share below.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out some of our other articled for London links below.

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