Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published July 5th 2014
The city of London is a very urban area with lots of traffic, crowds, high rise buildings, and noise. Buzzing full of life, it is a great place to shop and be entertained. Sometimes, however, you just need to get away from it all. But where in such a busy city can you find a tranquil place?
I never would have believed it, unless experiencing it for myself, but enter one of London's parks and the sound of cars, and the stresses of urban life all disappear. Parks are a grassy green oasis from a tarmac fumy district.
There are eight Royal Parks in London, including Bushy Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park, Richmond Park, and St. James's Park. These were once privately owned by members of the British monarchy, but have since become public spaces.
St James Park
Out of these, St. James's is my favourite. It is the one I have been to most frequently, having often gone to play there as a child with my summer holiday play scheme. There is av playground with swing, wooden climbing frames, rocks to climb, and a sand pit. There are also large open spaces, perfect for picnics and running about. In the summer are often deck chairs out that are free to use. Just outside the gates, you can also see the Queen's band parade down the road. What I love most about St. James's Park, however, is watching the pelicans.
The royal parks are not the only green space in London though; there are plenty of heaths, commons, woodlands, and beautiful gardens. Examples include Hampstead Heath, Clapham Common, Epping Forest, and City Gardens. One of my favourites is Mitcham Common, which has a golf course swarming with rabbits and other forms of wildlife, as well as an ecology centre, several island ponds, and a Harvester restaurant.
Morden Hall Park
Then there are places owned by the National Trust. I love Morden Hall Park, which is free to visit, has a garden centre, cafe, aquarium, playground, bookshop, and regular family activities.
London's parks aren't exclusively historical either. As the city grows, so do new developments, such as The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which I plan on visiting for the first time at the weekend. Not only is it a place to stroll, but it honours the legacy of the 2012 games with its many sporting facilities.