Royal Parks Police at Coutt's drinking fountain, Regent's Park, London, c1870–1900.
Did you know that during the first world war, more and more parks were built in London to get people out and about and also get soldiers fit for fighting, so now that the sun is out in London, immediately my thoughts turn to Summer time; a brilliant season to be able to sit outside for lunch, picnics, reading in the sunshine or just chatting with friends.
But where is the best park in London to bask in the glorious sunshine?
Hyde Park is massive and very centrally located. It is one of London's best-loved parks with more than 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow and rose gardens. Take a relaxing stroll, cycle or roller-skate on one of the designated paths or just sit under a secluded tree and read a book. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is also located in the park which is definitely worth a visit.
Regent's Park spans 410 acres and was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash. It includes stunning rose gardens and has the largest outdoor sports area in London, with facilities for football, rugby and cricket. There are also wild bird species and waterfowl, plus the Open Air Theatre.
Perhaps one of my favourites, this beautiful park in Richmond is famously home to around 650 free roaming deer. Richmond Park covers more than 2,000 acres with great cycle paths (from flat to challenging routes), riding stables, two golf courses and power kiting.
St James's Park is a very popular running spot for Londoner's on their lunch breaks as it is very central and also very large, spanning 58 acres. It is surrounded by three Royal palaces so makes for a beautiful day out. It also has a lake which is home to the park's famous pelicans. You can watch them being fed at 2.30pm each day.
Victoria Park was London's first public park. As well as canals, ponds and a pavilion, it also has tennis courts and a sports ground. Some of London's biggest events are held at the park, including the annual Lovebox Weekender and Field Day Festival, as well as outdoor theatre.
Hampstead Heath is another very central park only 4 miles from the centre of London. It has magnificent views over the top of Parliament Hill and is perfect for flying a kite, romantic walks or simply relaxing with a picnic and watching the sun set over the city.
Perhaps one for the South Londoners, Clapham Common is one of London's largest open spaces and has plenty of room to relax in the sun, play football on grass pitches, feed the ducks in one of the three ponds or play tennis on the tennis courts. The Common hosts events such as South West Four Weekender festival and a popular fireworks display on 5 November.
Nearest Tube: Clapham Common or Clapham South or Clapham Junction over ground
Battersea Park is a huge, flat park in South West London. There's plenty for families to enjoy including play areas and the Battersea Children's Zoo. You can take a stroll along the grand 1km riverside promenade, take in the magnificent fountains, and even rent boats on the lake in the summer. A perfect picnic spot.
Nearest Tube: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Over ground